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Sifra, Dibbura de Sinai - Rhetorical Formulae, Literary Structures, and Legal Traditions

Apothaker, Howard L.

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ISBN 10: 0878204520 / ISBN 13: 9780878204526
Published by Hebrew Union College Press
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Title: Sifra, Dibbura de Sinai - Rhetorical ...

Publisher: Hebrew Union College Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:BRAND NEW

About this title

Synopsis:

Sifra is the earliest extant rabbinic commentary on the book of Leviticus. On a basic level, Sifra presents and validates rabbinic law, but this was done by creating a link between a proposition, halakhic or not, and a scriptural passage.
 
Scholars in the last few decades―including Neusner and Stemberger―have debated Sifra’s relationship to Mishnah-Tosefta. Howard Apothaker demonstrates that the set of rules in Dibbura deSinai on topics shared with Mishnah-Tosefta can be understood as an independent body of law. They share a common ancestor but represent different expressions of a similar worldview and with variant purposes. The framers of Sifra sought as their main objective to validate the essentiality, or non-superfluity, of every word of Scripture.
 
Apothaker’s analysis of the exegetical and rhetorical characteristics of Sifra in Sifra, Dibbura deSinai: Rhetorical Formulae, Literary Structures, and Legal Traditions builds on his translation of and commentary on the section of Dibbura deSinai which covers Leviticus 25–27. Analysis of Sifra’s highly formalized rhetoric yields insight concerning the general purpose(s) for which the framers created the work.

From the Publisher:

Apothaker makes an extremely important contribution to the study of early Rabbinic, particularly legal, Midrash. The Sifra is perhaps the earliest extant rabbinic Midrashic collection, and its Levitical subjects are critical to understanding the Rabbinic response to the loss of Israel's cultic center. Yet we have no critical edition of the whole, and no systematic treatment in light of recent advances in Midrashic studies. In a field of study that is rife with generalizations, the author performs the admirable and painstaking service of translating, analyzing, and cataloging one substantial unit of the Sifra's text, before drawing important conclusions with broad implications.

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