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The Temple As A Marker Of Jewish Identity Before And After 70 C.E.: The Role Of The Holy Vessels In Rabbinic Memory And Imagination

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on only one aspect of the larger question-the role of the Jerusalem temple, as experienced and as imagined, in shaping Jewish identity, both in its presence and in its absence. It focuses even further to the symbolic role of the temple's sacred furnishings, for which, historiographically, employment of early rabbinic literature is especially problematic. The centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish ethnic and religious identity in Second Temple times was determined by the temple at its conceptual, if not geographic, "center," whether as a divisive or unifying symbol of God's continual covenantal relation to Israel. Several scholars who argue for the historicity of the talmudic narratives of the public display of the temple sancta in late Second Temple times draw their support from a fragment of a lost, non-canonical gospel, written on a small parchment leaf and published among the Oxyrhynchus papyri.

Keywords: Jewish; Oxyrhynchus papyri; rabbinic memory

10.1163/ej.9789004201095.i-628.133
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004201095.i-628.133
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