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The Deserts Of Palestine. Wilderness In The Thought Of The Rabbis And The Desert Fathers: Geographic Reality And The Crisscrossing Of Motifs

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Chapter Summary

At first glance, it might be difficult to understand what the deserts of Palestine, in either rabbinic thought or in the thought of the Desert Fathers, might have to do with Modes of Interaction between Judaism and Christianity. As the attitude of both the Rabbis and the Christian Fathers to desert and wilderness derives to some extent from the Bible, the chapter briefly points out the basic biblical motifs which influenced both Judaism and Christianity. It then briefly describes the way that the Rabbis related to some particular sites in the desert. Mt. Sinai was the major pilgrim attraction in Sinai and more people traveling to Sinai meant the development of more traditions associated with Exodus. Perhaps not surprisingly, and most conveniently, the majority of popular Exodus sites were close to Mt. Sinai, allowing for a more efficient sweep of the holy sites.

Keywords: biblical motifs; Christian Fathers; Desert Fathers; deserts of Palestine; Exodus sites; Judaism; Mt. Sinai; Rabbis; wilderness



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