By Steven Fine

Talmuda de-Eretz Israel: Archaeology and the Rabbis in overdue old Palestine brings jointly a global neighborhood of historians, literature students and archaeologists to explorehow the built-in examine of rabbinic texts and archaeology raises our knowing of either sorts of facts, and of the complicated tradition which they jointly mirror. This quantity displays a becoming consensus that rabbinic tradition used to be an “embodied” tradition, providing a sequence of case experiences that show the worth of archaeology for the contextualization of rabbinic literature. It steers clear of later twentieth-century tendencies, really in North the USA, that under pressure disjunction among archaeology and rabbinic literature, and seeks a extra holistic method.

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The flexibility in m. Baba Batra 8:5, however, came to be for the opposite reason. 4 We begin with an examination of the mishnaic text. 1 To ‫בכורתי – בתי בת נפשי‬, Maayan Noemi ‫תחי‬, on the occasion of her bat mitzvah. I thank Aaron Koller for assisting with editorial matters and Uzi Leibner for suggesting the inclusion of the illustration that accompanies this article. 2 Each other son receives a single portion. See the text of the mishnah below in the body of the article. 3 Jonathan S. Milgram, “Prolegomenon to a New Study of Rabbinic Inheritance Law on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Reuven Yaron’s Gifts in Contemplation of Death”, Jewish Law Association Studies 23 (2012), 181–192.

5 That said, the physical damage mandated by the Mishnah is minimal and its significance apparently symbolic. The Tosefta brings a dispute between Rabbi Meir, who calls for significant damage to the idol to effect its annulment (in distinction to the Mishna’s position) and Rabbi Shimon who posits that an act of degradation is sufficient. Seemingly, among the various options suggested in the Mishnah and the Tosefta, the positions in the first part of the Mishnah warrant special attention on account of their symbolic and minimalistic character.

Moreover, Bildstein presumes, justifiably, that it is improbable that the carved image in Rabbi Yehuda’s signet seal was idolatrous,17 in which case there would be no reason for articulating a negative stance toward the depicted image. Thus, blinding the eyes annuls the vitality of the figural depiction that can henceforth be regarded as an inanimate, decorative motif from which benefit can legitimately be derived. 15 The phrase ‘blind its eyes’ appears in another context, in a thread of three stories about pairs of sages who passed by various idols: one would ask the other if it were permissible to pass in front of it and the other would say ‘pass before it and blind its eyes’ (y.

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