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Gôrâl Versus Payîs: Casting Lots At Qumran And In The Rabbinic Tradition

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares the institution and description of casting lots at Qumran with the institution and description of casting lots in the rabbinic tradition, beginning with the Mishnah. It considers the question of the function, the process and the principal illustrations of the gôral casting of lots at Qumran. It then analyses the institution of the payîs casting of lots in the Temple, according to the Mishnah and the discussions that it gave rise to among the Sages. Finally, the chapter compares these two institutions of the gôral and the payîs casting of lots. In what way do they reveal the identity of the Qumran Community set over against the Temple? How do we explain the fact that the Sages rejected the biblical concept of gôral and replaced it with a different word, one of foreign origin, that of payîs?.

Keywords: gôral; Mishnah; payîs; Qumran; rabbinic tradition



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