Among the topics are Seder food and customs in illuminated Medieval Haggadot, the impact of theology on liturgical change, the censorship of Aleinu in Ashkenaz and its aftermath, Shabgethai Sofer of Przemysl on the text of Mah nishtanah, the ascension of Moses in a poem by Amittai ben Shephatiah
, and the early history of the liturgy of Yom Kippur.
It was about the former that Justinian quipped: "Solomon, I have outdone you!" To which Ahima'az replied in his recapitulation of the disputation between Rav Shephatiah and Basileus Basil: vesha'alu mibinyan beit hab'hirah umibinyan hatumah asher Sophni keruah b'ey zeh armon nikhnas yoter mammon, (32) "Scriptures show that David and Solomon expended more funds than you."
Ahima'az's ridicule of an arrogant Byzantine official, his delight in the magical way that Rav Shephatiah overcame his astronomic miscalculation that otherwise would have necessitated his conversion, his use of Talmudic stories to return good for the evils exacted in Byzantium and his messianic colophon are informative but nor particularly germane to a paper on Jesus.
They are the chronicler Ahimaaz, the liturgical poet Shephatiah
ben Amittai, and the physician Shabbetai Donnolo, doctor to the Byzantine viceroy in Calabria.
For example, one Amittai Ben Shephatiah
, of late-ninth century Italy, writes a poem, titled by its translator T.