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Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum

Diskurse zur sozialen Bedeutung von Tischgemeinschaft, Speiseverboten und Reinheitsvorschriften

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Christina Eschner

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum Christina Eschner examines the Early Christian disputes about the Jewish law against the background of Ancient Jewish discourses on commands of the law, in order to situate the Early Christian practice of the law within its broader context. Jewish sources include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish writings in Greek and early rabbinic texts. This study focusses on rules concerning prohibited food, table fellowship and the permissible way of food intake. Pagan traditions are also considered. Thus, the work has an interdisciplinary orientation, discussing issues at the junction of New Testament studies, Classics, Ancient History and Jewish studies. It concludes that Early Christian food discourses do not aim for the complete abolition of the law. In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum untersucht Christina Eschner die Auseinandersetzungen zum jüdischen Gesetz innerhalb des Urchristentums vor dem Hintergrund der im antiken Judentum belegten Diskurse zu Gesetzesanordnungen, um die urchristliche Praxis des Gesetzes in ihrem größeren Rahmen zu erheben. Dabei finden Schriften aus Qumran, dem griechischsprachigen und dem rabbinischen Judentum Berücksichtigung. Der Fokus liegt auf Vorschriften zu verbotenen Speisen, zur Tischgemeinschaft und zur erlaubten Art und Weise der Nahrungsaufnahme. Auch pagane Traditionen werden einbezogen. Damit ist diese Studie besonders interdisziplinär ausgerichtet. Sie bewegt sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Themenfeldern der neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft, der Altphilologie, der Alten Geschichte und der Judaistik. Dabei kommt sie zu dem Ergebnis, dass die urchristlichen Diskurse zum Essen nicht auf eine vollständige Abschaffung des Gesetzes zielen.
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Law, Literature, and Society in Legal Texts from Qumran

Papers from the Ninth Meeting of the International Organisation for Qumran Studies, Leuven 2016

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Edited by Jutta Jokiranta and Molly Zahn

Reflecting the increasing recognition of the importance of legal texts and issues in early Judaism, the essays in this collection examine halakhic and rule texts found at Qumran in light of the latest scholarship on text production, social organization, and material culture in early Judaism. The contributors present new interpretations of long-lived topics, such as the sobriquet “seekers of the smooth things,” the Treatise of the Two Spirits, and 4QMMT, and take up new approaches to purity issues, the role of the maśkil, and the Temple Scroll. The volume exemplifies the range of ways in which the Qumran legal texts help illuminate early Jewish culture as a whole.
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The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism

Tracing the Origins of Legal Obligation from Ezra to Qumran

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Jonathan Vroom

In The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, Vroom identifies a development in the authority of written law that took place in early Judaism. Ever since Assyriologists began to recognize that the Mesopotamian law collections did not function as law codes do today—as a source of binding obligation—scholars have grappled with the question of when the Pentateuchal legal corpora came to be treated as legally binding. Vroom draws from legal theory to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of legal authority, and develops a methodology for identifying instances in which legal texts were treated as binding law by ancient interpreters. This method is applied to a selection of legal-interpretive texts: Ezra-Nehemiah, Temple Scroll, the Qumran rule texts, and the Samaritan Pentateuch.
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Sources and Interpretation in Ancient Judaism

Studies for Tal Ilan at Sixty

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Edited by Meron Piotrkowski, Geoffrey Herman and Saskia Doenitz

Sources and Interpretation in Ancient Judaism: Studies for Tal Ilan at Sixty, a collection of studies by 14 scholars, is designed to honor an outstanding scholar in the field of Ancient Judaism, Tal Ilan. These studies reflect realms within the broad field of Ancient Judaism that are central to Ilan’s scholarship: Second Temple literary sources and history, Gender, Jewish papyrology and rabbinic literature. The studies within this volume are of an interdisciplinary nature, offering new readings and interpretations of known sources such as Josephus and rabbinic texts, but also introducing the reader to an entirely new body of sources, namely Jewish papyri. The volume therefore aims to introduce specialists and non-specialists to new fields of research
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The Rabbinic Conversion of Judaism

The Unique Perspective of the Bavli on Conversion and the Construction of Jewish Identity

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Moshe Lavee

In this volume, Moshe Lavee offers an account of crucial internal developments in the rabbinic corpus, and shows how the Babylonian Talmud dramatically challenged and extended the rabbinic model of conversion to Judaism. The history of conversion to Judaism has long fascinated Jews along a broad ideological continuum. This book demonstrates the rabbis in Babylonia further reworked former traditions about conversion in ever more stringent direction, shifting the focus of identity demarcation towards genealogy and bodily perspectives. By applying a reading-strategy that emphasizes late Babylonian literary developments, Lavee sheds critical light on a broader discourse regarding the nature and boundaries of Jewish identity.
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Paul D. Mandel

In The Origins of Midrash : From Teaching to Text, Paul Mandel presents a comprehensive study of the words darash and midrash from the Bible until the early rabbinic periods (3rd century CE). In contrast to current understandings in which the words are identified with modes of analysis of the biblical text, Mandel claims that they refer to instruction in law and not to an interpretation of text.
Mandel traces the use of these words as they are associated with the scribe ( sofer), the doresh ha-torah in the Dead Sea scrolls, the “exegetes of the laws” in the writings of Josephus and the rabbinic “sage” ( ḥakham), showing the development of the uses of midrash as a form of instruction throughout these periods.

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Talmudic Transgressions

Engaging the Work of Daniel Boyarin

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Edited by Charlotte Fonrobert, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Aharon Shemesh and Moulie Vidas

Talmudic Transgressions is a collection of essays on rabbinic literature and related fields in response to the boundary-pushing scholarship of Daniel Boyarin. This work is an attempt to transgress boundaries in various ways, since boundaries differentiate social identities, literary genres, legal practices, or diasporas and homelands. These essays locate the transgressive not outside the classical traditions but in these traditions themselves, having learned from Boyarin that it is often within the tradition and in its terms that we can find challenges to accepted notions of knowledge, text, and ethnic or gender identity. The sections of this volume attempt to mirror this diverse set of topics.


Contributors include Julia Watts Belser, Jonathan Boyarin, Shamma Boyarin, Virginia Burrus, Sergey Dolgopolski, Charlotte E. Fonrobert, Simon Goldhill, Erich S. Gruen, Galit Hasan-Rokem, Christine Hayes, Adi Ophir, James Redfield, Elchanan Reiner, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Lena Salaymeh, Zvi Septimus, Aharon Shemesh, Dina Stein, Eliyahu Stern, Moulie Vidas, Barry Scott Wimpfheimer, Elliot R. Wolfson, Azzan Yadin-Israel, Israel Yuval, and Froma Zeitlin.
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Barak S. Cohen

In For Out of Babylonia Shall Come Torah and the Word of the Lord from Nehar Peqod, Barak S. Cohen reevaluates the evidence in Tannaitic and Amoraic literature of an independent “Babylonian Mishnah” which originated in the proto-talmudic period. The book focuses on an analysis of the most notable halakhic corpora that have been identified by scholars as originating in the Tannaitic period or at the outset of the amoraic. If indeed such an early corpus did exist, what are its characteristics and what, if any, connection does it have with the parallel Palestinian collections? Was this Babylonian Mishnah created in order to harmonize the Palestinian Mishnah with a corpus of rabbinic teachings already existent in Babylonia?
Was this corpus one of the main contributors to the forced interpretations and resolutions found so frequently in the Bavli?
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Arie Versluis

According to Deuteronomy 7, God commands Israel to exterminate the indigenous population of Canaan. In The Command to Exterminate the Canaanites: Deuteronomy 7, Arie Versluis offers an analysis and evaluation of this command. Following an exegesis of the chapter, the historical background, possible motives and the place of the nations of Canaan in the Hebrew Bible are investigated.
The theme of religiously inspired violence continues to be a topic of interest. The present volume discusses the consequences of the command to exterminate the Canaanites for the Old Testament view of God and for the question whether the Bible legitimizes violence in the present. Finally, the author shows how he reads this text as a Christian theologian.
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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

Rabbi J. David Bleich is Professor of Talmud (Rosh Yeshiva) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, as well as the Director of its Postgraduate Institute for the study of Talmudic Jurisprudence and Family Law. In addition, he holds the Herbert and Florence Tenzer Chair of Jewish Law and Ethics at Yeshiva University and is Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law. A foremost authority on Jewish law and ethics, he has written extensively on medical ethics, Jewish law and contemporary social issues, and the interface of Jewish law and the American legal system. As the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jehuda in Manhattan, Rabbi Bleich teaches weekly Talmud classes and lectures on Jewish law and philosophy.