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A Persecution was Decreed: Persecution as a Rhetorical Device in the Literature of the Ge’Onim and Rishonim Part 2*

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image of European Journal of Jewish Studies

Abstract It is a common misconception that the haftarah started as a replacement for the reading of the Torah. This idea has its modern source in an influential article published in 1927 by Jacob Mann. Going back to rabbinical and medieval sources shows that we should read them as topological texts. They give a pseudo-historical basis to well known and loved features of the service, like the haftarah, thereby missing a straightforward Talmudic source. Furthermore, they also seem to be in dialog with other medieval texts that speak about martyrdom as a reaction to repression.


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