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.
Ronit Nikolsky has a PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a lecturer in Jewish and Israel Studies at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands. She specializes in the spread of Midrashic narratives and in the cognitive approach to the study of culture.
Tal Ilan has a PhD from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is Professor of Jewish Studies at the Freie Universität, Berlin. She specializes in rabbinic Judaism, ancient Jewish onomastics, and gender questions.
Table of contents
Ronit Nikolsky and Tal Ilan, Introduction
Shamma Friedman, Now You See it, Now You Don’t: Can Source-Criticism Perform Magic on Talmudic Passages about Sorcery?
Moshe Lavee, No Boundaries for the Construction of Boundaries: The Babylonian Talmud’s Emphasis over Demarcation of Identity
Geoffrey Herman, Midgets and Mules, Elephants, and Exilarchs: On the Metamorphosis of a Polemical Amoraic Story
Christiane Tsuberi, Rescue from Transgression through Death; Rescue from Death through a Transgression
Amram Tropper, A Tale of Two Sinais: On the Reception of the Torah according to Bavli Shabbat 88a
Tal Ilan, Heaven and Hell: Babylonia and the Land of Israel in the Bavli
David Brodsky, From Disagreement to Talmudic Discourse: Progymnasmata and the Evolution of a Rabbinic Genre
Reuven Kiperwasser, The Misfortunes and Adventures of Elihoreph and Ahiah in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia: The Metamorphosis of a Narrative Tradition and Ways of Acculturation
Yaakov Elman, Commercial Law in Rome and Ctesiphon: Roman Jurisconsults, Rabbis and Sasanian Dastwars on Risk
Ronit Nikolsky, From Palestine to Babylonia and Back: The Place of the Bavli and the Tanhuma on the Rabbinic Cultural Continuum
Paul Mandel, Was Rabbi Aqiva a Martyr? Palestinian and Babylonian Influences in the Development of a Legend
All interested in late antique Jewish history and rabbinic literature and scholars interested in the interaction of late antique Jewish culture with its neighbors, especially in the Babylonian and Iranian world.