By Kristen Lindbeck
Via an cutting edge synthesis of narrative critique, oral-formulaic research, folkloric examine, and literary research, Kristen H. Lindbeck reads the entire Elijah narratives within the Babylonian Talmud and info the increase of a special, quasi-angelic determine who takes excitement in traditional interplay. throughout the Talmudic interval of 50-500 C.E., Elijah built right into a recognizable personality relatively diversified from the Elijah of the Bible. The Elijah of the Talmud dispenses knowledge, suggestion, and, just like the Elijah of Jewish folklore, is helping humans without delay, inspite of fabric presents. Lindbeck highlights specific positive aspects of the Elijah tales, letting them be grouped into typical different types and regarded along Rabbinic literary motifs and non-Jewish traditions of overdue antiquity. She compares Elijah within the Babylonian Talmud to more than a few characters—angels, rabbis, wonder-workers, the angel of dying, Christian saints, or even the Greek god Hermes. She concludes with a survey of Elijah's varied roles from medieval instances to this day, throwing into terrific aid the advanced dating among historical Elijah traditions and later folktales and liturgy that express Elijah bringing merits and advantages, showing at circumcisions and Passover, and vacationing families after the Sabbath. (2/1/11)
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Extra resources for Elijah and the Rabbis: Story and Theology
This is particularly true for societies such as that of rabbinic Judaism, which are literate, but in which important traditions circulate primarily orally, and artistically polished composition is done with no or little use of writing. As Ruth Finnegan writes in reference to contemporary cultures: There are, of course, ways in which oral literature clearly does differ from written literature—chiefly, I consider, in the matter of its being performed—but to speak as if there is a definite break between them is an exaggeration and a misleading one.
Intrusion and outcome are always present, whereas mediation is sometimes absent. Three of Ben-Amos's four categories of legend appear among the Elijah stories: 1. Supernatural intrudes into natural reality through a mediator. 2. Natural intrudes into supernatural reality through a mediator. 3. Supernatural intrudes into natural reality through its agent. THE STUDY OF RABBINIC NARRATIVE 15 The first two categories usually begin with a situation of lack or of ongoing 62 crisis, such as a drought.
C form and Qenre Qriticism of ^abbinic Narrative Most of the Elijah stories fall into one or more overlapping groups defined by char acteristic narrative forms and/or verbal patterns. Because one can divide the sto ries by such criteria, one can use form criticism to analyze them. Genre criticism is essentially a kind of form criticism, as it too groups stories by analyzing recurring 45 plots and themes. We will discuss genre criticism in this section as well. Some times form and genre criticism are merely descriptive; however, especially when analyzing narrative, form and genre criticism can help one discover the meanings implicit in different forms, as we will discuss in more detail in chapter 2.