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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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Tradition and Vision

Tradition and Vision

(p.167) Chapter Six Tradition and Vision
Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud

Moulie Vidas

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers Hekhalot literature to show that the Sar ha-Torah narrative from this corpus responds to the Talmudic academies‘ ideology of Torah study, presenting an alternative vision for Jewish culture in which retention and recitation are central rather than marginalized. It argues that this response correlates with other Hekhalot texts that recruit powerful images such as heavenly vision, transformation, and angelic liturgy to the project of memorizing and reciting the Oral Torah. It also contends that there is some evidence that the individuals whom the Babylonian Talmud marks as its opponents—the tanna'im—had a role in the shaping of Hekhalot traditions. Finally, the chapter suggests, based on the fact that the Hekhalot texts enter Jewish history as texts transmitted by Babylonian reciters, as well as on other connections between the tanna'im and Hekhalot texts, that the Babylonian reciters took active part in the shaping of Hekhalot traditions.

Keywords:   recitation, Hekhalot literature, Sar ha-Torah narrative, Torah study, Jewish culture, liturgy, Oral Torah, Babylonian Talmud, tanna'im, Hekhalot tradition

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