Search
Filters

Midrash and Legend


Historical Anecdotes in the Tannaitic Midrashim


This study applies form criticism to the stories of the earliest rabbinic midrashim. The results shed light on the literary personalities of the individual midrash collections and the relationships of transmission in the tradition. These stories are of particular interest from an inter-religious and comparative literary point of view because New Testament studies have often referred to certain narratives in the gospels as "midrashic." The author sets forth, in positive terms, an understanding of what functions historical anecdotes serve in the tannaitic midrashim, along with a catalogue of the rhetorical conventions used to fulfill those functions.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0396-2
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jul 14,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 688
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0396-2
$72.67

This study collects every example of a historical anecdote in the tannaitic midrashim - any passage which relates any incident purported to have occurred from the close of biblical times up to the composition of the midrash collection being studied. These stories are of particular interest from an inter-religious and comparative literary point of view because New Testament studies have often referred to certain narratives in the gospels as "midrashic." There are indeed some dynamics shared in common between the two genres of gospel narrative and rabbinic anecdote. Both are didactic accounts and both represent transmitted material shaped to function in specific contexts. But the fundamental matrices governing each genre are strikingly different.


In this study, the author sets forth, in positive terms, an understanding of what functions historical anecdotes serve in the tannaitic midrashim, along with a catalogue of the rhetorical conventions used to fulfill those functions. The data does not bear out the notion that each collection has a rigid ideological program, but it certainly bears out the notion that different documents exhibit different preferences of style, of authorities, of argumentation, and of sources.


In the anecdotes of the tannaitic midrash collections, we find a body of texts, which, in highly formalized fashion, described behaviors and conversations of sages, which provided legal information serving to fill in gaps discovered in Scripture by means of exegesis, or served to illustrate virtues revealed in Scripture. Their actions are paradigmatic, timeless, and normative, providing sources of law or elucidations of law.


Joshua Moss teaches rabbinics at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina. Previously he taught at Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, Ohio), where he earned his Ph.D. in Rabbinic Literature.

This study collects every example of a historical anecdote in the tannaitic midrashim - any passage which relates any incident purported to have occurred from the close of biblical times up to the composition of the midrash collection being studied. These stories are of particular interest from an inter-religious and comparative literary point of view because New Testament studies have often referred to certain narratives in the gospels as "midrashic." There are indeed some dynamics shared in common between the two genres of gospel narrative and rabbinic anecdote. Both are didactic accounts and both represent transmitted material shaped to function in specific contexts. But the fundamental matrices governing each genre are strikingly different.


In this study, the author sets forth, in positive terms, an understanding of what functions historical anecdotes serve in the tannaitic midrashim, along with a catalogue of the rhetorical conventions used to fulfill those functions. The data does not bear out the notion that each collection has a rigid ideological program, but it certainly bears out the notion that different documents exhibit different preferences of style, of authorities, of argumentation, and of sources.


In the anecdotes of the tannaitic midrash collections, we find a body of texts, which, in highly formalized fashion, described behaviors and conversations of sages, which provided legal information serving to fill in gaps discovered in Scripture by means of exegesis, or served to illustrate virtues revealed in Scripture. Their actions are paradigmatic, timeless, and normative, providing sources of law or elucidations of law.


Joshua Moss teaches rabbinics at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina. Previously he taught at Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio) and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, Ohio), where he earned his Ph.D. in Rabbinic Literature.

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor

Joshua Moss

  • Abstract (page 5)
  • Dedication (page 7)
  • Acknowledgements (page 8)
  • Table of Contents (page 9)
  • Historical Anecdotes in the Tannaitic Midrashim (page 11)
  • Historical Anecdotes in the Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael (page 41)
  • Historical Anecdotes in the Mekhilta of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai (page 175)
  • Historical Anecdotes in Sifra-Torat Kohanim (page 228)
  • Historical Anecdotes in Sifre Numbers (page 314)
  • Historical Anecdotes in Sifre Zuta (page 410)
  • Historical Anecdotes in Sifre Deuteronomy (page 462)
  • Summary of Data for the Tannaitic Midrashim (page 560)
  • Conclusions (page 576)
  • Appendix I. Historical Anecdotes in the Mishnah (page 584)
  • Appendix II: Historical Anecdotes in the Tosefta (page 597)
  • Appendix III: Historical Anecdotes in the Amoraic Midrashim (page 615)
  • Bibliography of Works Consulted (page 642)
  • Index (page 668)
Customers who bought this item also bought

The Sleeper's Dream

Asclepius Ritual and Early Christian Discourse
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0256-9
This analysis probes into the nature and use of bodily healing and dreams in antiquity, examining literary and archaeological evidence in order to gain a sense of how the Greco-Roman world understood each through the Asclepius cult, and to understand references to bodily healings and dreams by early Christian cults and groups.
$57.00

The Syriac Writers of Qatar in the Seventh Century

ISBN: 978-1-4632-0355-9
The Syriac writers of Qatar themselves produced some of the best and most sophisticated writing to be found in all Syriac literature of the seventh century, but they have not received the scholarly attention that they deserve in the last half century. This volume seeks to redress this underdevelopment by setting the standard for further research in the sub-field of Beth Qatraye studies.
$25.00

Antitheodicy, Atheodicy and Jewish Mysticism in Holocaust Theology

Atheodic Theologies After Auschwitz
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0394-8
The Holocaust has provoked many different Jewish theological responses, yet upon closer inspection interesting commonalities can be observed between even seemingly antithetical thinkers. One of these common trends within Holocaust theology has been the rejection and replacement of traditional theodicies which explain and justify suffering, with responses centred on ideas of recovery, consolation and divine mystery. Another widespread, though largely unrecognized trend is use of Jewish mystical themes by Holocaust theologians. This study shows how the presence of Jewish mysticism can be explained, at least in part, by this post-Holocaust collapse of theodicy.
$41.30

Man and the Theogony in the Lurianic Cabala

ISBN: 978-1-4632-0395-5
Lurianic mythology represents an intensely personal view, in which earlier cabalistic symbolism is used to express new and original ideas. The lurianic corpus can be seen as a metaphor for a relation between man and the deity which is not yet fulfilled. The cabalistic myths of his sources express the reality of the relations of being in the lurianic corpus. The lurianic system seeks to reformulate the relation of man and god, concentrating on the way that the being of the deity is revealed in man.
$36.98