THE STORY OF R. ELAZAR B. ARACH: THE "OVERFLOWING SPRING", THE EMMAUS HOT SPRING, AND INTERTEXTUAL IRONY

in Journal for the Study of Judaism
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Abstract

The paper examines the several sources of the enigmaticly tragic story of the Mishnaic sage R. Elazar b. Arach, the "overflowing spring," who forgets his Torah when he leaves the company of his colleages, the sages, for the hot springs of Emmaus, as the story emerges from a synoptic reading of the various Mishnaic, Talmudic, and Midrashic sources. The interest here is in a literary reading of the story's motifs, structures, patterns, wordplay, intertextuality, etc. It is perhaps more understood in reading all its parts as we discern more clarifying details of the story. But there is an effect of ironic result when the sources about R. Elazar's praises and potential are read together with the narrative sources.

Journal for the Study of Judaism

In the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period

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