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Reading the Rabbis the Talmud as Literature

by David Kraemer

  • ISBN: 9780195096231
  • ISBN10: 0195096231

Reading the Rabbis the Talmud as Literature

by David Kraemer

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 04/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780195096231
  • ISBN10: 0195096231
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Description: Traditionally, the Talmud was read as law, that is, as the authoritative source for Jewish practice and obligations. To this end, it was studied at the level of its most minute details, with readers often ignoring the composite whole. Methods of reading have shifted as more readers have turned to the Talmud for evidence of rabbinic history, religion, rhetoric, or anthropology; still, few have employed a genuinely literary approach. In Reading the Rabbis, Kraemer attempts to fill this gap by developing a method for reading the Talmud as literature. He draws on the tools developed in the study of other literatures, particularly rhetorical and reader-response criticisms, to unearth previously unnoticed levels of meaning. The result is that readers will gain a new understanding of the complexity of Rabbinic Judaism, and a new model of rabbinic piety.
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