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Dispute for the Sake of Heaven : Legal Pluralism in the Talmud

Dispute for the Sake of Heaven : Legal Pluralism in the Talmud Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book explores how the rabbis of the Talmud thought about and dealt with pluralism in Jewish law. The rabbis remembered the terrible consequences of Second Temple sectarianism and strove for unity and even uniformity of practice; they also had thousands of legal disputes and were not always willing to compromise. This volume analyzes dozens of Talmudic passages dealing with the balance between peace within the community on the one hand and the need for each rabbi to follow his vision of truth on the other. The Talmud Yerushalmi and the Talmud Bavli present two significantly different models for dealing with such legal pluralism based on their respective cultural and political contexts within the Roman and Sasanian Empires.

Book News Annotation:

Within Judaic rabbinic literature, one often finds multiple conflicting opinions on matters of halakha (Jewish law). This work traces the evolution of attitudes within the literature towards this diversity of law and their implications for normative practice, categorizing the spectrum of views as including universal monism, which aims for one universal practice; particular monism, which accepts the universalism of a particular practice within one's own group while not bothering greatly that there are other practices among other groups; particular pluralism, which accepts the validity of other practices outside of one's group, but insists on their unacceptability for one's own group; and universal pluralism; which accepts practices of other rabbis as equally valid. He finds a more monistic view in the laws and stories from the Yerushalmi than is demonstrated in their parallels in the Bavli. He demonstrates examples of this split throughout the text and considers the possible reasons for it in the conclusion. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Legal Pluralism in the Talmud
Society of Biblical Literature
Religion : Judaism - History
Jewish law
Diversity of opinions in Jewish law.
Publication Date:
Grade Level:

Related Subjects

Religion » Judaism » History
Religion » Judaism » Sacred Writings
Religion » Judaism » Talmud

Dispute for the Sake of Heaven : Legal Pluralism in the Talmud
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Product details pages Society of Biblical Literature - English 9781930675773 Reviews:
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