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Bibil Identifier bibil:246828
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Excommunication in Jewish Babylonia: Comparing Bavli Mo‘ed Qaṭan 14b–17b and the Aramaic Bowl Spells in a Sasanian Context
Author Mokhtarian, Jason Sion
Journal Harvard Theological Review (Volume: 108, Issue: 4)
Year (Publication) 2015
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2015
Year (Copyright) 2015
Year (Reference) 2015
Language English
Pages 552-578 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract According to rabbinic literature of late antiquity, a Jew could be excommunicated or banished from the community for around twenty-four spiritual and social violations. The Talmuds’ list of sins that necessitated the separation of a transgressor includes, for instance, profaning the name of God, selling forbidden meat, insulting one's master, and obstructing justice. Once condemned, the sinner was physically isolated from other people and prohibited from the same actions that a mourner was, such as cutting one's hair or wearing phylacteries. After the sinner repented or a certain amount of time passed, the ban was then lifted, typically by the master who had initiated it. Indeed, the master-disciple relationship is often at the center of banning and cursing in rabbinic literature. Although the rabbinic concept of excommunication draws from earlier biblical and Second Temple precedents, such as the book of Ezra, it is in many ways a late antique innovation featuring prominently in Babylonia. The reason that bans and excommunication emerge as a salient feature of Jewish society in this period is related to the rabbis’ historical contexts within Roman Palestine and Sasanian Babylonia. As I show in this article, exegesis and history both played a role in the formation of the talmudic laws of banishment.
DOI 10.1017/S0017816015000383
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Ancient Judaism : Literature : Talmud (Babli and Yerushalmi) : Mo'ed : Mo'ed Qatan
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Excommunication
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Last modification 2017-11-09