The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud

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JHU Press, Oct 22, 2003 - History - 232 pages
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In this pathbreaking study Jeffrey L. Rubenstein reconstructs the cultural milieu of the rabbinic academy that produced the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, which quickly became the authoritative text of rabbinic Judaism and remains so to this day. Unlike the rabbis who had earlier produced the shorter Palestinian Talmud (the Yerushalmi) and who had passed on their teachings to students individually or in small and informal groups, the anonymous redactors of the Bavli were part of a large institution with a distinctive, isolated, and largely undocumented culture.

The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud explores the cultural world of these Babylonian rabbis and their students through the prism of the stories they included in the Bavli, showing how their presentation of earlier rabbinic teachings was influenced by their own values and practices. Among the topics explored in this broad-ranging work are the hierarchical structure of the rabbinic academy, the use of dialectics in teaching, the functions of violence and shame within the academy, the role of lineage in rabbinic leadership, the marital and family lives of the rabbis, and the relationship between the rabbis and the rest of the Jewish population. This book provides a unique and new perspective on the formative years of rabbinic Judaism and will be essential reading for all students of the Talmud.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Rabbinic Academy
16
Dialectics
39
Chapter 3
54
Chapter 4
67
Lineage and Rabbinic Leadership
80
Chapter 6
102
The Sages and the Amei haarets
123
Chapter 8
143
Notes
163
Selected Bibliography
207
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Page 207 - From the End of Biblical Times up to the Redaction of the Talmud. Studies in Honor of Joshua Efron, ed. A.

References to this book

Jesus im Talmud
Peter Schäfer
Limited preview - 2007
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About the author (2003)

Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is a professor in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He is the author of The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods, Rabbinic Stories, and Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition, and Culture, the last available from Johns Hopkins.

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