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Intro to Talmud.docx

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RELI 2110
Deidre Butler

Intro to Talmud 09/30/2013 History, Text, Interpretation, Identity J.Z. Smith: Map is Not Territory— “For a given group at a given time to choose this or that mode of interpreting their tradition is to opt for a particular way of relating themselves to their historical past and social present” People who are in the process of losing everything: any hope of sovereignty, the Temple (not the only place where Jews have gathered, but definitely the most important) Mishnah “the comprehensive social system of a landless and powerless people”—Jacob Neusner • organized into six orders Group discussion: Tractate Baba Mezia 22a/22b: Mishnah What is the subject of this Mishnah? How would you characterize the….. What do you do when you find something? Are you obligated to find who owned it before? Very specific list—speaks to a certain group who has and buys certain things. Things that could reasonably happen to the people who are involved in remembering this: oral tradition Piece of Mishnah Mishnah: Characteristics: Compiled by Judah the Patriarch (Ha Nasi) 220 CE First, core part of Talmud Originally written in Hebrew (practice of an elite) Concise, easy to memorize, gives results of debates, requires interpretation and context Includes chunks of earlier collections Emphasis on Temple Remembering everything that was gathered at Yavna: these people were very concerned with the Temple Focus on annual cycle of worship and ritual purity and day to day life: approaching god Decreasing ritual purity: liminal things—between life and death Jacob Neusner describes “Eternal Present” Tannaim: Earliest period of sages, voices of the Mishnah nd 2 Temple Era, most from just before 70 CE) -Memorizers of Oral Law -Land of Israel -Period ends with formalization of Mishnah (but collections continue) -five generations of scholars until beginning of Talmud (Judah Ha Nasi: 5 generation) -Mostly written in Hebrew Important figures: st Rabbi Yohannan Ben Zakkai: Yavneh, rabbinic centre post Temple (1 generation) Rabbi Akiva: martyrdom, and biblical interpretation, declared Bar Kochba Messiah, rd recants (3 generation) th Judah Ha Nasi: editor/compiler of Mishna (5 generation) R
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