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Geonic Talmud Commentaries in Transition: A Hand-list by Joseph Rosh ha-Seder

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Joseph Rosh ha-Seder was a renowned copyist and Talmud scholar in 12th century Egypt. His personal hand-lists of quotations and notes, found in the Cairo Genizah, serve to reconstruct the outline of many of his literary projects. This article presents an analysis of one such fragment, containing several nonconsecutive Talmud commentaries which may be attributed to the geonic academies in Baghdad. Among the questions raised to guide future research are: To what end did these commentaries serve the compiler? What can be learned from the language of the commentaries (Judeo-Arabic as opposed to Hebrew)? What can this fragment tell us about the proliferation of geonic commentaries over the course of two centuries? What can this fragment tell us of Joseph’s own literary capabilities and plans?

Affiliations: 1: Achva Academic CollegeIsrael


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