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Forms of Rabbinic Literature and ThoughtAn Introduction$
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Alexander Samely

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296736.001.0001

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The Talmud as Conversation and Repository

The Talmud as Conversation and Repository

(p.158) 9 The Talmud as Conversation and Repository
Forms of Rabbinic Literature and Thought

Alexander Samely (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the literary features in the Babylonian Talmud. The Gemara's use of earlier rabbinic voices appears partly carefully orchestrated and partly merely accumulative. The lemmatic division which defines the Gemara as a commentary of sorts on the Mishnah is described, the dialectical conversation which gives it its ‘talmudic’ flavour is analyzed, and some recurrent drills by which the Gemara interprets the Mishnah are listed. The way in which the Gemara suggests that the statements it quotes were historically connected, while presenting itself in an unbounded diversity of form and contents, is discussed.

Keywords:   rabbinic literature, Babylonian Talmud, Gemara, Mishnah

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