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“This One Fulfilled What Is Written in That One”: On an Early Burial Practice in Its Literary and Artistic Contexts

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This article deals with a surprising practice of placing a Torah scroll on a funeral bier and crying out: “This one fulfilled what is written in that one.” An allusion to this custom already appears in a Tannaitic haggadah that tells about the bringing of Joseph’s bones to burial in the Land of Israel. This practice seems to run counter to the tendency to distance the corpse from the realm of the sacred. I seek to examine it through literary motifs from eulogies and depictions of the death of various individuals, and through artistic findings from the realm of funerary art. This examination leads to conclusions about the significance of the presence of the Torah scroll in the context of funerals and burial rituals.

Affiliations: 1: Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel, Email: kadari@bgu.ac.il

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/content/journals/10.1163/157006310x490239
2010-03-01
2016-12-10

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