Simeon the Righteous in Rabbinic Literature

A Legend Reinvented


In Simeon the Righteous in Rabbinic Literature: A Legend Reinvented, Amram Tropper investigates the rabbinic traditions about Simeon the Righteous, a renowned Jewish leader of Second Temple times. Tropper not only interprets these traditions from a literary perspective but also deploys a relatively new critical approach towards rabbinic literature with which he explores the formation history of the traditions. With the help of this approach, Tropper seeks to uncover the literary and cultural matrices, both rabbinic and Graeco-Roman, which supplied the raw materials and literary inspiration to the rabbinic authors and editors of the traditions. Tropper’s analysis reveals that in reinventing the legend of Simeon the Righteous, the rabbis constructed the Second Temple past in the image of their own present.

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Amram Tropper, Ph.D. (2002), Oxford University, is Senior Lecturer in Jewish History at Ben Gurion University. His previous publications include Wisdom, Politics, and Historiography (Oxford, 2004) and Like Clay in the Hands of the Potter (Merkaz Zalman Shazar, 2011).
"The validity and value of this historiographical method goes [...] beyond the figure of Simeon and presents a useful new tool for the study of rabbinic texts and traditions in general." – Lieve Teugels, Utrecht University, in: Journal for the Study of Judaism 66/1 (2015)
1: The Rabbinic Traditions
2: Simeon the Righteous, the Great Assembly of Avot and the Rabbinization of Early Second Temple Judaism
3: Simeon the Righteous and the Origins of the World’s Three Pillars
4: Simeon the Righteous and the Narcissistic Nazirite
5: Simeon the Righteous and Alexander the Great
6: Simeon the Righteous and the Temple of Onias
7: Simeon the Righteous in Second Temple Chronology

Anyone interested in ancient Jewish history, rabbinic literature, higher criticism and Graeco-Roman literary culture.
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