Download Early Rabbinic Writings (Cambridge Commentaries on Writings by Hyam MacCoby PDF

By Hyam MacCoby

Rabbinic texts are frequently stated in New testomony and previous testomony experiences, yet hitherto there was no effortless manner for a pupil to know the scope and diversity of the correct rabbinic writings. This e-book introduces the coed to the entire variety of the early rabbinic writings, with an intensive advent and notes, in order that either a bird's eye view of the literature in addition to shut aquaintance with average and demanding texts could be bought. it will allow the reader to embark on extra research with a clearer orientation. The booklet additionally goals to right many flawed perspectives approximately rabbinic Judaism bobbing up from superseded conceptions of the relation among Christianity and Judaism.

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Extra resources for Early Rabbinic Writings (Cambridge Commentaries on Writings of the Jewish and Christian World (No. 3))

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Indeed, some scholars have seen the scriptural derivations as an attempt to counter Sadducean charges that the Pharisees slighted the authority of Scripture by instituting their own unscriptural rulings. ) To give an illustrative example, the Mishnah gives a list of thirty-nine principal categories of work which are forbidden on the Sabbath. The Mishnah does not attempt to give scriptural support for this list, which, on the Mishnah's treatment, we might suppose to be derived from an oral tradition independent of Scripture.

The Mishnah does not attempt to give scriptural support for this list, which, on the Mishnah's treatment, we might suppose to be derived from an oral tradition independent of Scripture. The Talmud (b. Sab. 49b), however, tells us that all these categories of work can be deduced from Scripture, since the injunction to observe the Sabbath is placed next to the description of the building of the Tabernacle (Exod. 35), which, as the details of its construction show, required all these kinds of work: by the principle of exegesis called semukin (deduction from the juxtaposition of passages), we learn that all modes of work required to build the Tabernacle are forbidden on the Sabbath.

Since the term has become so laden with meanings, the best course here is to define it very simply in relation to the period with which we are concerned, while giving some indication of later usages with which this definition should not be confused. With regard to our period, a midrash means any kind of statement The rabbinic literature 23 of Oral Torah, whether halakic or haggadic, found in the works called Midrashim. g. the Mekilta of Rabbi Ishmael, a consecutive exposition of Exodus). The distinction which we convey in English by the use of a capital letter is expressed differently in Hebrew which has no capital letters: a 'Midrash', meaning a work, is treated as a masculine noun with the plural 'Midrashim', while a midrash, meaning a passage or pericope, is treated as a feminine noun having the plural midrashot.

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