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The giving of the Torah: Targumic perspectives

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discerns and comments upon the differing emphases and concerns which a close reading of the individual targumim brings to light. In particular, it investigates the stances of the several targumim towards the giving of the Torah and three central matters: the place of the Temple and its relationship to Torah; the Synagogue and Beth Ha-Midrash and their relationship to Sinai; and the mystical traditions associated with the theophany at Sinai as suggested by the targumim. Careful analysis of these items may help us to elucidate the varied ways in which the targumists understood the gift of the Torah to Israel, and their conceptions of the meaning of this central biblical event for their hearers and readers.

Keywords: Beth Ha-Midrash; biblical event; Israel; mystical traditions; Sinai; Synagogue; targumim; Torah



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