Monday, July 9, 2012
Since many of my readers contribute to my work in a variety of ways, I decided to share a status update regarding the various projects that I am working on.
1. PhD - My dissertation proposal was accepted - the topic is "Rabbinic Encounters with Zoology in the Nineteenth Century." (The most common response to that is, "Were there any?" And the answer is yes, there were a lot!) This will be taking up a lot of my time in the next year or two.
2. The Torah Encyclopedia of the Animal Kingdom - Baruch Hashem, I have been making great progress with this. I've nearly finished writing the first volume, on chayos (a sample chapter, on leopards, can be downloaded at the link above). However, publishing this work (which, for various reasons, I am doing privately) will be a great challenge, due to the scale of the project - masses of proof-reading, full-color photos, a very complicated layout, and I don't even want to think about the indexes. If there are any Adobe InDesign professionals reading this who would be willing to contribute some advice, please write to me! I also need to raise a lot of funds for the publication of this work; I have a charitable foundation for this purpose, and if you are interested in helping, please be in touch.
3. The Jewish Museum of Natural History - Due to my heavy workload on the previous two projects, I am not yet able to devote much time to this. However, the nucleus of the museum is assembled in my basement, and I already offer private presentations to groups. Next year, I will be starting a series of weekly lectures, each focusing on a different exhibit.
4. Sacred Monsters - Hebrew edition. The translation was finished a while ago; it still needs some more editing. Unfortunately I don't have the time/ funds to pursue its publication right now. If somebody who genuinely understands the Israeli publishing world wants to take on this project, please be in touch.
5. Future planned publications - I plan to eventually publish a book on Rationalist Judaism, which will include most of the monographs that I e-published here, as well as other material. I also have a book on rabbinic confrontations with revolutions in astronomy that is basically finished, but I simply have no time to edit it and deal with getting it published at the moment.
6. Website - Some volunteers have been working on a redesigned version of my ZooTorah.com website, and hopefully it will be launched soon. If anyone is a skilled web graphics artist and wants to help, please be in touch.
That's where things are at. My thanks again to all those who support my work in various ways!
Posted by Natan Slifkin