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Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud$
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Moulie Vidas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691154862

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691154862.001.0001

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The Alterity of Tradition

The Alterity of Tradition

Chapter:
(p.23) Chapter One The Alterity of Tradition
Source:
Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud
Author(s):

Moulie Vidas

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691154862.003.0002

This chapter examines the famous opening sugya of tractate Bava Qamma to show how the Babylonian Talmud's creators could use an ambitious literary design to highlight the gap between their own words and an Amoraic tradition. This sugya has been used before as an example of the strategies the Talmud's creators employed seamlessly to incorporate tradition to the literary and logical structures they constructed. This chapter suggests the opposite, arguing that the sugya is designed to emphasize the distance between the approach expressed by the stam (the creators‘ anonymous layer) and the approach expressed by the Amoraic dictum that it cites. Far from “hiding” themselves behind tradition or voicing their agenda through it, the authors of the stam become a presence in their own creation.

Keywords:   sugya, Bava Qamma, Babylonian Talmud, literary design, Amoraic tradition, stam, tradition

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