Synopses & Reviews
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.