Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Reconsidering the Book and the Sword: A Rhetoric of Passivity in Rabbinic Hermeneutics

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Biblical Interpretation

The motif of the "book and the sword" as it appears in a Babylonian Talmud martyrdom narrative suggests that Torah and violence are mutually exclusive. This essay will explore in what ways the book and the sword have a more complicated relationship within the Babylonian Talmud and its sources than this narrative suggests. The essay will focus attention on a posture of interpretive passivity that rabbinic legislators adopt in a variety of legal contexts in which their audience's physical and social welfare is at stake, including criminal execution and women's claims upon their husbands. The essay will contrast the representation of the rabbi who laments, "What can I do? For behold the Torah said …" to the creative hermeneutics he in fact exercises. The essay will argue that this idiom, as it appears in several tannaitic texts and then is expanded in Babylonian talmudic texts, is unusual within Antiquity in giving explicit expression to embarrassment about scriptural canon. The essay proposes that the stereotyping of early rabbis as hermeneutically passive by Babylonian talmudic editors allows them to highlight their own exegetical and judicial activism as they transform inherited sources. The essay considers what the representation of hermeneutically passive rabbinic judges can reveal about the complex relationship between legal exegesis, judicial authority, and violence within rabbinic literature, from early to late, from Palestine to Babylonia.

Affiliations: 1: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America

10.1163/156851508X383421
/content/journals/10.1163/156851508x383421
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
6
3
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156851508x383421
Loading

Data & Media loading...

http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/156851508x383421
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/156851508x383421
2009-01-01
2016-12-11

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Biblical Interpretation — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation