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Daily Life At The Thermo-Mineral Baths According To Rabbinic Literature

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Chapter Summary

The medicinal Roman baths are mentioned in the genre of Rabbinic sources that deal with Halakha and Aggadah in different and varied contexts. Halakhic problems in daily life, which are involved in the nature of the hot springs and their solutions. This chapter reviews the aims and deeds of Sages at sacred cult places and popular sites of healing. Thermal baths in Palestine were well known for their therapeutic qualities also throughout the Roman-Byzantine Empire. Specially celebrated were Hammei-Tiberias, Kallirrhoe, Hammat-Pella, Emmaus, and Hammat-Gader. One of the halakhic discussions, which centered on Hammat-Gader and served as a standard for thermo-mineral baths in general appears in Rabbinic literature in several versions, and bears witness to the Rabbis’ uncertainties about daily life there.

Keywords: Aggadah; Halakha; Hammat-Gader; Rabbinic sources; Sages; thermal baths



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