The primary textual frame of reference of Rabbinic literature in general is the Hebrew Bible, from which both ritual, legal and moral authority is drawn. The parallel and sometimes purposely connected occurrence of Scriptural quotes and orally transmitted proverbs – by either rabbis or laypeople – produces an interesting interface and arena of negotiation between multiple sources of authority: Scripture, the rabbis’ written documents, their oral traditions and popular oral tradition, including of neighboring cultures. Grounded in past scholarship of the proverb genre as studied both separately and in co-textual formations with various narrative forms, especially in Biblical and Talmudic texts, the presentation will focus on its presence as a privileged genre in the Babylonian Talmud, the major normative source for Jewish ethics as well as legal and ritual ruling, for over a thousand years, structured as an explicitly dialogic and layered discourse in topically organized tractates often reflecting its oral modes of emergence.
Galit Hasan-Rokem is the Margarethe Grunwald Professor of Folklore at the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Thursday, December 1st, 2016 12:45pm
2465 Le Conte Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709