A fascinating and stimulating look at the other Talmud and the possibilities for Jewish life reflected there. The difference between the Bavli and the Yerushalmi is something like the difference between making a movie for a regular theater versus making one for a 3-D theater and/or an IMAX theater. It s still the story of Judaism and the Jewish people. But the colors are richer, the action is bigger, the effects are more powerful in the 3-D/IMAX world of the Yerushalmi. Your actors live on the soundstage, that is, in Israel, and that informs their performance . You could imagine the Yerushalmi is a pop-up book: you open it and Jewish living materializes. from the Introduction This engaging look at the Judaism that might have been breaks open the Yerushalmi The Talmud of the Land of Israel and what it means for Jewish life today. It examines what the Yerushalmi is, how it differs from the Bavli the Babylonian Talmud and how and why the Bavli is used today. It reveals how the Yerushalmi s vision of Jewish practice resembles today s liberal Judaism, and why the Yerushalmi is growing in popularity. This broad but accessible overview of all the essential aspects of The Talmud of the Land of Israel will help you deepen your understanding of Judaism and the history of the Jewish people.
In Punishment and Freedom, Devora Steinmetz offers a fresh look at classical rabbinic texts about criminal law from the perspective of legal and moral philosophy. Steinmetz holds that the criminal and judicial procedures they describe were never designed to be applied in a real state. Rather, these texts deal with broader philosophical, theological, and ethical conceptions of the law. Through close readings of passages describing criminal procedure and punishment, Steinmetz argues that the Rabbis constructed an extreme positivist view of sinaitic law based in divine command. This view of law is related to a conception of the human being as fully free and responsible. Steinmetz contrasts this philosophy with the reflections on law in the Pauline letters and argues that the Rabbis see their own view of law as a key marker of Jewish identity that is tied to the rabbinic notion that human beings are charged with shaping the world and their own destiny. Punishment and Freedom is a valuable guide through talmudic discourse for scholars of Jewish thought, early Christianity, and legal philosophy.
This critical study traces the development of the literary forms and conventions of the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, analyzing those forms as expressions of emergent rabbinic ideology. The Bavli, which evolved between the third and sixth centuries in Sasanian Iran (Babylonia), is the most comprehensive of all documents produced by rabbinic Jews in late antiquity. It became the authoritative legal source for medieval Judaism, and for some its opinions remain definitive today. Kraemer here examines the characteristic preference for argumentation and process over settled conclusions of the Bavli. By tracing the evolution of the argumentational style, he describes the distinct eras in the development of rabbinic Judaism in Babylonia. He then analyzes the meaning of the disputational form and concludes that the talmudic form implies the inaccessibility of perfect truth and that on account of this opinion, the pursuit of truth, in the characteristic talmudic concern for rabbinic process, becomes the ultimate act of rabbinic piety.
This Festschrift is a mélange of studies covering the wide range of Van der Woude's interests. They have been arranged according to the order: Hebrew Bible (following the sequence of the books), Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Rabbinic Tradition.
Essays that explore the rich engagement of the Talmud with its cultural world The Babylonian Talmud (Bavli), the great compilation of Jewish law edited in the late Sasanian era (sixth–seventh century CE), also incorporates a great deal of aggada, that is, nonlegal material, including interpretations of the Bible, stories, folk sayings, and prayers. The Talmud’s aggadic traditions often echo conversations with the surrounding cultures of the Persians, Eastern Christians, Manichaeans, Mandaeans, and the ancient Babylonians, and others. The essays in this volume analyze Bavli aggada to reveal this rich engagement of the Talmud with its cultural world. Features: A detailed analysis of the different conceptions of martyrdom in the Talmud as opposed to the Eastern Christian martyr accounts Illustration of the complex ways rabbinic Judaism absorbed Christian and Zoroastrian theological ideas Demonstration of the presence of Persian-Zoroastrian royal and mythological motifs in talmudic sources
In two volumes, leading American, Israeli, and European specialists in the history, literature, theology, and archaeology of Judaism offer factual answers to the two questions that study of any religion in ancient times must raise. The first is, what are the sources — written and in material culture — that inform us about that religion? The second is, how do we understand those sources in the reconstruction of the history of various Judaic systems in antiquity. The historical relationship of Judaism with nascent Christianity in New Testament times is also treated.
This book examines a key tradition in Judaism (the rule that exempts women from "timebound, positive commandments"), which has served for centuries to stabilize women's roles. Against every other popular and scholarly perception of the rule, Elizabeth Shanks Alexander demonstrates that the rule was not intended to have such consequences. She narrates the long and complicated history of the rule, establishing the reasons for its initial formulation and the shifts in interpretation that led to its being perceived as a key marker of Jewish gender.
The Talmud - the Mishnah, a philosophical law code, and the Gemara, a dialectical commentary upon the Mishnah - works by translating principal modes of Western philosophy and science into the analysis of the rules of rationality governing the rules of humble, everyday reality. Science, in particular the method of hierarchical classification characteristic of natural history, supplies the method of making connections and drawing conclusions to the Mishnah, the law-code that forms the foundation-document of the Talmud, as Neusner demonstrated in his "Judaism as Philosophy. The Method and Message of the Mishnah," Here he proceeds to show how philosophy, specifically dialectical analysis, defines the logic of the Gemara and guides the writers of the Gemara's compositions and the compilers of its composites in their analysis and amplification of some of the topical presentations, or tractates, of the Mishnah.