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Ishmael Sacrificed Grasshoppers

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the structure and the meaning of the two passages about the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael found in the two chapters of the Tosefta. The verse about Hagar, which is interpreted in the t. Sotah 6:6 is Gen 21:9:"and Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing. Three exegetical motifs for this verse are said to come from sages of the school of R. Akiba. Hunting grasshoppers in it, and even eating them, is not forbidden in the Jewish culture. In contrast to what is found in the Mishnah, the compiler of the Tosefta seems to take for granted the fact that a halakah has to be supported by an interpretation of a biblical verse, an issue which was represented in the Mishnah as R. Akiba's novelty.

Keywords: Abraham; halakah; Ishmael sacrificed grasshoppers; Mishnah Sotah; Tosefta Sotah



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