By Eliezer Segal
The Bible has continuously been very important to Jewish spiritual existence, and it's been expounded in diversified methods. possibly the main influential physique of Jewish biblical interpretation is the Midrash that was once produced through expositors in the course of the first 5 centuries CE. Many such teachings are amassed within the Babylonian Talmud, the huge compendium of Jewish legislation and lore that used to be approved because the definitive assertion of Jewish oral culture for next generations. even though, a number of the Talmud’s interpretations of biblical passages seem weird and wonderful or unnecessary. From Sermon to observation: Expounding the Bible in Talmudic Babylonia attempts to give an explanation for this phenomenon through conscientiously studying consultant passages from quite a few methodological techniques, paying specific awareness to comparisons with Midrash composed within the Land of Israel. in response to this research, Eliezer Segal argues that the Babylonian sages have been using discourses that had originated in Israel as rhetorical sermons during which biblical interpretation used to be being hired in an ingenious, literary demeanour, frequently in accordance with the interaction among or extra texts from diversified books of the Bible. simply because they didn't own their very own culture of homiletic preaching, the Babylonian rabbis interpreted those reviews with out regard for his or her rhetorical conventions, as though they have been exegetical commentaries, leading to the detailed, complicated personality of Babylonian Midrash.
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Additional resources for From Sermon to Commentary: Expounding the Bible in Talmudic Babylonia (Studies in Christianity and Judaism)
This promiscuous behaviour among the daughters of Zion is expounded in the same spirit as the b. ” “Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab [ xp# ] the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion” (Isaiah 3:17). R’ Leazar 6 and R’ Yosé bar Hanina: 7 · R’ Leazar says: He smote them with leprosy. This is as you say, “And for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot” (Leviticus 14:56). And R’ Yosé bar Hanina says: He brought up to their heads many families · [ twxp#m twxp#m ] of vermin. And R’ Hiyya bar Abba says: He turned them into indentured slaves twxp# .
8 Cf. Margoliot, 50–51: “This dispute is an unsolved mystery. ” He lists the other Rav and Samuel disputes that revolve around similarly structured name-etymologies and arrives at the intriguing observation that in each case one of the names is recorded in the book of Chronicles. Margoliot therefore concludes that the principle underlying all those disagreements relates to the status of names in Chronicles, whether they are meant to be treated as actual names or only as midrashic expositions.
For example, standard myths about the mythical hermaphrodite focus on the process through which the masculine and feminine elements came to be combined. However, Aristophanes and the rabbis posit hermaphroditism as the primal condition of humanity. Whereas most other sources speak of a commixture of male and female qualities, Aristophanes and the rabbis speak of a welding of two distinct bodies and duplicated limbs. Aristophanes actually employs the precise Greek terminology of rabbinic traditions; not only a1 n dro/ g unon (189e) but also pro/ s wpa du/ ’ (189e; cf.