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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.
Complete Editions, Tractates, and Other Works and the Associated Presses from the Mid-17th Century through the 18th Century
Printing the Talmud: Complete Editions, Tractates and Other Works, and the Associated Presses from the Mid-17th Century through the 18th Century is a profusely illustrated major work describing the complete editions of the Talmud printed from about 1650 to slightly after 1800. Apart from the intrinsic value of those editions, their publication was often contentious due to disputes, often bitter, between rival publishers, embroiling rabbis and communities throughout Europe. The cities and editions encompassed include Amsterdam, Frankfort am Main, Frankfurt on the Oder, Prague, and Sulzbach. This edition of Printing the Talmud addresses these editions as an opening to discuss the history of the subject presses, their other titles and their general context in Jewish history.
Reading Talmudic Sources as Arguments: A New Interpretive Approach elucidates the unique characteristics of Talmudic discourse culture. Approaching Talmudic literature from a linguistic perspective, the book shows the extensive and hidden ways in which later rabbis used early formulations. Applying Quentin Skinner's interpretive question “What was the author doing in composing the text in this particular way?" to Talmudic literature reveals that Talmudic debate is not only about ideas, concepts and laws but also about the latter's connection to pre-existing formulations. These early traditions, rather than only being accepted or not, are used by later generations to build their own arguments. The book articulates the function of tradition at the time that Rabbinic Judaism was forged.
A History of the Individual Treatises Printed from 1700 to 1750
Author: Marvin Heller
A scholarly study of the individual Talmudic tractates published in the first half of the eighteenth century. It describes more than one hundred Talmudic treatises that were not part of a complete Talmud and discusses their printers and the associated rabbis. The circumstances surrounding the publication of several treatises reflect the turbulence of Jewish history. The subject matter encompasses the activities of many small Hebrew print-shops in Central Europe, as well as major centers such as Amsterdam.
More than one hundred and twenty-five reproductions of title and representative pages, many not previously reproduced, are included. The book, the only complete study on the subject in any language, addresses a lacuna in Hebrew history and bibliography. It is an important contribution to Hebrew bibliography and Jewish history.
Author: Jacob Neusner
The Bavli, or Talmud of Babylonia, the foundation-document of Judaism, its law, theology, and exegesis of Scripture, sets forth an orderly world, resting on reason and tested by rationality, all in accord with consistent principles. The document in its coherent intellectual program of inquiry and in its modes of formal cogency embodies that same passion for order, proportion, and rationality that, animates its concrete discussions. Here Neusner spells out the problem of the Bavli's intellectual cogency and formal coherence. He provides in exemplary detail the evidence that sustains that characterization of the writing.
Author: Jacob Neusner
This systematic introduction to the Talmud of Babylonia (Bavli) answers basic questions of form: how is this a coherent document? How do we make sense of the several languages in which it is written? What are the principal parts of the complex writing? Turning to questions of modes of thought, the account proceeds to address the intellectual character of the Bavli and in particular the character and uses of its dialectics. Finally, questions of substance come to the fore: how does the Talmud relate to the Torah? and how does tradition enter in? These basic questions of rhetoric, topic, and logic that anyone approaching the text will raise are dealt with clearly and authoritatively.
Author: Jacob Neusner
History provides one way of marking time. But there are others, and the Judaism of the dual Torah, set forth in the Rabbinic literature from the Mishnah through the Talmud of Babylonia, ca. 200-600 C.E., defines one such alternative. This book tells the story of how a historical way of thinking about past, present, and future, time and eternity, the here and now in relationship to the ages, « that is, Scripture's way of thinking » gave way to another mode of thought altogether. This other model Neusner calls a paradigm, because a pattern imposed meaning and order on things that happened. Paradigmatic modes of thought took the place of historical ones. Thinking through paradigms, with a conception of time that elides past and present and removes all barriers between them, in fact governs the reception of Scripture in Judaism until nearly our own time. Neusner here explains through the single case of Rabbinic Judaism, precisely how that other way of reading Scripture did its work, and why, for so many centuries, that reading of the heritage of ancient Israel governed. At stake are [1] a conception of time different from the historical one and [2] premises on how to take the measure of time that form a legitimate alternative to those that define the foundations of the historical way of measuring time. Fully exposed, those alternative premises may prove as logical and compelling as the historical ones. The approach follows the documentary history of ideas, and individual chapters describe the treatment of historical topics in the Mishnah, the Talmud of the Land of Israel (a.k.a., the Yerushalmi), Genesis Rabbah, that is, ca. 200, 400, and 450 CE, and Pesiqta deRab Kahana, ca. 500 CE.
Author: Jacob Neusner
This book shows that the disputes that characterize Rabbinic writings in the formative age underscore the coherence of Rabbinic Judaism. It is in three separate monographs. The first shows that disagreements concern secondary and tertiary issues. They therefore reinforce the primary norm by identifying as moot only trivial details. The second demonstrates, alternatively, that Halakhic disputes articulate unresolved conflict over generative principles. Sometimes, in the presentation of topics of the law, disputes not only indicate the range of consensus but bring to expression conflicting alternatives, theories that claim equal validity but contradict one another. Third, in some presentations of the law and in all presentations of theology where disputes occur, disputes simply gloss details in the application of accepted principles. They form a part of the exercise of legal or theological exegesis, filling in gaps with alternative facts.
Editors: Ronit Nikolsky and Tal Ilan
In this book various authors explore how rabbinic traditions that were formulated in the Land of Israel migrated to Jewish study houses in Babylonia. The authors demonstrate how the new location and the unique literary character of the Babylonian Talmud combine to create new and surprising texts out of the old ones. Some authors concentrate on inner rabbinic social structures that influence the changes the traditions underwent. Others show the influence of the host culture on the metamorphosis of the traditions. The result is a complex study of cultural processes, as shaped by a unique historical moment.
Author: Dan Jaffé
The question of the origins of Christianity is a theme still discussed in historical research. This book investigates the relations between the Rabbinic Judaism and the Primitive Christianity. It studies the factors of influences, the polemics in the texts and factors of mutual conceptions between two new movements: Rabbinical Judaism and Primitive Christianity. Finally it offers an analysis of the perception of Christianity in the corpus of talmudic literature.

La question des origines du christianisme est un thème encore débattu par la recherche historique. Cet ouvrage choisi d'explorer les relations entre le judaïsme rabbinique et le christianisme primitif. Il étudie les facteurs d'influences, les polémiques dont témoignent les textes et les emprunts réciproques entre les deux mouvements naissant : le judaïsme rabbinique et le christiansime primitif. Il propose également une analyse sur la perception du christianisme à l'oeuvre dans la littérature talmudique.