From Bible to Rabbinic Literature in a Nutshell

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Based on a class presentation


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    Rabbinic Literature in a Nutshell

    Presentation byJoab Eichenberg-Eilon, Ph.D.

    The Hebrew Bible "

    " = , ,

    Tanakh = Torah, Nevi-im, Ketuvim Torah = teaching, law, theory Nevi-im = prophets (including history) Ketuvim = writings (wisdom literature) The order of books in the Hebrew Bible is

    different from that of Christian Bibles

    Torah -

    Several meanings: Teaching (related to teacher = ) The Law (related to instruction = ) A theory (Theory of Relativity ) Sense of fullness ( " " )

    Torah as Law

    Torah = first 5 books of the Bible Genesis History* Exodus History* & laws Leviticus mostly ritual laws Numbers History* & laws Deuteronomy Laws and Ethics* History includes mythology and theology

  • 2Commandments

    Torah is considered as the ultimate source of Jewish Law from which all other laws are derived

    A law that comes directly from the Torah () is superior to a law that was inferred from the Torah or enacted later

    Tradition has it that the Torah included 613 commandments

    Canonization of the Hebrew Bible

    Completed in the late 2nd Temple period Until then communication with the divine

    Was direct with the Patriarchs and Matriarchs Went through prophets and seers Was enacted in the sacrifice cult in Jerusalem

    the End of Prophecy Reincarnation of Judaism as the People of the

    Book (or Books), relying on bible interpretation

    Traditional Faith about Torah

    Torah was a gift given by God via Moses to the Israelites

    Receiving the Torah implied accepting it as part of a covenant and following its laws

    Torah is Gods communication = sacred Torah includes all the future interpretations

    (implied: accepted by the religious authority)

    Ergo: Torah = vademecum

    Torah is the guide by which Jews must live

    Everything a Jew needs to know is in the Torah

    There are accepted methodologies of making inferences from the Torah to cases that are not mentioned in the Torah

    Example: lighting fire on Shabbat = electricity

  • 3Rashi Commentary "