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Bibil Identifier bibil:202668
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Stringency in Qumran: A Reassessment
Author Noam, Vered
Journal Journal for the Study of Judaism (Volume: 40, Issue: 3)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Language English
Pages 342-355 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract The attribution of stringency to the Qumranites is prevalent in scholarly research. Indeed it is indisputable that the Sect generally adopts stringent positions, compared to rabbinic halakah. However, closer examination indicates that Qumranic law reflects simple, necessary inferences from Scripture itself, whereas the Tannaitic leniency represents a surprisingly revolutionary divergence from the plain meaning of Scripture.
The paper surveys several cases in which the bold and exceptional nature of Tannaitic legislation cannot serve as a criterion for evaluating the stringency of Sectarian law. It goes on to review other instances, where the very same traditions formed the basis of Qumranic as well as rabbinic regulation, except that the latter restricted their scope.
The third group of examples shows that it was precisely the unrefined, simple character of Qumranic law, in comparison with the conceptual sophistication of Tannaitic halakah, that occasionally led to the opposite result, in which the Tannaitic halakah was strict, and the Sectarian law lenient.
In sum, the strictness of Qumranic law is not “objective” but relative. The understanding that sectarian law reflects a series of inductions not altogether removed from the simple sense of Scripture facilitates a more accurate appreciation of the depth of Tannaitic halakah's groundbreaking leniency.
DOI DOI:10.1163/157006309X443503
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Qumran - Dead Sea : Themes : Sect
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Important Persons and Movements : Talmudic Period : Rabbinism : Tannaim
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Themes : Halakah
Last modification 2017-10-27