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Bibil Identifier bibil:219294
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Halakhic Confrontation Dramatized
Title (English, ) A Study of Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 2:8-9
Author Walfish, Avraham
Journal Hebrew Union College Annual (Volume: 79)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2010
Year (Reference) 2008
Language English
Pages 1-41 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Few stories in rabbinic sources have had as profound an influence on the history of halakhah and Jewish thought as the story in m.Roš Haš. 2:8-9 of the confrontation between R. Joshua and Rabban Gamliel regarding the sanctification of the new moon. This multi-faceted narrative may serve as an excellent testing ground for the much-debated methodological issue as to whether talmudic narratives should be read as literary creations or as sources of reliable historical information. Our story divides into five scenes, and the only character to appear in all five of them, Rabbi Joshua, may be readily identified as the main character of the story. The central role played by Rabbi Joshua in the story serves as a hermeneutical signpost of the story, which may guide the reader at certain exegetical crossroads in inter-preting the narrative. The sophisticated deployment of seemingly trivial words such äs ברה and הלך and the paranomastic use of the verbs עמד and קבל, underscore the dialectical nature of authority alluded to in Rabban Gamliel's closing encomium. By means of close reading techniques, we may find the inner logic and significance of seemingly problematic features of the narrative, which have led recent writers such as Daniel Schwartz and David Henschke to propose radical reinterpretations of the story based on philological attempts to reconstruct the original version from which the story currently recorded in the Mishnah has diverged.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Literature : Mishna : Mo'ed : Rosh HaShanah
Last modification 2017-10-27