Changing the Subject: Rabbinic Legal Process in the Absence of Justification

in Review of Rabbinic Judaism
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This essay explores how changing the subject can function as a valid legal process in classical rabbinic literature. In order to do so, it first establishes standard rabbinic legal procedure, in which the legal reasoning for arguments is debated and either supported or refuted. Next, it discusses cases that do not fit this pattern: namely, those in which a rabbi, faced with a contradictory or complex argument, changes the subject rather than his reasoning or ruling. Through a discussion of such cases, this essay argues that, while not preferable, changing the subject can in fact be a valid rabbinic legal process.

Changing the Subject: Rabbinic Legal Process in the Absence of Justification

in Review of Rabbinic Judaism

References

21

In general see Jordan D. RosenblumFood and Identity in Early Rabbinic Judaism (New York: Cambridge University Press2010).

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