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Fixity and Time in Talmudic Law and Legal Language

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image of The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy

This article illuminates rabbinic concepts of temporality through examining metaphorical uses of the root qbʿ. The root has both concrete and metaphorical meanings, describing the physical attachment of objects as well as temporal ideas of permanence, stability, and endurance. While it has been argued that rabbinic texts do not display concepts of time in the modern sense, a combination of philological and conceptual analysis shows how rabbinic images of temporal themes can be elicited from rabbinic texts. Moreover, attention to the multivalence of words can clarify complex Bavli passages that engage overlapping but distinctive metaphorical meanings of the root.

Affiliations: 1: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures Department, Ohio State


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