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Compositional complexity in the Palestinian Talmud, Aggadah tractate Berakhot 2012

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COMPOSITIONAL COMPLEXITY IN THE PALESTINIAN TALMUD AGGADAH, TRACTATE BERAKHOT by Tracy Ames  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Religious Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  December 2012  © Tracy Ames, 2012  ii Abstract The goal of this thesis is to contribute to the scholarship investigating the Aggadah in the Palestinian Talmud. This study confirms the presence of carefully constructed and deliberately redacted portions of the Palestinian Talmud within the first chapter of tractate Berakhot (Blessings). Contrary to claims that the Palestinian Talmud has a very thin redactional layer, this dissertation argues that earlier traditions were subjected to an active interventionist editorial process by the Amoraic composers/redactors. The results of this study are that creative composition and a high degree of literary sophistication can be ascertained within the Amoraic layers of the Palestinian Talmud in the portions of tractate Berakhot that I analyze. The complexity of aggadot within the first chapter of tractate Berakhot is confirmed with the application of literary and genre based analysis which reveals that literary constructs widespread throughout the Greco-Roman world were adapted by the composers/redactors of the Palestinian Talmud. The Greco-Roman literary constructs that are employed in these narratives serve to thematize efforts by sages to establish rabbinic prayer practices—and establish their own leadership— in the aftermath of the vacuum left by the destruction of the Second Temple. Furthermore, contextual/historical analysis indicates that these aggadot reveal a nuanced and varied set of responses to the Roman Empire, demonstrating that these narratives were produced by a highly sophisticated compositional and editorial hand. Redactional analysis highlights the extent to which reinterpretations of earlier Tannaitic and biblical material were utilized by composers/redactors to assert their theological and ideological views in a way similar to that which is usually ascribed to the Stammaitic editors of the Babylonian Talmud. iii Table of Contents Abstract ...................................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................... iii List of Tables .............................................................................................................................. v List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................................. vi Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................. vii Dedication ............................................................................................................................... viii Foreword .................................................................................................................................... ix Chapter One: Introduction .......................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Research Problem .............................................................................................................. 1 1.2 Historical Background ....................................................................................................... 8 1.3 Previous Scholarship on the Redaction of the PT ........................................................... 12 1.4 Literature Review ............................................................................................................ 16 1.4.1 Prior BT Scholarship............................................................................................ 17 1.5 Reception Theory ............................................................................................................ 20 1.6 Methods ........................................................................................................................... 24 1.6.1 Literary Analysis .................................................................................................. 24 1.6.2 The Advantage of Combined Literary/Historical Analysis ................................. 25 1.6.3 Genre Analysis ..................................................................................................... 29 1.7 The Impact of Christianity .............................................................................................. 34 1.8 PT Manuscripts ............................................................................................................... 35 1.9 Summary of Chapters Two, Three, and Four .................................................................. 38 Chapter Two: Rabbinic Prayer in Dialogue with Priestly Ritual .............................................. 44 2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 44 2.2 The Shema ....................................................................................................................... 44 2.3 The Shemonah Esreh ....................................................................................................... 47 2.4 Introduction to Mishnah Berakhot 1:1 ............................................................................ 49 2.5 Mishnah Berakhot 1:1 ..................................................................................................... 50 2.6 A Tale of Two Sages: y. Ber 1:1, 2c ............................................................................... 55 2.7 Halakhic and Literary Context ........................................................................................ 56 2.8 Genre ............................................................................................................................... 57 2.9 Structure .......................................................................................................................... 61 2.10 Literary Analysis ........................................................................................................... 62 2.11 Parallel Versions ........................................................................................................... 69 2.11.1 y. Yoma 3:2, 40b................................................................................................. 72 2.11.2  Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10 .............................................................................. 75 2.11.3  Midrash to Psalm 22:13 .................................................................................... 76 2.11.4  Esther Rabbah 10:14 ......................................................................................... 76 2.12 Historical Context ......................................................................................................... 78 2.13 Myrtle—A Contested Site: y. Ber 1:1, 2d ..................................................................... 80 iv 2.14 Halakhic and Literary Context ...................................................................................... 81 2.15 Genre ............................................................................................................................. 83 2.16 Structure ........................................................................................................................ 88 2.17 Literary Analysis of the Aggadah ................................................................................. 90 2.18 Myrtle ............................................................................................................................ 96 2.19 Historical Context ....................................................................................................... 108 2.20 Angareia ...................................................................................................................... 109 2.21 Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 114 Chapter Three: Destroyers ...................................................................................................... 116 3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 116 3.2 Mishnah Berakhot 1:3 ................................................................................................... 118 3.3 Analysis of Mishnah Berakhot 1:3 ................................................................................ 119 3.4 y. Berakhot 1:3, 3b ........................................................................................................ 125 3.5 Halakhic and Literary Context ...................................................................................... 126 3.6 Genre and Structure ....................................................................................................... 126 3.7 Literary and Historical Analysis ................................................................................... 126 3.8 Parallel Versions ........................................................................................................... 140 3.9 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 145 Chapter Four: Words of the Scribes........................................................................................ 147 4.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 147 4.2 y. Berakhot 1:7, 3b ........................................................................................................ 149 4.3 Halakhic and Literary Context ...................................................................................... 152 4.4 Genre and Structure ....................................................................................................... 152 4.5 Literary and Historical Analysis ................................................................................... 152 4.5.1 Section A ............................................................................................................ 152 4.5.1.1 Beloved or Breasts? ........................................................................................ 157 4.5.2 Section B ............................................................................................................ 161 4.5.3 Section C ............................................................................................................ 164 4.5.4 Section D ............................................................................................................ 166 4.5.5 Section E ............................................................................................................ 171 4.5.6 Sections F and G ................................................................................................ 174 4.6 Parallel Versions ........................................................................................................... 181 4.7 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 186 Chapter Five: Final Conclusions ............................................................................................. 188 5.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................... 188 5.2 Chapter Two: A Tale of Two Sages .............................................................................. 189 5.3 Chapter Two: Myrtle—A Contested Site ...................................................................... 190 5.4 Chapter Three: Destroyers ............................................................................................ 191 5.5 Chapter Four: The Words of the Scribes ....................................................................... 192 Bibliography ........................................................................................................................... 195 Appendix: Genizah Fragment of y. Berakhot 1:3, 3b “Destroyers” ....................................... 220  v List of Tables Table 1. Parallel Versions of y. Ber 1:1, 2c .............................................................................. 69 Table 2. Translations of Parallel Versions of y. Ber 1:1, 2c ..................................................... 70 Table 3. Parallel Versions of y. Ber 1:3, 3b ............................................................................ 140 Table 4. Translations of Parallel Versions of y. Ber 1:3, 3b ................................................... 141 Table 5. Parallel Versions of y. Ber 1:7, 3b ............................................................................ 182 vi List of Abbreviations TANAKH: Deut     Deuteronomy Eccles     Ecclesiastes Lev     Leviticus Num     Numbers Mal     Malachi Neh     Nehemiah RABBINIC TEXTS: A Z     Avodah Zarah Ber     Berakhot Git     Gittin Hag     Hagigah Lev R     Leviticus Rabbah Maas     Maaserot Pes     Pesachim Qid     Qiddushin Sanh     Sanhedrin Shab     Shabbat Sheq     Sheqalim Suk     Sukkot Taan     Taanit Yad     Yadayim Yev     Yevamot vii Acknowledgements  I am profoundly grateful to my advisor, Dr. Robert Daum, for his support, advice, assistance and guidance throughout my graduate studies at the University of British Columbia. He closely followed my progress on my dissertation, continuously read and commented upon my manuscript drafts, and always engaged me in productive discussions on the topic of my research. His intellectual input contributed greatly to the completion of my dissertation. I also owe gratitude to my committee members, Dr. Daphna Arbel and Dr. Richard Menkis, for their close readings of my work leading to valuable suggestions which significantly contributed to my dissertation.  I thank Dr. Gregg Gardner who read and commented on my manuscript, giving insightful suggestions regarding rabbinic literature. My work also benefitted from the input of Dr. Michael Griffin, who was helpful with every question I asked of him relating to the Greco-Roman context relevant to my research. He also read and commented on my work. I also owe thanks to Dr. Suzanna Braund and Dr. Leanne Bablitz, who both offered valuable suggestions relating to the Greco-Roman context of my research.         viii Dedication To my husband, Les Ames, who inspired me, learns Talmud with me, and supports me in every way possible. My dissertation is also a sign of appreciation and love for my parents, Arnold Steele, of blessed memory, and Goldie Steele, who created an atmosphere that motivated academic pursuits in our family. I also dedicate this work to my father-in-law, Dr. Clifford Ames, of blessed memory, and my children, Danielle, Jonathan and Benjamin.                ix Foreword Translations of the Hebrew Bible contain my own modifications, but are generally according to the JPS Hebrew-English Tanakh: The Traditional Hebrew Text And The New JPS Translation. Edited by The Jewish Publication Society. Philadelphia, 1999.  All Hebrew and Aramaic texts from the Palestinian Talmud mentioned in my study are based on the Synopse zum Talmud Yerushalmi produced by Peter Schäfer and Hans-Jürgen Becker. Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1991. The English translations of these and other rabbinic texts covered in my study are based on translations of their printed editions with my modifications unless otherwise acknowledged.  I use the following abbreviations when citing rabbinic texts: for general references to the Palestinian Talmud I use the designation PT, for general statements about the Babylonian Talmud I use the designation BT. When citing specific texts I use the following accepted designations preceding each tractate, chapter, and pericope: y. for the PT, b. for the BT, m. for the Mishnah, and t. for the Tosefta.  I have made use of the following electronic transcriptions for some of the rabbinic texts I have cited: Bar-Ilan's Judaic Library (Upgraded Version 17; Monsey, N.Y.: Torah Educational Software, 1972). All Mishnah texts that are cited are based on the Kaufmann Mishnah Manuscript, for which I have relied on Martin G. Abegg, Jr. and Casey A. Towes, eds., Mishna: Based upon the Kaufmann Manuscript (Altamonte Springs, Fla.: Accordance 9.1 Bible Software, Oak Tree Software, Inc., 2010). 1 Chapter One: Introduction 1.1 Research Problem  Although the Palestinian Talmud 1  constitutes a significant corpus of rabbinic literature, traditionally it has received far less scholarly attention than the Babylonian Talmud. Many questions regarding the literary development and redaction history of the PT have not been adequately investigated or resolved. 2  The existence of only one complete manuscript of the Palestinian Talmud, MS Leiden dating to 1289 CE, along with numerous incomplete manuscripts of varying lengths, has contributed to the lacunae in scholarship. 3  The Synopse zum Talmud Yerushalmi, by Peter Schäfer and Hans-Jürgen Becker, containing the Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the various manuscripts of the Palestinian Talmud within one publication has made the PT more accessible to scholars. 4  The PT was composed and redacted during the formative era of rabbinic Judaism, when rabbinic circles engaged in a process of shaping cultural, religious, ritualistic, and ethical patterns. Martin Jaffee suggests that the PT represents a major innovation in Galilean  1  The Palestinian Talmud was produced in Israel. It has several names: Jerusalem Talmud; Yerushalmi; Talmud of the Land of Israel; Talmud of the West; and the Palestinian Talmud. The term “Palestinian” derives from the fact that the province of Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina by Hadrian, following the failure of the Bar- Kochba revolt c. 135 CE. Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem: the Clash of Ancient Civilizations  (London: The Penguin Group, 2007), 494. Seth Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. To 640 C.E. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 107. 2  Leib Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," in The Cambridge History of Judaism the Late Roman Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 671. Leib Moscovitz, "Sugyot Muhlafot in the Talmud Yerushalmi," Tarbiz 60, no. 1 (1990): 24 (Hebrew). Yaacov Sussman, "Pirkei Yerushalmi," in Mehqerei Talmud 2: Talmudic Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Professor Eliezer Shimshon Rosenthal ed. Moshe bar-Asher and David Rosenthal (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1993), 220-282 (Hebrew). 3  Baruch M. Bokser, "An Annotated Bibliographical Guide to the Study of the Palestinian Talmud," in Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt, ed. Hildegard Temporini and Wolfgang Haase (Berlin and New York: Walter De Gruyter, 1979), 153-163. For a further discussion of PT manuscripts see page 35 of this chapter of my study. 4  Peter Schäfer, and Hans-Jürgen Becker, Synopse zum Talmud Yerushalmi  (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1991). 2 Amoraic 5  literary culture 6  in the third and fourth centuries CE because it is the first text that distinguishes itself from the earlier rabbinic texts, the Mishnah 7  and the Tosefta, 8  dating from the Tannaitic period c. 70 CE to 220 CE. 9  Jaffee suggests that the PT approaches the Mishnah and the Tosefta from a position beyond Tannaitic discourse, displaying an awareness of Tannaitic traditions   as cogent sources that are distinct from its own unique literary voice. 10  At the same time, the PT tends to cite the Mishnah to a greater extent than it cites the Tosefta.  5  The Amoraic period lasted from approximately the middle of the third to the early sixth centuries CE. The division of different periods in the rabbinic era is known exclusively from the Talmuds. H. L. Strack and G. Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, trans. Markus Bockmeuhl (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1996), 7. Amoraic rabbinic sages or Amoraim (lit. expounders) lived in Palestine and Babylonia. Their traditions are recorded in both Talmuds. 6  I adopt the definition of “culture” employed by Carol Bakhos. “Culture is socially transmitted knowledge and behavior patterns shared by a group of people. It is the set of ideas, rituals, beliefs, and attitudes that underlie the various relationships that make up society.” Regarding the term “society,” Bakhos states, “society implies a set of interrelationships amongst people and institutional structures, whereas “culture” includes all those institutions but also implies a set of traditions about those very institutions.” Carol Bakhos, "Methodological Matters in the Study of Midrash," in Current Trends in the Study of Midrash, ed. Carol Bakhos, Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2006), 182 note 166. 7  The Mishnah is organized into six orders and sixty-three tractates, each composed of chapters. “Mishnah” refers to the entire compilation and to the individual units, pericopae, or lemmata within each chapter. According to rabbinic tradition, the Patriarch, Judah ha-Nasi was responsible for the compilation of the Mishnah c. 200 to 220 CE. Current scholars maintain that the Mishnah’s final redaction may have been later. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 108-148. Martin Jaffee, "Rabbinic Authorship as a Collective Enterprise," in The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, ed. Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 21-33. Catherine Hezser, "The Mishnah And Ancient Book Production," in The Mishnah in Contemporary Perspective Part One, ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck and Jacob Neusner (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 167-192. 8  Tosefta means supplement. It may have been compiled as a commentary on the Mishnah. Sections of it may also predate or be contemporaneous with the Mishnah. The circumstances and purpose of its compilation are unknown. Paul Mandel, "The Tosefta," in The Cambridge History of Judaism The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 316-335. Harry Fox and Tirzah Meacham, eds., Introducing Tosefta: Textual, Intratextual and Intertextual Studies (Hoboken N. J.: Ktav Publishing House, 1999). 9  Tannaitic sages are known for having memorized large portions of traditional material which they transmitted by repeated oral recitation. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 12. 10  Martin Jaffee, "The Oral-Cultural Context of the Talmud Yerushalmi: Graeco-Roman Rhetorical Paideia, Discipleship and the Concept of Oral Torah," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture I, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998), 27-61. See also Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, "The Fixing of Oral Mishnah and the Displacement of Meaning," Oral Tradition 14, no. 1 (1999): 100-139. At the same time, a number of studies are now focused on understanding the literary complexity of the Mishnah. Scholars seek to distinguish the Mishnah from its antecedent texts and from the meanings it has acquired through its interpretations in the Talmuds. Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, "Recent Literary Approaches To The Mishnah," AJS Review 32, no. 2 (2008): 233-234. Avraham Walfish, "The Nature And Purpose Of Mishnaic Narrative: Recent Seminal Contributions," AJS Review 32, no. 2 (2008): 263-289. 3  In this dissertation I engage in a close reading of four aggadic 11  stories contained within the first chapter of tractate Berakhot in the PT, along with parallel passages located in other tractates within the PT, the BT, and other works of rabbinic literature. In order to conduct a careful analysis that adequately demonstrates the complexity and high degree of purposeful redaction of each story, the scope of this study is limited to four aggadot. I employ the following intersecting methods of analysis: literary analysis; historical/contextual analysis; and the identification of genres of the aggadot. These all contribute to several interrelated main findings: creative literary intervention occurred at the Amoraic level of the PT within the first chapter of tractate Berakhot; some aggadot in the PT constitute more complex compositions than have been generally acknowledged; PT composers/redactors freely edited earlier Tannaitic and biblical traditions; and they creatively employed Greco- Roman literary genres in the construction of these complex narratives. The term “composers/redactors” is used because it is often impossible to determine if a tradition entered the text of the PT at the stage(s) of composition, or during the stage(s) of redaction. 12  The particular characteristics that indicate the complexity of these stories include the following: the stories exhibit the significant use of modes of literary repetition and wordplay; the redeployment of earlier traditions is organized in specific tripartite structures; and the  11  Aggadic passages account for approximately one-sixth of the PT, and about one-third of the BT. Aggadah includes narrative stories, philosophy, wisdom, folklore, rabbinic biographies, history, moral exhortation, theological speculation, and much more. To completely and definitively categorize Aggadah as a genre is a complicated matter. One of the most comprehensive treatises on the subject is Eugene Borowitz, The Talmud's Theological Language Game: A Philosophical Discourse Analysis  (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2006). Scholars are increasingly recognizing that a sharp distinction between aggadic/narrative and legal/halakhic passages is a false notion. Daniel Boyarin, Socrates and the Fat Rabbis  (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2009), 19. Moshe Simon-Shoshan suggests that rabbinic material should not be specifically characterized as Halakhah or Aggadah, since halakhic and aggadic elements are often interwoven in rabbinic tales. This is the case with the narrative stories that I analyze in this dissertation, and it is another feature of their complexity. Moshe Simon-Shoshan, "Halakah lema'aseh: Narrative and Legal Discourse in the Mishnah" (University of Pennsylvania, 2005), 1-4. Avraham Walfish argues that there are still importance differences between Halakhah and Aggadah. Walfish, "The Nature And Purpose Of Mishnaic Narrative: Recent Seminal Contributions," 264 note 265. 12  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 172. 4 stories are well integrated with the literary contexts in which they are found. These are some of the characteristics that scholars have identified as particular features of stories redacted by the Stammaim in the BT, 13  and also, mutatis mutandis of the Bible, Mishnah and Tosefta. In addition, the PT stories and their parallel versions that I analyze provide a heuristic focus for the examination of redactional questions related to the PT. The advantage of the approach I am employing is that the compositional and redactional complexity of these narratives will be readily apparent. At the same time, the themes and motifs in the stories that I analyze appear consistently in the stories and their literary contexts throughout tractate Berakhot. That is, the stories in my study are paradigmatic of stories in the entire tractate. The themes that run through many of the stories are the following: emerging rabbinic self-definition; sages’ attempts to establish prayer practices and to institute respect for and among sages; the determination of the parameters of various prayers and blessings; future redemption; nuanced attitudes towards the Roman Empire, including criticism of Greco-Roman ritual practices. 14  I suggest that the consistent themes and motifs that I have identified within tractate Berakhot in the PT attest to the didactic goals and leading concerns of the composers/redactors of these stories. My method is to view narratives in the PT in their own context, prior to considering their retellings in the BT. Many scholars who have conducted literary studies of talmudic Aggadah have primarily concentrated on Aggadah in the BT. The majority of these studies  13  Jeffrey Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories  (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 246-256. Jeffrey Rubenstein, ed. Creation and Composition: The Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 11. Jeffrey Rubenstein, Stories of the Babylonian Talmud  (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2010). See also the Prior BT Scholarship section of this chapter. 14  Some or all of the above themes are found within the following individual stories in the tractate in addition to the stories covered in my study: y. Ber 1:1; 2c, 1:1; 2d, 1:2; 3a, 1:8; 3c, 1:9; 3d, 2:1; 4b, 2:8; 5b, 2:8; 5c, 3:1; 6a, 4:1; 7a, 4:2; 7a, 4:3; 8a, 5:1; 8d, 6:1; 10a, 8:6; 11b, 9:1; 11d, 9:1; 13a, 9:1; 13b, 9:2; 13d, 9:2; 14a, 9:3; 14a, 9:5; 14b, 9:5; 14d. The majority of these stories are clustered in the first and last chapters of the tractate. There are also a fair number of stories involving biblical figures, in particular Kig David, and creation aggadot which are primarily found in the first and last chapters. 5 have tended to investigate parallel passages of Aggadah in the PT only to the extent that they demonstrate the compositional changes in BT Aggadah. 15  In contrast, the main goal of my study is to display the distinct compositional methods and techniques of PT composers/redactors. I have chosen stories in tractate Berakhot because it primarily concerns rabbinic prayer. The development of prayer was one of the foremost pursuits of the nascent rabbinic movement following the destruction of the Second Temple, and the discontinuation of the sacrificial system. Berakhot is the name of the first tractate in the Mishnah, Tosefta, PT, and BT. Tractate Berakhot in the PT has thus far received minimal attention from scholars. One exception is Richard Hidary’s recent analysis of a lengthy narrative in the first chapter of y. Berakhot not covered in my study. Hidary concludes that PT redactors employed classical Greco-Roman rhetoric and oratory composition common in their environment. 16  I make similar conclusions about the stories that I analyze in the first chapter of y. Berakhot. The halakhic/legal context of the aggadot that I analyze pertains to the correct time and proper method for the daily recitation of Shema—one of the central and most important elements of Jewish liturgy. The aggadic stories also discuss the formative development of rabbinic prayer through narratives that describe the activities of named sages. In their attempts to establish rabbinic forms of prayer and consolidate their own leadership roles, the composers/redactors of the PT appear to have employed a sophisticated combination of features, some of which have often been attributed to Stammaitic editors of the BT. I suggest that it is also possible that the sections of tractate Berakhot covered in my study might have  15  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories. See the “Prior BT Scholarship” section of this chapter. 16  Richard Hidary, "Classical Rhetorical Arrangement and Reasoning in the Talmud: The Case of Yerushalmi Berakhot 1:1," AJS Review 34, no. 1 (2010): 33-64. 6 received a greater amount of editing and reworking than some other parts of the PT due to the importance of the development of rabbinic prayer.  This dissertation is in line with recent studies that seek to contextualize formative rabbinic Judaism by emphasizing that the composers/redactors of the PT were in dialogue, in a variety of ways, with cultures and traditions different from their own. 17  For my study, I draw on insights from the field of cultural studies. Even though cultural studies have largely grown out of efforts to understand the processes that have shaped current societies and cultures—such as industrialization, modernization, urbanization, and mass communications 18—it is not anachronistic to apply a theoretical model from cultural studies to the PT. Cultural studies have been successfully applied to diverse contexts where the common denominator is “significant social, political and cultural disruption.”19 During the period when the PT was produced, the Roman Empire had control of the land of Israel. Following Seth Schwartz, I maintain that the rabbinic sages who produced the PT were “profoundly affected by the imperial powers under which they were constrained to live.”20  17  Rivka Ulmer, ed. Discussing Cultural Influences Text, Context, and Non-Text in Rabbinic Judaism (Lanham: University Press of America Inc., 2007), vii. Galit Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighbourhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity  (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2003). Yaron Z. Eliav, "Viewing the Sculptural Enviornment: Shaping the Second Commandment," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture III, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 411-433. Regarding rabbinic narratives in dialogue with their biblical past, see Gregg Gardner and Kevin L. Osterloh, eds., Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 1-23. 18  Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula A. Treichler, eds., Cultural Studies (New York, London: Routledge, 1992), 5. 19  Ibid, 8. 20  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 1; Seth Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society? Reciprocity and Solidarity in Ancient Judaism  (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2010), 110- 165. See also Martin Goodman, State and Society in Roman Galilee AD 132-212  (Totawa, New Jersey: Rowman & Allenheld, 1983), 374-386. See also Seth Schwartz, "Political, Social and Economic Life in the Land of Israel 66-c. 235," in The Cambridge History of Judaism The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period Volume Four, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2006), 23-52. Hanan Eshel, "The Bar Kochba Revolt, 132-135," in The Cambridge History of Judaism: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 105-127. 7  According to Grossberg, Nelson, and Treichler cultural studies also applies to “interrelationships between supposedly separate cultural domains.”21 Similarly, Fergus Millar draws our attention to the contrasting cultures and traditions that would have mingled, collided, or accommodated each other in a Greco-Roman city in Israel in the third and fourth centuries CE when the PT was produced. 22  In fact, the variegated nature of rabbinic responses to Greco-Roman culture constitutes a significant component of the complexity of the stories that I analyze. James Clifford’s notion of culture as travel provides a useful model for this phenomenon. Clifford suggests that we rethink the term “culture” away from the notion of a stable rooted entity, and think of culture as a developing entity that is impacted by the points of contact it experiences with other cultures through “travel.”23 Employing the term “travel” in relation to the notion of culture identifies the “sites” of constructed historicity—“displacement, interference and interaction”—for a given culture and brings such sites more sharply into view. 24  Beth Berkowitz applies Clifford’s work in her study relating to capital punishment discourse in rabbinic literature. Berkowitz concludes that rabbinic discourse on criminal execution played a part in “rabbinic self-creation during a formative period.”25 She sees this process “as a dialogue with rabbinized Jews, non- rabbinized Jews, and with the pagan 26  Romans who dominated the Rabbis culturally and  21  Grossberg, Nelson, and Treichler, Cultural Studies, 11. 22  F. Millar, The Roman Near East: 31 BC-AD 337  (Cambridge: Harvard Univeristy Press, 1993), 386-387. See also Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin, eds., Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007). There is vast scholarship relating to the interaction between Jewish communities and Greco-Roman culture prior to the time period covered in my dissertation which is beyond the scope of this study. 23  James Clifford, "Travelling Cultures," in Cultural Studies, ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson, and Paula A. Treichler (New York, London: Routledge, 1992), 101. 24  Ibid. 25  Beth Berkowitz, Execution and Invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 11. 26  I discuss this problematic term later in my dissertation. 8 politically.”27 In my study of PT narratives regarding rabbinic prayer, I likewise determine that sages conducted a dialogue with Greco-Roman culture and authority, and engaged in their own process of self-definition, and attempted to influence other Jews. 1.2 Historical Background Rabbinic literature attests to rivalry between the Babylonian and Palestinian centres during the talmudic period. Isaiah Gafni conducted a study of Palestinian and Babylonian literary sources that refer to confrontations regarding emigration from Palestine, the holiness of the Land of Israel, allegiance to Israel on the part of the Babylonian Diaspora community, burial in Israel for Jews living outside of Israel, Babylonian Jewish self-identity, and issues relating to the authority to intercalate the calendar. 28   The following text demonstrates an attitude of superiority on the part of the Babylonian rabbinic sages in relation to other Jewish communities, including Israel. Rav Yehudah said in the name of Samuel, “all countries are dough in comparison with Israel and Israel is as dough in comparison to Babylonia.” (Bavli Qiddushin 69b, 71a)  Dough serves as a metaphor for impure lineage in this passage. Intermarriage which results in the mixing of genealogies and impure lineage is like dough which must be produced by mixing several different ingredients together. The talmud claims that there is a hierarchy of genealogical purity by asserting that there was less intermarriage in Israel than in other countries, but even less in Babylonia. Therefore, according to the self-representation of the Babylonian sages the Babylonian Jewish community was more genealogically pure than the  27  Berkowitz, Execution and Invention, 11. 28  Isaiah Gafni, Land, Center and Diaspora Jewish Constructs in Late Antiquity  (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997), 58-117. 9 community in Israel. 29  Bavli Qiddushin 71b carries this notion further as it defines the geographical boundaries of “pure” Jewish Babylonia. Gafni concludes: Ultimately the Babylonians seem to have redefined the essence of what constitutes “Zion” or “the Land,” by attaching to themselves all the attributes previously linked to the Palestinian center. It was only left for the post-Talmudic Babylonian leaders to go the extra distance, by claiming that Palestine had been bereft of true Torah for centuries. 30   This picture can be complicated and nuanced. Ze’ev Safrai and Aren Maeir conclude that: Despite their attempts to emphasize their independence, on a certain level it was important to the Babylonian sages to see themselves as dependent on the Land of Israel, or as deriving their authority from the sages of Israel. 31   The Geonim, the heads of the Babylonian rabbinic academies, 32  sought to establish the authority of the BT in legal matters and to downplay the significance of the PT even  29  See Moulie Vidas, "The Bavli's Discussion of Genealogy in Qiddushin IV," in Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World, ed. Gregg Gardner and Kevin L. Osterloh (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 296 and the scholarship cited in note 225. 30  Gafni, Land, Center and Diaspora, 120. See also Joshua Schwartz, "Tension Between Palestinian Scholars and Babylonian Olim in Amoraic Palestine," Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian Hellenistic and Roman Period 11, no. 1 (1980): 78-94. Joshua Schwartz, "The Patriotic Rabbi: Babylonian Scholars in Roman Period Palestine," in Jewish Local Patriotism and Self-Identification in the Graeco-Roman Period, ed. Siân Jones and Sarah Pearce (Sheffield: Shieffield Academic Press, 1998), 118-131. 31  Ze'ev Safrai and Aren M. Maeir, "("An Epistle Came from the West"): Historicial and Archaeological Evidence for the Ties between the Jewish Communities in the Land of Israel and Babylonia in the Talmudic Period," Jewish Quarterly Review 93, no. 3/4 (2003): 509. 32  The Geonic era lasted from approximately the sixth to the eleventh centuries CE. Gideon Libson, "Halakhah and Law in the Period of the Geonim," in An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law, ed. N.S. Hecht, et al. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 197. 10 though the BT contains a large number of sources with Palestinian provenance. 33  With the spread of Islam and the establishment of the caliphate at Baghdad, the Geonim of Babylonia enjoyed privileged positions. The Babylonian Jewish community and its institutions were recognized by the caliphate, which allowed limited autonomy for religious minorities. 34  Some have concluded that this autonomy allowed the Exilarch and the Geonic academies to attempt to influence the Jewish populace in the area that roughly encompasses present-day Iraq and Iran to accept the authority of the BT. 35  A letter found in the Cairo Genizah, 36  which had been sent by Pirkoi b. Baboi to the Jewish communities of North Africa and Spain, is evidence of such efforts. 37  The author identifies himself as a figure in the rabbinic establishment by stating that he is a disciple of a disciple of Yehudai Gaon, head of the Sura academy c. 760 CE. Scholars assume that this letter was written around the turn of the ninth  33  Shamma Friedman, "Literary Development and Historicity in the Aggadic Narrative of the Babylonian Talmud: A Study based upon B. M. 83b-86a," in Community and Culture:  Essays in Jewish Studies in Honor of the Ninetieth Anniversary of the Founding of Gratz College, ed. N. Waldman (Philadelphia: Gratz College, 1987), 75. Yaacov Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," in Mehqerei Talmud I, ed. Y. Sussman  and D. Rosenthal (Jerusalem: 1990), 98 (Hebrew). Alyssa M. Gray, A Talmud in Exile The Influence of Yerushalmi Avodah Zarah on the Formation of Bavli Avodah Zarah  (Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2005), 1-39, 242. Martin Jaffee, "The Babylonian Appropriation of the Talmud Yerushalmi: Redactional Studies in the Horayot Tractates," in The Literature of Early Rabbinic Judaism: Issues in Talmudic Redaction and Interpretation, ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck (Lanham MD: University Press of America, 1989), 23-24. 34  Robert Brody, The Geonim of Babylonia and the Shaping of Medieval Jewish Culture  (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998), 123. 35  The Exilarch was the recognized political head of the Jewish community in the Sasanian Empire, and later in the Muslim caliphate. The office was, usually but not always, hereditary. Ibid, 67-82. Seth Schwartz, "The Political Geography of Rabbinic Texts," in The Cambridge Companion to The Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, ed. Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 90-92. Berachyahu Lifshitz, "The Age Of The Talmud," in An Introduction To The History And Sources of Jewish Law, ed. N.S. Hecht, et al. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 173-175. 36  The term “Cairo Genizah” refers to the collection of documents dating from the eighth to sixteenth centuries CE that were discovered in a synagogue in Fustat (Old Cairo), Egypt in the nineteenth century. These documents contain significant sources of medieval Jewish history relating to the Mediterranean region. 37  The Pirkoi texts began to be published in 1903 based on a number of manuscripts. Louis Ginzberg, Genizah Studies, 2 (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1929), 504-573 (Hebrew). S. Spiegel, "On the Affair of the Polemic of Pirkoi ben Baboi," in H .A. Wolfson Jubilee Volume, ed. S. Lieberman (Jerusalem: American Academy for Jewish Research, 1965), 243-274 (Hebrew); Gafni, Land, Center and Diaspora, 96- 120. Isaiah Gafni, "How Babylonia Became "Zion": Shifting Identities in Late Antiquity," in Jewish Identiies in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern, ed. Lee Levine and Daniel Schwartz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 333-348. 11 century CE. 38  Pirkoi attempts to persuade his readers of the supremacy and exclusive legitimacy of Babylonian legal traditions, claiming that Christian persecution of the Jewish Palestinian community around 400 CE had compromised Palestinian rabbinic traditions. Although Pirkoi’s letter seems designed to undercut the authority of the PT,39 it is difficult to assess whether the views expressed in the letter represent a generally accepted or a marginal Babylonian position at that time. Hai Gaon (d. 1038 CE) argued that the PT was to be disregarded when it conflicted with the BT. 40  On the other hand, S. D. Goitein found that the Cairo Genizah housed many documents coming from, or referring to, the Land of Israel. This seems to indicate a vibrant rabbinic centre in Israel. 41  For the Jewish communities in Palestine, Egypt, Kairouan, and southern Italy, the PT may have remained the primary Talmud for some time. 42  Mordecai Margaliot disagrees, and suggests that in the tenth century, the BT and its legal traditions became authoritative in Israel. 43  Isaac Alfasi, the eleventh-century talmudic scholar from North Africa who became the leading authority of Spanish Jewry, initially incorporated much material from the PT into his digest of the BT. However, at the end of his codification of the BT’s tractate Eruvin, Alfasi claimed that the BT should be accepted as authoritative since it postdated the completion of the PT. 44   38  Brody, The Geonim of Babylonia  113. 39  Ibid, 116. 40  Responsum of R. Hai Gaon, in Simha Assaf, Teshuvot ha-Geonim  (Jerusalem: Darom, 1929), no. 21 (Hebrew). 41  S. D. Goitein, A Mediterranean Society  (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1999), 21. 42  Abraham Goldberg, "The Palestinian Talmud," in Essential Papers on the Talmud, ed. Michael Chernick (New York and London: New York University Press, 1994), 236-237. 43  Mordecai Margaliot, Hilkhot Erets Yisra'el min ha-Genizah  (Jerusalem: Mossad haRav Kook 1973 ), 14 (Hebrew). 44  Isaac Alfasi, Hilchot Ha-Rif Eruvin, 104b. Martin Jaffee and Alyssa Gray discuss the advisability of using this source as historical evidence for the knowledge that the BT sages were familiar with the PT. Jaffee, "The Babylonian Appropriation of the Talmud Yerushalmi," 3-5; Gray, A Talmud in Exile, 9-11. 12 The Babylonian rabbinic community and its legal traditions achieved preeminent status in the wake of the destruction of Palestinian Jewry in the crusades. 45  In fact, Medieval rabbinic authorities seldom referred to the PT. 46  One exception was Moses Maimonides, the Rambam (1135–1204), who relied extensively upon the PT in his comprehensive legal code, the Mishneh Torah, and for his commentary on the Mishnah to the order Zeraim. 47  This may have been out of necessity since the only tractate from the order Zeraim to warrant discussion in the BT is tractate Berakhot, while the other tractates in the order Zeraim are covered by the PT. 48  In addition, Isadore Twersky suggests that Maimonides sought to increase the awareness and influence of the PT. 49  1.3 Previous Scholarship on the Redaction of the PT Early studies of the PT’s redaction tended to conclude that the PT was incomplete because it underwent a minimal and hasty final redaction following the religious persecution and economic problems that beset the Palestinian community in the fourth and fifth centuries CE. 50  The view that this period marked a time of impoverishment for the Jews of Palestine  45  Lawrence A. Hoffman, "Jewish Liturgy and Jewish Scholarship," in Judaism in Late Antiquity: The Literary and Archaeological Sources Volume One, ed. Jacob Neusner (Boston and Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers Inc., 2001), 250. 46  The eleventh-century French biblical and talmudic commentator Rashi (acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki), and Joseph Karo, the 16 th  century codifier of the law (Shulchan Aruch), rarely mentioned the PT. Richard Cohen, "The Yerushalmi and its Critics," in New Perspectives on Ancient Judaism, ed. Jacob Neusner et al (Lanham: University of America Press, 1987), 22. 47  Isadore Twersky, Introduction to the Code of Maimonides (Mishneh Torah)  (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1980), 10-12. 48  The PT covers 39 of the 63 Mishnah tractates. The BT comprises 36 and a half of the Mishnah tractates, although the BT tractates are considerably longer than the PT tractates. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 166. 49  Twersky, Introduction, 10. 50  Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 671. 13 was primarily advanced by the historian Heinrich Graetz. 51  Zacharias Frankel, who conducted one of the pioneering studies of the PT, also accepted the narrative that the PT was incomplete and that it underwent a hasty final redaction. 52  Isaac Halevy denied that the PT was redacted at all, maintaining that it was preserved in an unedited state. 53  However, Saul Lieberman, who pioneered twentieth-century study of the PT, rejects Halevy’s conclusions.54 According to Lieberman, the PT was redacted. He argues that following its initial composition, an editor had transferred material from one place to another because it was relevant to the secondary context, even though the transferred material originally referred to a different matter. 55  Lieberman attributes contradictions and inconsistencies to later scribes who condensed the expanded version of the PT by refraining from inserting the entire text of the transferred material each time it appeared, relying instead on abbreviated citations that led to errors by subsequent scribes. 56  Louis Ginzberg accepted the traditional narrative that external difficulties led to the cessation of work on the PT. 57  He also concluded that it underwent many redactions: It is clear that this Talmud [the PT] is not of one cloth. The editor of Berakhot is not the editor of Yevamot and the editor of Shabbat is not the editor of Sanhedrin, and therefore there is not before us a single  51 Heinrich Graetz, History of the Jews: From the Reign of Hyrcanus 135 BCE to the Completion of the Babylonian Talmud 500 CE, Reprinted 1956 ed. (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1893), Volume II 560-561, 612-613. For a subsequent scholar who accepted this view see M. Avi-Yonah, The Jews of Palestine: A Political History from the Bar-Kochba War to the Arab Conquest  (New York: Schocken Books, 1976), 179. This book was originally published in Hebrew in 1946, 1952, 1962 and 1969 with the title Bi-Yemey Roma U-Vizantion. A German edition was published by W. Gruyter and Company in Berlin in 1962 under the title Geschichte der Juden im Zeitaler des Talmud. 52  Zacharias Frankel, Einleitung in den Jerusalemischen Talmud  ( Breslau 1870), 48a (Hebrew). 53  Isaac Halevy, Dorot Ha-Rishonim, vol. 2 (Berlin and Vienna 1923), 526-536 (Hebrew). 54  Saul Lieberman, "The Talmud of Caesarea: Jerushalimi Tractate Nezikin," Supplement to Tarbiz 2, no. 4 (1931): 20-21 (Hebrew). 55  Ibid, 22. 56  Ibid, 23-25. 57  Louis Ginzberg, A Commentary on the Palestinian Talmud, vol. 1 ( New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1941), xxxviii (Hebrew). I refer to Ginzberg’s commentary throughout this dissertation. 14 problem [regarding] the editing of the Yerushalmi, rather there are many problems [and many] redactions of the Yerushalmi. 58   Recent scholars have also remarked on the problems of utilizing the PT. David Halivni, who greatly contributed to the understanding of the redactional stages of the BT, concluded that the PT is: simple, narrow in focus, responding to the question at hand and without a unique style, whereas the argumentational [sic] in the Gemara of the Babylonian Talmud is colorful, pulsating, outreaching, often presenting an interwoven and continuous discourse with a distinct, identifiable style of its own. For the purpose of tracing the various modes of Jewish learning, the Babylonian Talmud is more pivotal than the Palestinian Talmud. 59   Similarly, Robert Goldenberg maintained that the PT received insufficient editing, so that transitions within arguments and between different sections are incomplete. 60  Likewise, Uzi Leibner concludes that the PT was never properly edited; rather it was compiled imprecisely and in haste. 61  Leib Moscovitz concurs: Explicit abstract concepts and legal principles of broad scope are generally not found in the PT (in contrast to the BT). Accordingly, the PT seems more primitive than the BT, conceptually speaking. 62   Moscovitz does not attribute the final redaction of the PT to external difficulties, but he still concludes that it received negligible redaction: The general impression conveyed by the study of the PT is that this work developed through the essentially mechanical aggregation of  58  Ibid, Hebrew Introduction, 81. For similar observations about the BT see Eliezer Segal, "Anthological Dimensions of the Babylonian Talmud," in The Anthology in Jewish Literature, ed. David Stern (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 82. 59  David Halivni, Midrash, Mishnah, and Gemara: the Jewish Predilection for Justified Law  (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986), 82. 60  Robert Goldenberg, "Talmud," in Essential Papers on the Talmud, ed. Michael Chernick (New York and London: New York University Press, 1994), 31. Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 110-11 61 Uzi Leibner, "Settlement Patterns in the Eastern Galilee: Implications Regarding the Transformation of Rabbinic Culture in Late Antiquity," in Jewish Identites in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern, ed. Lee Levine and Daniel Schwartz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 269-295. 62  Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 676. See also Moscovitz, "Sugyot Muhlafot," 27 (Hebrew). 15 additional layers of discourse with the passage of time: the teachings of each generation of sages were passed on to the next generation, apparently with little or no redactional intervention. 63   Many scholars have abandoned the old lachrymose conception of Jewish history and now conclude that the time period when the PT was completed was not one of unmitigated disaster for Palestinian Jewry. The traditional narrative positing that work on the PT ceased when the Romans destroyed Jewish settlements in the fourth century CE, following the revolt by Galilean Jews against the government of Gallus, has been largely but not entirely rejected. There is also no consensus regarding the effect(s) of the earthquake in 363 CE. 64  A review of literary, archaeological, and epigraphic sources has led to conclusions that the Roman and Byzantine periods actually saw fruitful literary productivity in Israel. 65  Although many  63  Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 671. In another article, Moscovitz suggests that the PT’s earlier editors relied on differing sources and the final editor(s) left the text as it was so that future generations could see the different views expressed by the numerous sages who worked on the PT. Moscovitz, "Sugyot Muhlafot," 60 (Hebrew). 64  Saul Lieberman, "Palestine in the Third and Fourth Centuries," The Jewish Quarterly Review New Series, Vol. 36, No. 4(April 1946): 341-342. Günther Stemberger, Jews and Christians in the Holy Land Palestine in the Fourth Century, trans. Ruth Tuschling (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2000), 161-184. Peter Schäfer, The History of the Jews in Antiquity  (Luxembourg: Harwood Academic Publishers, 1995), 182. Brody, The Geonim of Babylonia  101. David Goodblatt, "The Political and Social History of the Jewish Community in the Land of Israel C. 235-638," in The Cambridge History of Judaism The Late Roman Rabbinic Period ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 408. Barbara Nathanson, " Jews, Christians, and the Gallus Revolt in Fourth-Century Palestine," Biblical Archaeologist 49, no. 1 (1986): 34. Dennis E. Groh, "Jews and Christians in Late Roman Palestine: Towards a New Chronology," The Biblical Archaeologist 51, no. 2 (1988): 80-96. Lee Levine, ed. The Synagogue in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia: The American Schools of Oriental Research, 1987), 4. Leibner, "Settlement Patterns," 269-295. Jodi Magness, "Did Galilee Experience a Settlement Crisis in the Mid-Fourth Century?," in Jewish Identites in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern, ed. Lee Levine and Daniel Schwartz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 269-313. 65  Doron Bar, "Was there a 3rd-c. Economic Crisis in Palestine," in The Roman and Byzantine Near East, ed. J. H. Humphrey (Portsmouth, Rhode Island: 2002), 54. Eric M. Meyers, "Ancient Synagogues: an Archeological Introduction," in Sacred Realm the Emergence of the Synagogue in the Ancient World, ed. Steven Fine (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 3-20. Jodi Magness, "Did Galilee Decline in the Ffith Century:  The Synagogue at Chorazin Reconsidered," in Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition, ed. Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 259-274. Günther Stemberger, "Jewish-Christian Contacts in Galilee (Fifth to Seventh Centuries)," in Sharing the Sacred: Religious Contacts and Conflicts in the Holy Land First-Fifteenth Centuries CE, ed. Arieh Kofsky and Guy G. Stroumsa (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben Zvi, 1998), 131-145. Jeremy Cohen, "Roman Imperial Policy Toward the Jews from Constantine until the End of the Palestinian Patriarchate," Byzantine Studies/Etudes Bzyantines 3(1976): 1-29. Eric M. Meyers, "Judaism and Christianity in light of Archaeology," The Biblical Archaeologist 51, no. 2 (1988): 69-79. Günther Stemberger, "The Impact of Paganism and Christianity," in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 514-517. 16 scholars now agree that the PT was redacted in Tiberias, a paucity of evidence precludes certain conclusions relating to the date or reason for its completion. 66  Suggestions for the date of redaction range from c. 370 CE 67  to the latter part of the fourth century, 68  or the early part of the fifth century CE. 69  1.4 Literature Review  Study of the PT is increasingly becoming a focus for scholars of rabbinic literature. Richard Cohen concluded that the PT is a systematic document adhering to a distinct mode of argumentation characterized by the interdependence of Greco-Roman rhetoric and logic. 70  Moreover, Baruch Bokser demonstrated that the thematically related materials in PT tractate Pesachim were the result of comprehensive redactional activity. 71  Catherine Hezser’s monograph Form, Function, and Historical Significance of the Rabbinic Story in Yerushalmi Neziqin 72  is one of the most thorough studies of narrative stories in the PT to date. Hezser examines the redactional context, parallels, and literary forms of Amoraic Aggadah in the order Neziqin. The PT emerges as a carefully constructed text, exhibiting a fair amount of editorial work. Hezser plausibly argues that the editors of the PT utilized material from pre-  66  Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 110. Cohen, "Roman Imperial Policy Toward the Jews ": 25-27. Nathanson, " Jews, Christians, and the Gallus Revolt in Fourth-Century Palestine," 32. 67  Sussman posits that the end of the Palestinian Amoraic period 360–370 CE marked the completion of the PT. Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," 1:132 note 187 (Hebrew). Epstein also concluded that redaction coincided with the end of the Palestinian Amoraic period 410 to 420 CE. J. N. Epstein, Introduction to Amoraitic Literature (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1962), 274 (Hebrew). 68  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 145. Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 110. 69  For the suggestion of the end of the fourth, or the early fifth century CE see Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin Jaffee, eds., The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 8-9. 70  Richard Cohen, "The Relationship between Topic, Rhetoric and Logic: Analysis of a Syllogistic Passage in the Yerushalmi," in New Perspectives on Ancient Judaism Volume 3, ed. Jacob Neusner and Ernest S. Frerichs (Lanham: University Press of America, 1987), 87-125. 71  Baruch M Bokser, Trans The Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and Explanation. Volume 13.  Yerushalmi Pesachim, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 338. 72  Catherine Hezser, Form, Function and Historical Significance of the Rabbinic Story in Yerushalmi Neziqin (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1993). See Hezser’s discussion regarding an earlier date for the redaction of tractate Neziqin than the rest of the PT on p. 336 of her monograph. See also Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 667-668. 17 existing collections to formulate narrative traditions as glosses on the Mishnah, Tosefta, and Amoraic statements. In doing so, Hezser makes a valuable contribution to form and redaction criticism of the PT. 73  My study is informed by Hezser’s work as I also attempt to shed light on some of the compositional traits of the composers/redactors of the PT. At the same time, my study departs from Hezser’s: I focus on literary analysis to disclose the literary complexity of PT narratives, and I pay closer attention to the historical/contextual significance of the stories as evidence of their overall complexity. 74  1.4.1 Prior BT Scholarship To place my study in proper perspective, it is important to discuss BT scholarship because the findings of my study call into question the view that creative literary composition stems almost entirely from the Stammaitic layer of the BT. Much attention has been devoted to literary form-analysis of the BT. This has resulted in considerable progress in our understanding of its composition; however, such scholarship regarding the PT lags behind. David Halivni is credited with creating the term “Stammaim”75 to refer to the anonymous BT sages who were the primary redactors of the BT. They flourished after 500 CE and were  73  Other recent studies include: Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," (Hebrew); Christine Hayes, Between the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997); Gray, A Talmud in Exile; Sussman, "Pirkei Yerushalmi." Alyssa M. Gray, "A Contribution to the Study of Martyrdom and Identity in the Jerusalem Talmud," Journal of Jewish Studies 54-1, no. 2 (2003). Peter Schäfer, ed. The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture I (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998). Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser, eds., The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture II (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000). Peter Schäfer, ed. The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture III (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002). Jaffee, "The Babylonian Appropriation of the Talmud Yerushalmi."; Bokser, "An Annotated Bibliographical Guide." 74  Hayim Lapin suggests that Hezser’s study might have benefited from a fuller discussion of the extent and nature of rabbinic influence. Hayim Lapin, "Untitled Review of Form, Function and Historical Significance of the Rabbinic Story in Yerushalmi Neziqin by Catherine Hezser," Jewish Quarterly Review 88, no. 3-4 (1998): 314-316. 75  “Stammaim” is the plural. The singular is “stam” or “stamma.” In the early twentieth century, Avraham Weiss attempted to produce a form-analysis of the BT. He identified the memra, a brief Amoraic discursive saying, and the sugya which consists of a few lines of text or several pages. Shammai Kanter, "Abraham Weiss: Source Criticism," in The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud, ed. J. Neusner (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970), 87- 94. David Goodblatt, "Abraham Weiss the Search for Literary Forms," in The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud, ed. J. Neusner (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970), 95-103. 18 responsible for the anonymous, final layer of talmudic discourse. 76  It is generally agreed that the anonymous material postdates the attributed Amoraic statements. Since this anonymous stratum contains most of the Talmud’s argumentation, Halivni concludes that the Amoraim valued practical law and did not consider it important for their discursive material to survive. Accordingly, they only transmitted the conclusions of their legal discussions and not the debates that had led to their decisions. Conversely, the Stammaim placed higher value on the discursive passages, so they attempted to reconstruct the argumentation that had produced the conclusions. The Stammaim redacted the BT by prefacing, concluding, interpolating, and integrating the halakhic passages transmitted by the Amoraim. 77  Shamma Friedman independently proposed that the anonymous layer of the BT postdates the Amoraic attributed statements and suggested criteria by which the two strata could be distinguished. 78  Yaacov Sussman is an extreme proponent of Stammaitic theory, claiming that the activity of the Stammaim was so complete that almost no original forms of Amoraic sayings exist. 79  This is similar to Jacob Neusner’s conclusions that early rabbinic sources have been altered and edited beyond recognition, such that rabbinic documents attest to no more than the literary input of their final redactors. 80  At best, it is only possible to arrive at approximate dates for the final redaction of most rabbinic texts. Neusner’s documentary theory has been refuted by many scholars who have demonstrated that not all rabbinic sources have been homogenized  76  Initially, Halivni posited that the Stammaitic period lasted for fifty years and concluded with the Geonim in the sixth century CE. Halivni, Midrash, Mishnah, and Gemara, 76-92. He currently maintains that Stammaitic production took place from the middle of the sixth century CE until the mid-eighth century CE. David Halivni, Meqorot umesorot bava metzia (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2003), 1-26 (Hebrew). 77 David Halivni, "Aspects of the Formation of the Talmud," in Creation and Composition: the Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada, ed. Jeffrey Rubenstein (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 339- 360. 78 Shamma Friedman, "Al Derekh Heqer HaSugya (On the Method of Critical Research of the Sugya)," in Mehqarim Umeqorot, ed. H. Dimitrovski (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1977), 283-321 (Hebrew). 79 Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," 108-111 (Hebrew). 80 J. Neusner, Development of a Legend:  Studies on the Traditions Concerning Yohanan Ben Zakkai  (Leiden: Brill, 1970). J. Neusner, The Bavli's One Voice: Types and Forms of Analytical Discourse and their Fixed Order of Appearance  (Atlanta: Scholar's Press, 1991). 19 beyond recognition. 81  Neusner, himself has modified this approach, and his more recent scholarship reflects the nuanced refinement of his methods. 82  Jeffrey Rubenstein has been the main proponent of the view that, aside from editing the halakhic passages, the Stammaim reshaped aggadic passages transmitted from earlier periods. They also composed aggadot that often contained pseudepigraphic references to earlier sages. 83  “Stammaitic” theory gained widespread acceptance following the publication of several studies demonstrating that stories in the BT featuring Palestinian figures actually reflect later Babylonian settings and concerns. 84  Louis Jacobs sums it up: In the light of our investigation, it is necessary…to see the stammaim as far more than mere editors of earlier material. They were, in fact, creative authors who shaped the material they had to hand to provide the new literary form evident in the passages we have examined and, indeed, on practically every page of the Babylonian Talmud. 85   By contrast, the attribution of the bulk of editorial changes to the Stammaitic period has been challenged recently. Joshua Levinson cautions against exaggerating the dividing  81  See the articles in Shaye J. D. Cohen, ed. The Synoptic Problem in Rabbinic Literature (Providence: Brown Judaic Studies, 2000). 82  For example see J. Neusner, "Rabbinic Narrative: Documentary Perspectives on the Mishnah's and Tosefta's Ma'asim," Review of Rabbinic Judaism 13, no. 1 (2010): 30-57. Neusner is one of the most prolific and influential scholars of rabbinic literature. He is also responsible for the translation into English of most works of classical rabbinic literature. 83 Jeffrey Rubenstein, The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud  (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 5. 84 Daniel Sperber, "On the Unfortunate Adventures of Rav Kahana:  A Passage of Saboraic Polemic from Sassanian Persia," in Irano-Judaica, ed. S. Shaked (Jerusalem: Yad Itzhaq Ben-Zvi, 1982), 83-100. Shaye J. D. Cohen, "Patriarchs and Scholarchs," PAAJR 48(1981): 57-86. David Goodblatt, "The Story of the Plot Against Gamliel II," Zion 49(1984): 349-374 (Hebrew). Friedman, "Literary Development and Historicity in the Aggadic Narrative of the Babylonian Talmud: A Study based upon B. M. 83b-86a," 67-80. Shamma Friedman, "The Further Adventures of Rav Kahana," in The Talmud and Graeco-Roman Culture III, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 247-272. J. Rovner, "Pseudepigraphic Invention and Diachronic Stratification in the Stammaitic Components of the Bavli:  The Case of Sukka 28," Hebrew Union College Annual 68(1977): 11-19. Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories; ibid.; Yaakov Elman, "Righteousness as its Own Reward: An Inquiry into the Theologies of the Stam," Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 57(1990-1991). Yaakov Elman, "The Suffering of the Righteous in Babylonian and Palestinian Sources," The Jewish Quarterly Review 80, no. 3/4 (1990): 315-339. Louis Jacobs, "The Sugya on Sufferings in B. Berakhot 5a, b," in Studies in Aggadah, Targum and Jewish Liturgy in Memory of Joseph Heinemann, ed. J.J. Petuchowski and E. Fleischer (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1981), 32-44. 85  Louis Jacobs, Structure and Form in the Babylonian Talmud  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 105. 20 line between stages of transmission and redaction, contending that they “are more blurred and ill-defined than previously supposed.”86 He suggests that changes “may have taken place during the process of transmission or redaction before the Stammaim.”87 Shamma Friedman concurs: Various types of creative literary intervention already marked earlier stages of talmudic literature and the results of these efforts are also included in the Bavli. There are consequently more options for identifying the source of creative composition or transmission than ascribing it to the latest anonymous redactors. 88   My thesis builds on these specific findings of Levinson and Friedman by demonstrating the extent to which creative literary intervention occurred at the Amoraic level of the PT in the stories that I analyze. Some of the features of stories in the BT that have been ascribed to Stammaitic editors can also be detected in some aggadot in the PT. This serves to further confirm the findings of Levinson and Friedman. 1.5 Reception Theory  The theoretical basis for my analysis is Reception Theory, as understood by Hans Robert Jauss. 89  The main characteristic of Reception Theory is that it examines the reader’s role in literature. The shift of emphasis towards the reader represents a major difference between Reception Theory and the earlier approaches described below. Russian Formalists attempted to create a scientific basis for the theory of literature, while later formalism emphasized literature’s linguistic aspects.90 Like Formalism, New Criticism pays close attention to textual analysis while maintaining that literary works are independent objects. It  86  Joshua Levinson, "The Cultural Dignity of Narrative," in Creation and Composition: the Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada, ed. Jeffrey Rubenstein (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 380. 87  Ibid. See also Halivni, "Aspects of the Formation of the Talmud," 352-353. 88  Shamma Friedman, "A Good Story Deserves Retelling-The Unfolding of the Akiva Legend," JSIJ 3(2004): 57-58. 89  Jauss was a leading figure in the development of the German model of Reception Theory in the late 1960s. 90  K. M. Newton, Twentieth-Century Literary Theory: A Reader  (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), 21-38. 21 neglects authorial intention, audience response, and the cultural and historical contexts of literature. By comparison, Structuralism emphasizes that meaning is the product of a shared system of signification that makes literature possible. Structuralism follows Russian Formalism and New Criticism by paying little attention to authorial or historical approaches. Structuralism’s view of the closed literary text is similar to the New Critical treatment of it as an isolated object. 91  Consideration for the reader partially arose due to the rejection of the New Critical premise that literature must be analyzed without regard to context. 92  According to Reception Theory, meanings continue to unfold in the various moments of the historical reception of a text and understandings are constituted by the interaction of texts and readers. 93  Jauss utilizes the philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer to establish the foundational categories of Reception Theory. 94  In order to discuss the relation between the reception of a literary text and how it is perceived at different stages in history, Jauss uses Gadamer’s concept of “a fusion of horizons.” According to this concept, a “fusion” takes place between past experiences that are embedded in the text and the interests of its later readers. According to Jauss’s aesthetics of reception, a text is never separable from its history of reception. Within the PT stories I analyze we can observe the historical reception of the earlier biblical and the mishnaic texts as “a fusion of horizons,” in which a fusion takes place between the past experiences that are embedded in the earlier texts and the interests of the  91  Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction  (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1983), 91-126. 92  Peter J. Rabinowitz, "Whirl Without End: Audience-Oriented Criticism," in Contemporary Literary Theory, ed. G. Douglas Atkins and Laura Morrow (United States of America: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1989), 82. 93  Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, trans. Timothy Bahti (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 1982), 3-45. See also Robert C. Holub, Reception Theory: A Critical Introduction  (London and New York: Methuen, 1984), 57-58. 94  Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception. Hans Robert Jauss, Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics, trans. Michael Shaw (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 1982). 22 later rabbinic readers. In other words, my readings pay attention to the ways that the transformations of biblical and mishnaic material within the PT convey new meanings. 95  Reception Theory is also a useful model for my approach to the reading of PT texts. For Jauss, Reception Theory is a dialogic, rather than monologic, dialectic. Hermeneutical priority is given to the act of the open-ended, multiple questioning of a text. 96  Similarly, the essential dialectic of talmudic discourse is primarily taken up with the hermeneutical circle of continued questioning, answering, and re-questioning. The analysis that I engage in reveals that reading the PT is a process demanding constant intervention of the reader. Incomplete passages compel readers to be dialogically drawn into the process of creating and conveying meanings. 97  This facet of the passages I analyze is one aspect of their sophistication. The engaged reader is crucial for the study of the PT. The engaged reader is one who has acquired “command of the rabbinic tradition.” This includes the memorization and  95  Intertextuality and Reception Theory employ related notions. Reception Theory can be conceived of as “a problem of intertextuality when one considers the function of other texts that constitute the horizon of a literary work and gain new meaning by this transposition.” Hans Robert Jauss, "The Identity of the Poetic Text in the Changing Horizon of Understanding," in Reception Study From Literary Theory to Cultural Studies, ed. James Machor and Philip Goldstein (New York and London: Routledge, 2001), 8. Jauss critiques Kristeva’s notion of Intertextuality because it leads to the understanding of literary texts as “a free floating production of differences.” Ibid, 16. Julia Kristeva, Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art, ed. Leon S. Roudiez, trans. Thomas Gora and Alice Jardine and Leon S. Roudiez (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 64-89. See also Daniel Boyarin, Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001). 96  Rush suggests that Jauss advocates a dialogic hermeneutic of questioning because Jauss is critical of the dogmatic question structure of the catechism. Ormond Rush, The Reception of Doctrine: An Appropriation of Hans Robert Jauss' Reception Aesthetics and Literary Hermeneutics  (Rome, Italy: Gregorian University Press, 1997), 108-109. 97  Steven D. Fraade, "Rabbinic Views on the Practice of Targum and Multilingualism in the Jewish Galilee of the Third to Sixth Centuries," in The Galilee in Late Antiquity, ed. Lee Levine (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1992), 253. 23 understanding of scripture, Mishnah, and related texts in their original languages, and the ability to apply specialized methods to the interpretation of the Talmud. 98  Since Reception Theory focuses on the historical reception of a text rather than on its origin, it is particularly applicable for talmudic literature which is composed of prior oral traditions and written material. Rabbinic scholars have utilized methods from the field of orality studies to gain an appreciation of the interpenetration of oral and written transmission of material at all stages of the compositional process. Some scholars now suggest that oral transmission was not a separate medium from written transmission in Late Antiquity. Rather, rabbinic texts went through a continuing cycle of being written, recited aloud, and revised in written and oral form, leading to variations in language and content. 99  The word “Aggadah” is the noun form of the Hebrew verb le-haggid, which means “to say” or “to tell.” This definition may relate to the method of its transmission. Initially, Aggadah may have been related orally in study-houses, and in the context of public sermons. 100  The prevalence of oral transmission makes it practically impossible to isolate an “original” text or tradition. A  98  See David Kraemer, "The Intended Reader as a Key to Interpreting the Bavli," Prooftexts 13(1993): 125-140. David Kraemer, Reading the Rabbis, the Talmud as Literature  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), 12. I do not mean “implied reader.” Implied assumes that the reader’s characteristics can be extracted from the text. The concept of the implied reader is consistent with the rejected premise that texts are closed. Rabinowitz, "Whirl Without End: Audience-Oriented Criticism," 84. 99  Martin Jaffee, Torah in the Mouth  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 26-27. Steven D. Fraade, “Literary Composition and Oral Performance in Early Midrashim,” in Oral Tradition, 14/1 (1999): 33-51. Paul Mandel, "Between Byzantium and Islam:  The Transmission of a Jewish Book in the Byzantium and Early Islamic Periods," in Transmitting Jewish Traditions:  Orality, Textuality and Cultural Diffusion, ed. Yaakov Elman and Israel Gershoni (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2000), 100. Elizabeth Shanks Alexander, "The Orality of Rabbinic Writing," in The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, ed. Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 38- 57. Martin Jaffee, "Oral Tradition in the Writings of Oral Torah:  On Theorizing Rabbinic Orality," Oral Tradition 14, no. 1 (1999): 3-32. Mandel, "The Tosefta," 331. Rosalind Thomas hypothesizes a similar structure for the relationship between oral and written texts in ancient Greece. Rosalind Thomas, Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). 100  Joseph Heinemann, "The Nature of the Aggadah," in Midrash and Literature, ed. Geoffrey H. Hartman and Sanford Budick (New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 1986), 42. Galit Hasan-Rokem, Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature, trans. Batya Stein (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 108. Yaakov Elman, "Orality and the Redaction of the Babylonian Talmud," Oral Tradition 14, no. 1 (1999): 52. 24 theory that focuses on the historical reception of a text, rather than its origination, is thus well suited to the PT. 1.6 Methods 1.6.1 Literary Analysis No method of analyzing aggadic stories has received greater academic attention in recent years than techniques of literary criticism. 101  Yonah Fraenkel was one of the first scholars to apply literary analysis to Aggadah in the BT, attending to the forms, prevalent wordplay, rhetorical elements, and chiasmic structure employed in aggadic narratives. Fraenkel influenced subsequent scholars who have continued to develop literary-theoretical approaches to interpret Aggadah. 102  To Fraenkel, Aggadah is a literary creation expressing the sages’ understanding of reality, rather than historical reality. One of Fraenkel’s central claims is that aggadot are self-contained stories. He asserts that no literary, editorial, or contextual connection exists between any single aggadah and any other aggadah, even in stories featuring the same sages. Many current scholars disagree with this view, maintaining instead that aggadot often have prior histories in oral and written sources and that the literary and cultural context of these stories is significant. 103  Relations with other texts and traditions constitute a critical feature of the aggadot in the PT that I examine.  101  G. H. Hartman and S. Budick, eds., Midrash and Literature (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1986). David Stern, Midrash and Theory  (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1996). Kraemer, Reading the Rabbis, the Talmud as Literature. 102 Yonah Fraenkel, "Paronomasia in Aggadic Narratives," in Studies in Hebrew Narrative Art Throughout the Ages, ed. Joseph Heinemann and Shmuel Werses (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1978), 27-51. Yonah Fraenkel, "Chiasmus in Talmudic-Aggadic Narrative," in Chiasmus in Antiquity, ed. John W. Welch (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981), 183-195; ibid. 103  See Hillel Newman, "Closing the Circle: Yonah Fraenkel, The Talmudic Story, and Rabbinic History," in How Should Rabbinic Literature Be Read in the Modern World, ed. Matthew Kraus (New Jersey: Georgias Press, 2006), 105-135; Jeffrey Rubenstein, "Context and Genre: Elements of a Literary Approach to the Rabbinic Narrative," in How Should Rabbinic Literature Be Read in the Modern World, ed. Matthew Krauss (New Jersey: Georgias Press, 2006), 138-144. Jeffrey Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 10. Aryeh Cohen, Rereading Talmud: Gender Law and the Poetics of Sugyot  (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998), 12, 89. 25 My methods of literary analysis involve the close reading of aggadot, following the literary analysis pursued by Robert Alter: By literary analysis I mean the manifold varieties of minutely discriminating attention to the artful use of language, to the shifting play of ideas, conventions, tone, sound, imagery, syntax, narrative viewpoint, compositional units. 104   Applying Alter’s method of analysis, I demonstrate that literary conventions, techniques of repetition, and composite artistry are present within the PT. My analysis takes account of philological, syntactical, and thematic matters in combination with source-critical and redactional concerns to highlight the literary sophistication of the narrative stories. Furthermore, I investigate how the aggadot employ wordplay, irony, dialogue, rhetorical questions, biblical verses, and structural parallels to create meaning. Jeffrey Rubenstein has already demonstrated these features of stories in the BT. I conclude that some stories in the PT also contain these characteristics. 105  In addition, my reading practice follows the approach of Steven Fraade, who states: No discrete text is ever understood monologically “in its own terms,” but always dialogically in terms of the larger matrices of signification in which it is set and to which it contributes, however complexly. 106  1.6.2 The Advantage of Combined Literary/Historical Analysis In addition to literary analysis, I pursue a historical/contextual approach in order to avoid methodological pitfalls, such as reductive conclusions, which sometimes occur when focusing on only one of these methods. My literary analysis is concerned with the literary characteristics of the narratives, while my historical/contextual analysis attends to the  104  Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative  (New York: Basic Books Inc., 1981), 12. 105  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 26-27. 106  Steven D. Fraade, From Tradition to Commentary Torah and its Interpretation in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy  (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991), 21. 26 ideological views and cultural concerns mentioned in the texts. The complexity of these narratives becomes evident upon the examination of their literary and historical/contextual elements. 107  My approach is in line with that of Steven Fraade, who stresses the importance of attending to the “inextricable interconnection” between historical and exegetical factors in rabbinic midrash. 108  By focusing attention on exegetical and historical concerns, one can avoid what Fraade terms “hermeneuticist and historicist fallacies.”109 The former tendency views midrash as if conducted in historical isolation, while the latter sees it primarily as a commentary on the events or circumstances of its time. I am also influenced by Richard Sarason, who critiques rabbinic scholarship that does not integrate literary and historical/contextual lines of inquiry. 110  Finally, Jauss’s approach informs my contextual analysis because rabbinic texts are culturally rooted in literary, historical, and social contexts. Beginning in the 1970s, scholarship has been characterized by extensive skepticism regarding the historical value of rabbinic sources. 111  Jacob Neusner was one of the first  107  Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighbourhood, 130. Joshua Levinson, "The Athlete of Piety: Fatal Fictions in Rabbinic Literature  " Tarbiz 68(1999): 86 (Hebrew). 108  Fraade, From Tradition to Commentary, 15. Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. It also refers to the entire compilation of homiletic/exegetical teachings on the Bible, or to one midrashic anthology, or to one literary unit, or even to one interpretation. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 233-240. 109  Fraade, From Tradition to Commentary, 14. See also Boyarin, Intertextuality, 5. 110  Richard S. Sarason, "Toward a New Agendum for the Study of Rabbinic Midrashic Literature," in Studies in Aggadah, Targum and Jewish Liturgy in Memory of Joseph Heinemann, ed. Jakob J. Petuchowski and Ezra Fleischer (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1981), 55-70. 111  William Scott Green, "What's in a Name? - The Problematic of Rabbinic Biography," in Approaches to Ancient Judaism: Theory and Practice, ed. William Scott Green (Missoula: Scholar's Press, 1978), 77-96. William Scott Green, "History Fabricated: The Social Uses of Narrative in Early Rabbinic Judaism," in The Christian and Judaic Invention of History, ed. Jacob Neusner (Atlanta: Scholar's Press, 1990), 143-156; David Kraemer, "On the Reliability of Attributions in the Babylonian Talmud," in Essential Papers on the Talmud, ed. Michael Chernick (New York and London: New York University Press, 1994), 276-292; ibid. Lee Levine, The Rabbinic Class of Roman Palestine in Late Antiquity  (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1989), 16-22. Goodman, State and Society, 3-17. Sacha Stern, "The Concept of Authorship in the Babylonian Talmud," Journal of Jewish Studies 45, no. 1 (1994): 28-51. Jaffee, "Rabbinic Authorship," 17-37. 27 scholars to consistently maintain that rabbinic attributions are not historically accurate. 112  At the same time, although many aspects of Neusner’s documentary theory have been discredited, it has been suggested that since he was the first to consistently argue that rabbinic documents were shaped by the self-interest of tradents and redactors he was actually supporting the view that we can gain some historical knowledge from rabbinic literature. 113  Neusner himself now argues that there are areas of history about which rabbinic texts may yield information, including relationships among various power groups, popular beliefs, and the way rabbinic society functioned. 114  Similarly, recent scholars of rabbinic literature, along with scholars of history and literary studies, have concluded that “texts both mirror and generate social realities, which they sustain, resist, contest, or seek to transform.”115 This realization has led many scholars to agree that although rabbinic literature does not disclose history in a transparent manner, rabbinic traditions do presuppose historical relations and references.  112  Neusner, Development of a Legend:  Studies on the Traditions Concerning Yohanan Ben Zakkai. J. Neusner, Introduction to Rabbinic Literature  (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 21-29. J. Neusner, The Documentary Foundation of Rabbinic Culture:  Mopping Up After Debates with Gerald L. Bruns, S.J.D. Cohen, Arnold Maria Goldberg, Susan Handelman, Christine Hayes, James Kugel, Peter Schaefer, Eliezer Segal, E.P. Sanders, and Lawrence H. Schifffman  (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995), xxii-xxv. J. Neusner, The Judaism Behind the Texts: The Generative Premises of Rabbinic Literature  (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993-1994). J. Neusner, Making the Classics in Judaism  (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 19-44. 113  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 8. 114 J. Neusner, "Judaic Uses Of History In Talmudic times," in Essays In Jewish Historiography, ed. A. Rappaport-Albert (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988), 19. J. Neusner, Ancient Judaism Debates and Disputes (Chico, California: Scholar's Press, 1984), 16-17. J. Neusner, "From History To Hemeneutics: The Talmud As Historical Source," Review of Rabbinic Judaism 11, no. 2 (2008): 200-227. 115  Gabrielle M. Spiegel, The Past as Text: The Theory and Practice of Medieval Historiography  (Baltimore & London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997), 24. See also Gabrielle M. Spiegel, ed. Practicing History: New Directions in Historical Writing after the Linguistic Turn (New York & London: Routledge, 2005), 3-4, 10-11. Joshua Levinson, "Literary Approaches to Midrash," in Current Trends in the Study of Midrash, ed. Carol Bakhos (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 189-226. Bakhos, "Methodological Matters," 179-184. 28 Recent scholarship has been marked by the attempt to ascertain some aspects of history embedded within rabbinic texts. 116  However, when approaching rabbinic texts with the intention of using them to reconstruct an aspect of history, one faces several challenges. Many scholars classify rabbinic stories as didactic fiction, concluding that rabbinic literature shares much in common with Roman biographical writing, which was largely fictional and didactic. 117  Isolating a rabbinic story’s historical kernel from the fictional embellishment is often impossible. Rabbinic attributions are questionable, and almost no information is provided regarding the methods of its editors. In addition, these texts often provide fragmentary and contradictory representations. 118  Therefore, scholars generally agree that the approach to take with rabbinic stories is not to ask if they really happened, but to examine why the stories were told, and what they might teach about the sages’ self-understandings, worldviews, beliefs, and ethics. In this study, I follow the method of Catherine Hezser, who recommends that “[l]iterary comparisons between rabbinic and Graeco-Roman texts help us determine rabbis’ participation in the wider discursive practices of the ancient world.”119 The same approach was suggested much earlier by Saul Lieberman, one of the early proponents  116  A few examples are Yaron Z. Eliav, "Realia, Daily Life, and the Transmission of Local Stories during the Talmudic Period," in What Athens Has to do with Jerusalem, ed. Leonard V. Rutgers (Leuvin: Peeters, 2002), 253-263. Joshua Schwartz, "The Material Realities of Jewish Life in the Land of Israel, C. 235-638," in The Cambridge History of Judaism The Late Roman Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 431-456. Gafni, Land, Center and Diaspora. Catherine Hezser, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010). 117  Rubenstein, Stories of the Babylonian Talmud, 7; Jeffrey Rubenstein, Rabbinic Stories  (New York: Paulist Press, 2002), 12. Chaim Milikowsky, "Midrash as Fiction and Midrash as History:  What Did the Rabbis Mean?," in Ancient Fiction the Matrix of Early Christianity and Jewish Narrative, ed. Jo-Ann Brat, Charles W. Hedrick, and Chris Shea (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), 117-127. Regarding the fictional aspect of Greco-Roman stories see Charles William Fornara, The Nature of History in Ancient Greece and Rome (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983). Hayden White argues that all historical writing relies on forms employed in writing fiction. Hayden White, "The Historical Text as Literary Artifact," in Critical Theory Since 1965, ed. Hazard Adams and Leroy Searle (Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1986), 396. 118  Schwartz, "The Political Geography of Rabbinic Texts," 75-96. Jaffee, "Rabbinic Authorship," 17-37. David Stern, Parables in Midrash  (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), 46. 119  Catherine Hezser, "Correlating Literary, Epigraphic, and Archaeological Sources," in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 22. 29 of the opinion that the PT contains valuable information about Palestine in the third and fourth centuries CE. 120  1.6.3 Genre Analysis  Following Jeffrey Rubenstein’s conclusion that “an adequate literary theory of the rabbinic narrative must address issues of context and genre while articulating a theory of redaction,” I determine the genres of the stories that I analyze.121 Genre analysis can provide a critical lens for reflecting upon the nature of Aggadah. 122  Eliezer Segal maintains that anthology, for example, can function as a significant genre for viewing Talmud: Since all works in the Rabbinic corpus present themselves to us as collections of opinions and dicta ascribed to several generations of Rabbis, it follows that the redactors of these works were acting as anthologists when they assembled the particular traditions that were to be included in a given compendium. 123   Segal suggests that BT sages created an anthology by redacting material that did not originate in Mishnah study. This becomes evident with the material that was selected for inclusion, and for which no obvious bond can be found with the Mishnah. It seems that these passages were included because they had a formal connection to the extraneous issues raised by the larger body of the Talmud. Segal’s focus is on the work of the Stammaitic redactors of the BT, who “expended considerable imagination in creating literary links to the host pericopes.”124 I demonstrate that this activity can also be witnessed within some of the aggadic passages in the first chapter of tractate Berakhot in the PT.  120  Saul Lieberman, "Roman Legal Institutions in Early Rabbinics and in the Acta Martyrum," The Jewish Quarterly Review 35, no. 1 (1944): 1-57. See also Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 166. 121 Rubenstein, "Context and Genre: Elements of a Literary Approach to the Rabbinic Narrative," 164. 122  Eli Yassif, Hebrew Folktale: History, Genre, Meaning  (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999). Dan Ben-Amos, "Generic Distinctions in the Aggadah," in Studies in Jewish Folklore, ed. Frank Talmage (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Association for Jewish Studies, 1980), 45-71. Hasan-Rokem, Web of Life; Yonah Fraenkel, Darkhei ha'aggadah vehamidrash  (Givatayim, Israel: Yad Latalmud, 1991), (Hebrew). 123  Segal, "Anthological Dimensions of the Babylonian Talmud," 84. 124  Ibid, 86. 30 Genre analysis also provides a meaningful apparatus for analyzing the components of aggadot by making visible their formulaic patterns and forms. Many studies have pointed to the similarities between genres of material in rabbinic and Greco-Roman literature. David Daube concludes that rabbinic methods of interpretation derive from Hellenistic rhetoric. 125  Martin Hengel argues for a wide-ranging Hellenization of Palestinian Judaism. 126  M. D. Herr likens the Aggadah to Greek drama, in which events are not interpreted from a historical perspective but serve as raw material for the composition of fiction. 127  On the other hand, Louis Feldman claims that the Palestinian rabbinic community did not appropriate any Greco-Roman ideas or practices. 128  Adam Kamesar concludes that Jewish and Greek interpretations were of a fundamentally different nature. 129  While these early studies concentrated on identifying cases of influence and borrowing of Greco-Roman literary genres, or denying such influence, more recent studies view rabbinic literature as part of Hellenistic culture—and an integral component of it— rather than reducing its use of Greco-Roman genres to influences and dependencies. 130  Recent expositions attempt to complicate and contextualize the notion of Greco-Roman influence on rabbinic sages. Burton Visotzky suggests that the Hellenistic genre of the  125  David Daube, “Rabbinic Methods of Interpretation and Hellenistic Rhetoric,” in Hebrew Union College Annual, (1949), 239-62. 126  Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in their Encounter in Palestine in the early Palestinian Period  (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974). 127  M. D. Herr, "Tefisat ha-historia etzel hazal " Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress of Jewish Studies iii (1977): 139-140 (Hebrew). 128  Louis Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions From Alexander to Justinian  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 31-44. Louis Feldman, "Hengel's Judaism and Hellenism in Retrospect," Journal of Biblical Literature 96, no. 3 (1977): 371-382. See also Feldman, Jew and Gentile, 102-106. On these pages Feldman mentions that rabbinic literature contains numerous favorable comments about the Roman government. This seems to somewhat contradict his earlier comments on pages 31- 44 of the same book. 129 Adam Kamesar, "The Narrative Aggada as seen from the Graeco-Latin Perspective," Journal of Jewish Studies 45, no. 1 (1994): 52-70. 130  Schäfer, The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture I, 14-16. Hezser, "The Graeco-Roman Context of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine," 32. 31 “miscellany” is a precedent for the midrashic text Vayikra Rabbah.131 Natalie Dohrmann concludes that rabbinic law regarding manumission is fashioned by Roman law and Roman self-perceptions about manumission. 132  Catherine Hezser detects formal similarities between the Digest and the legal material in the PT. 133  My study builds on the work of the scholars mentioned in the preceding paragraph. I focus attention on the features of the aggadot that seem to have undergone the appropriation of Greco-Roman literary genres. Appropriation theory has become an established tool in many areas of cultural studies. Homi Bhabha, who emphasizes the importance of situating narratives in their moments of cultural engagement, is considered to provide the main theoretical basis for appropriation theory. 134  I suggest that the use of Greco-Roman literary genres by sages who composed the PT should be called appropriation rather than borrowing because borrowing is too simplistic, as if implying that what is taken will be repaid. 135  “Appropriate”—understood as the act of making something one’s own—is derived from the Latin word proprius, which is related to the English words “proper” and “property.” This definition points to the way in which appropriation is an act of possessing ideas, texts, or beliefs.  136   131  Burton Visotzky, Golden Bells and Pomegranates: Studies in Midrash Levititicus Rabbah  (T bingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003), 23-40. 132  Natalie B. Dohrmann, "Manumission and Transformation in Jewish and Roman Law," in Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange: Comparative Exegesis in Context, ed. Natalie B. Dohrmann and David Stern (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), 51-65. 133  Catherine Hezser, “Roman Law and Rabbinic Legal Composition” in the Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, 144-163. 134  Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture  (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), 34. See also Claire Sponsler, "In Transit: Theorizing Cultural Appropriation in Medieval Europe," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32, no. 1 (2002): 14-70. 135  Kathleen Ashley and Veronique Plesch, "The Cultural Processes of Appropriation," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32, no. 1 (2002): 2-3. Seth Schwartz’s discusses the inadequacy of the term “borrowing.” Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 5-6. 136  Sponsler, "In Transit," 18. 32 David Stern contends that if we examine “influence” from the perspective of the recipient, the cultural exchange will appear not as a process of influence but as one of appropriation. Appropriation is both an act of possession and a re-production of meaning. Thus, it is a creative act through which the agent of appropriation chooses to appropriate and, in making it his own, transforms his new possession. It is this transformed exegesis that now appears as new exegesis. Stern seeks to place human agency at the centre of the process of appropriation. 137  Since Jewish interpretation in the rabbinic period is mainly comprised of anonymous literature—which preserves, at best, the names of tradents—Stern contends that it is easy to forget that the exegetes were individuals and not religious traditions or literary texts. 138  Some of the narratives that I analyze display aspects of Greco-Roman literary genres that seem to have been appropriated and adapted by rabbinic redactors for their own purposes. In other words, while it is possible to detect Greco-Roman literary models in the PT they are often altered or used in different ways than they are in classical Greco-Roman rhetoric. 139  I argue that this feature constitutes a significant component of the overall complexity of the PT aggadot that I analyze. One must ask how rabbinic sages may have been aware of the extensive literary activity in the Greco-Roman world. There are many Greek and Latin words in the PT, but Homer is the only name from classical literature mentioned in rabbinic literature. 140  Origen  137  Stern’s Introduction in Natalie B. Dohrmann and David Stern, eds., Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange: Comparative Exegesis in Context (Philadelphia: University of Pennslyvania Press, 2008), 14-15. 138  Ibid. 139  Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 113-114. 140  Mishnah Yad 4:6. Saul Lieberman, Hellenism in Jewish Palestine  (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary, 1962), 105. Saul Lieberman, "How Much Greek in Jewish Palestine?," in Texts and Studies (New York: Ktav, 1974), 222; Joshua Levinson, "The Tragedy of Romance: A Case of Literary Exile," Harvard Theological Review 89, no. 3 (1996): 229. 33 claims that the “Jews are not at all well read in Greek literature.”141 Notwithstanding a lack of references to philosophers and classical authors in rabbinic literature, rabbinic sages could have absorbed these ideas in a number of ways. There are numerous indications that schools of rhetoric existed in Palestine, particularly in Caesarea, during the time period when the PT was composed and redacted. 142  I follow Joshua Levinson, who suggests that rabbinic sages could have experienced Hellenistic culture through conversations, debates, stories, statues, mosaics, and coins. 143  The aggadot analyzed in this dissertation fall within the genres of rabbinic or sage stories, aggadic anecdotes, and parables. In this respect, my study differs from Catherine Hezser’s examination of rabbinic stories in PT tractate Neziqin. Hezser analyzes rabbinic stories but she excludes parables from her study because, as I understand her claim, she considers that the genre of the rabbinic story, which describes purported events in the lives of sages, is more important than the parable for revealing rabbinic ideology and world-views. Hezser ignores parables because they do not speak of historical or real-life events. 144  I call the central premise of this argument into question on three grounds. First, aggadot do not necessarily reveal accurate historical information. One genre of aggadot should not be considered to be any more historically accurate than any other. Second, my study will confirm that parables and sage stories are both rich sources for detecting aspects of the ideologies and worldviews of their  141 Origen, Cels, trans. Harry Chadwick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 2.34. 142  Raffaella Cribiore, The School of Libanius in Late Antique Antioch  (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), 76-77. Joseph Geiger, "Notes on the Second Sophistic in Palestine," Illinois Classical Studies 19(1994): 221-230. Jaffee, "The Oral-Cultural Context of the Talmud Yerushalmi," 27-61. 143  Levinson, "The Tragedy of Romance: A Case of Literary Exile," 230. See also Isaiah Gafni, "The World of the Talmud from the Mishnah to the Arab Conquest," in Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, ed. Hershel Shanks (Washington D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1992), 233. A story in b. Sotah 49b, and in its parallel text b. Bava Qamma 83a, states that students in the Patriarchal house studied Greek wisdom. Yerushalmi Shabbat 6:1, 7d mentions Greek language, but not wisdom. Geiger, "Notes on the Second Sophistic in Palestine," 221-230. 144  Hezser, Form, Function and Historical Significance, 1-2. 34 composers/redactors. Third, it should be recognized that aggadot constitute more than a window into rabbinic ideology; they also constitute a reading practice. According to Daniel Boyarin: We will not read midrash well and richly unless we understand it first and foremost as reading, as hermeneutic, as generated by the interaction of rabbinic readers with a heterogeneous and difficult text, which for them was both normative and divine in origin. Viewing the aggada through the eyes of a simplistic understanding…results in a fatal reduction of its importance in Jewish culture. 145   1.7 The Impact of Christianity Although the PT was composed during the first centuries of the Byzantine Christian period, the rabbinic narratives that I analyze seem to be explicitly in dialogue with Greco- Roman motifs and to a lesser extent with Christianity. Seth Schwartz observes that, aside from a few anti-Christian stories, “the Yerushalmi evinces little interest in Christians.”146 He adds that if Christians are the object of the sages’ polemic he has no answer as to why Christians are infrequently discussed in the PT. 147  On the other hand, Peter Schäfer maintains that Palestinian sources acknowledge Christianity, but the majority of talmudic material that is explicitly in dialogue with Christianity comes from the later layers of the BT. 148  He attributes this to freedom that the rabbinic community in Sasanian Babylonia experienced amongst Christians, while the rabbinic community in Israel under Roman and Byzantine  145  Boyarin, Intertextuality, 5-6. See also James L. Kugel, In Potiphar's House: The Interpretive Life of Biblical Texts  (Cambridge, London: Harvard University Press, 1994), 247-248. 146  Seth Schwartz, "Some Types of Jewish-Christian Interaction in Late Antiquity," in Jewish Culture and Society Under the Christian Roman Empire, ed. Richard Kalmin and Seth Schwartz (Leuvin: Peeters, 2003), 200. 147  Ibid, 201. 148  Peter Schäfer, Jesus and the Talmud  (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007), 9. See also Hayim Lapin, "Hegemony And Its Discontents: Rabbis As A Late Antique Provincial Population," in Jewish Culture And Society Under The Christian Roman Empire, ed. Richard Kalmin and Seth Schwartz (Leuvin: Peeters, 2003), 319-347. 35 control was faced with Christianity becoming a more visible and aggressive power. 149  Joshua Ezra Burns adopts an alternate view, suggesting that there are few references to Christianity in the PT because Christianity was not seen as a threat when the Palestinian rabbinic material was composed. Burns concludes that only later in the Byzantine era would Jews feel the impact of the Christian empire. 150  Several recent scholars now suggest that during the period when the PT was composed there was peaceful coexistence between Jews and Christians in the Galilee. 151  The question of why Christians may be infrequently discussed in the PT will be taken up further in the next three chapters. 1.8 PT Manuscripts The Venice editio princeps, the first printed edition of the PT completed in 1523- 1524, 152  serves as the basis for my translations because, of all the PT manuscripts, it is the most free of errors and omissions. I also refer to the PT manuscripts in which the aggadot that I analyze are found. These are the Leiden, Vatican, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Constantinople, as well as the Yalqut and Ein Ya’aqov manuscripts, which are all included in Peter Schäfer’s synoptic edition Synopse zum Talmud Yerushalmi. The differences in the  149 Schäfer claims that the Edict of Milan in 313 CE which granted legal status to Christianity, the building of Christian churches, and Christian pilgrims in Israel all contributed to Christians becoming “an aggressive majority” in Israel. On the other hand, in Sasanian Persia, the ruling Zoroastrians treated Jews better than they treated Christians, so Jewish sages who composed the Babylonian Talmud felt more comfortable criticizing Christians, than did the rabbinic community in Israel who composed the PT. Schäfer, Jesus and the Talmud, 115-117. 150  Joshua Ezra Burns, "The Archeology of Rabbinic Literature and the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations: A Methodological Evaluation," in Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition, ed. Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 404-405. See also Martin Goodman, "Palestinian Rabbis and the Conversion of Constantine to Christianity," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture II, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 5. Adiel Schremer, "The Christianization of the Roman Empire and Rabbinic Literature," in Jewish Identites in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern, ed. Lee Levine and Daniel Schwartz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 364-366. 151  Stemberger, "Jewish-Christian Contacts in Galilee (Fifth to Seventh Centuries)," 131-145. Cohen, "Roman Imperial Policy Toward the Jews ": 1-29. Meyers, "Judaism and Christianity in light of Archaeology," 69-79. Stemberger, "The Impact of Paganism and Christianity," 514-517. 152  MS Leiden was utilized as the base text for the first printing of the PT by Daniel Bomberg in Venice. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 184. 36 other manuscript versions mainly consist of minor spelling changes. This supports Yaacov Sussman’s claims that since the end of the Geonic period, there has been remarkable stability in the transmission history of the PT. 153  In contrast, Hans-Jürgen Becker stresses the fluidity of the textual transmission of the PT and its lack of a final or formal redaction. 154  Following Strack and Stemberger, I am convinced that the PT was substantially redacted by the early fifth century CE. Nevertheless, we cannot say with certainty the exact form that such redaction took, whether it was initially transmitted orally or in writing, or whether there was a combination of oral and written modes of transmission. 155  Moreover, this does not negate the possibility that there were later accretions. The evidence pointing to an earlier rather than later redaction of the PT includes the following: the PT was composed in Mishnaic Hebrew and Galilean Aramaic, with no Babylonian Aramaic found in reliable texts of the PT; 156  many PT fragments have been found among the material in the Cairo Genizah which current scholars date to the seventh century CE; 157  and Geonic scholars commented on the PT and referred to it by its names. 158  Pirkoi b. Baboi’s letter is evidence of an awareness of some form of the PT in the ninth century CE. As Catherine Hezser points out, Becker does not deal with the social implications of his model, such as where and how the fluid development could have taken place. 159  Alyssa Gray concludes that the similarity between material in Y,  153  Sussman, "Pirkei Yerushalmi," 273 (Hebrew). 154  Hans-Jürgen Becker, "Texts and History: The Dynamic Relationship between Talmud Yerushalmi and Genesis Rabbah," in The Synoptic Problem In Rabbinic Literature, ed. Shaye J. D. Cohen (Providence: Brown Judiac Studies, 2000), 150, 151, 152, 154. The same views are discussed in Hans-Jürgen Becker, Die großen rabbinischen Sammelwerke Palästinas: Zur literarischen Genese von Talmud Yerushalmi und Midrash Bereshit Rabba  (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999). 155  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 172. 156  Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 663. 157  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 183. 158  See Bokser, "An Annotated Bibliographical Guide," 231-232. It is recognized that some Geonic references to “Yerushalmi” do not necessarily refer to the PT but could be references to other works. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 166. 159  See Catherine Hezser, "Die Groben Rabbinischen Sammelwerke Palastinas (Book Review)," Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Period 31, no. 3 (2000). 37 Avodah Zarah and B. Avodah Zarah is due to “Bavli appropriation of the Yerushalmi material.”160 My goal in this study is not to produce a critical edition because the editio princeps presents the “best-text edition” of the passages in the PT that I analyze. I rely on the classification “best-text edition,” as used by medievalists, or the term preferred by classicists, the codex optimus, which pertains to the selection of one manuscript as a base for the entire text of the work. 161  My decision not to produce a critical edition is influenced by Chaim Milikowsky’s observations regarding the Mishnah and the BT, which I extend to the PT: First, it must be noted that for the Mishnah and for the Babylonian Talmud it is unfeasible to separate the study of the text of the work from the study of the reception history of the work. Reception history cannot be detached from transmissional variation, and it therefore becomes important to distinguish between the independent lines of transmission. This can most easily be done by insisting upon the primacy of each individual document and not disturbing it with variants from a different line of transmission. 162   In fact, Peter Schäfer makes similar conclusions about the PT which contibuted to his decision to present a synoptic rather than a critical edition. 163  According to Schäfer, the subjective preference for one text over another undermines the specific characteristics of different variations. Schäfer concludes that the combination of all the variants found in PT manuscripts into one document results in an incoherent text. 164   160  Gray, A Talmud in Exile, 59. 161  Chaim Milikowsky, "Reflections on the Practice of Textual Criticism in the Study of Midrash Aggada:  The Legitimacy, the Indispensability and the Feasibility of Recovering and Presenting the (Most) Original Text," in Current Trends in the Study of Midrash, ed. Carol Bakhos (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2006), 83. 162  Chaim Milikowsky, "Further on Editing Rabbinic Texts," Jewish Quarterly Review XC, no. 1-2 (1999): 142. 163  Schäfer, Synopse zum Talmud Yerushalmi, VIII. 164  Ibid. See also Milikowsky, "Reflections on the Practice of Textual Criticism in the Study of Midrash Aggada," 98. 38 1.9 Summary of Chapters Two, Three, and Four  To begin with, I translate and discuss the Mishnah passage in the sugya, the literary unit in which each story appears. Second, I present each aggadah; the Hebrew words are displayed in plain type, the Aramaic words in italics. I translate and label the aggadot in units. These translations attempt to replicate the literary features of the texts, such as repetitions, balanced phrasing, verbal echoes, and structural markers. This is the approach that Jeffrey Rubenstein uses in his translations of stories in the BT. 165  Words that are implied but not stated in the text, yet are necessary for its basic understanding, I designate by their enclosure in square brackets. I also underline significant literary repetitions. Furthermore, I identify the sages in the stories by mentioning the generation of scholars to which they belonged. 166  This identification is not necessarily biographically accurate, since our sources about individual rabbis stem almost exclusively from rabbinic literature. According to Strack and Stemberger: The chronology of the Rabbis, therefore, like that of the rabbinic literature, is relative—i.e. to be determined by a rabbi’s relationship to another as his teacher, conversation partner, student or tradent (always assuming that the nomenclature is clear and the name is correctly preserved). In this way the generations of rabbis can be co- ordinated. 167   If we fail to identify the named sages in stories, we may be missing some crucial information relating to the stories’ meaning(s). In some cases, information about the characteristics of particular rabbis and their actions or words, as constructed in one story, may cohere with  165  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 30. 166  I follow the identification of sages as established in the following publications: C. Albeck, Introduction to the Talmud, Babli and Yerushalmi  (Tel-Aviv: Dvir Co. Ltd., 1969 ), (Hebrew); ibid.; Frankel, Einleitung, (Hebrew); Strack and Stemberger, Introduction. 167  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 57. (The italics are in the quotation) See also Devora Steinmetz, "Agada Unbound: Inter-Agadic Characterizations of the Sages in the Bavli and Implications for Reading Agada," in Creation and Composition: The Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada, ed. Jeffrey Rubenstein (Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2005), 293-337. 39 their portrayal in another story, thereby explaining why redactors might have used a certain rabbi in a particular context. Following each translation, I apply redaction critical methodology under the sub- heading “Halakhic and Literary Context.”168 The redactional context of the narratives is examined by determining where the narrative as a literary unit begins and ends. Source- critical questions regarding whether the narrative shares part of its texture with the Mishnah passage in its sugya and the preceding talmudic halakhic context are considered. Shamma Friedman, Jeffrey Rubenstein, and Aryeh Cohen have elucidated the utility of examining aggadot in the BT within the context of the sugyot in which they are found. 169  I apply a similar approach to my study of aggadot within the PT. Under a separate sub-heading entitled “Genre,” I determine the genre(s) of the stories I analyze. Further, I determine the structure of the stories under the sub-heading “Structure.” I utilize “structure” in the sense of the literary structure of these stories. I am influenced by the analysis of the structure of the stories in the BT conducted by Jeffrey Rubenstein, who follows Yonah Fraenkel in insisting that rabbinic stories be evaluated using a method appropriate to their literary character, because they are “literary artistic creations” with well-defined structures.170 The stories that I analyze in the PT also display specific literary structures. The redaction critical methodology reveals that the aggadot were redacted to fit the literary contexts in which they appear, while the identification of the genre and structure serves to highlight the narratives’ inherent complexity.  168  See Hezser, Form, Function and Historical Significance, 7-9. 169  Shamma Friedman, "Some Structural Patterns of Talmudic Sugyot," Proceedings of the Sixth World Congress of Jewish Studies 3(1977): 387-402 (Hebrew). Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 11-15. Cohen, Rereading Talmud, 147-151. See also Jeffrey Rubenstein, "Some Structural Patterns of Yerushalmi Sugyot," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture III, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 303-313. 170  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 9-10. 40 Next, I apply the literary and historical analysis, and then I consider questions relating to the redaction of the PT by translating and discussing the parallel passages that are located in other tractates within the PT, the BT, Genizah fragments, 171  and other works of rabbinic literature. I also refer to the Hebrew commentaries on the PT written by Moshe Margolies, (d. 1780 Lithuania), and Eleazar b. R. Moshe Azikri, (1533-1600 Safed). The commentary of Margolies appears as the name Pne Moshe. Portions of it first appeared in the Amsterdam edition of the PT in 1754. Azikri’s commentary goes by the name Haredim. His commentary was first printed in the Zhitomir edition of the PT in 1860, under the title Perush Mibal Sefer Haredim. Since then it has appeared in subsequent editions of the PT simply as Haredim. 172  Although Pne Moshe and Haredim tend to interpret the PT in terms of the BT, their commentaries are still valuable. 173  The Mishnah texts and aggadot that are analyzed in Chapters Two, Three, and Four of my study follow the order in which these texts appear within chapter one of tractate Berakhot to show that purposeful redaction took place within this section of the PT. I maintain that this section of the PT fits the definition of anthology. This is the term, discussed earlier in this chapter, that Eliezer Segal uses for the stories in the BT containing information not only relating to Mishnah commentary but also concerning matters relevant to the greater talmudic context. The similar themes and motifs that appear consistently in these stories are evidence of literary intentionality. I also find literary intentionality within the tractate as a whole, which displays stories with consistent themes. Martin Jaffee stresses that it is difficult to find an overarching literary intentionality at the tractate level within the PT, but acknowledges  171  Louis Ginzberg, Yerushalmi Fragments From The Genizah, vol. 1 (The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1909), (Hebrew). 172  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 187. 173  Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 110. 41 that it can be found in small isolated sections of the PT. 174  He attributes what he determines is a lack of overall literary coherence to the circumstance in which the PT was most probably produced. That is, the composition and redaction of the PT entailed a constant interchange between oral and written versions making it difficult to distinguish written from oral sources in a rigid way. 175  He concludes that the PT cannot be separated from the milieu of orally composed and transmitted material because the scribal-compositional practices that yielded much of the extant rabbinic literature cannot be characterized as ‘authorship’ or even ‘editing’ in the conventional sense. I suggest that even though the composition and redaction of the PT may have involved an interchange between oral and written versions, “literary intentionality” can be seen in this tractate. There are nine chapters in tractate Berakhot in the PT, and each chapter of y. Berakhot deals with the specific themes mentioned in the corresponding nine chapters of m. Berakhot. The themes in m. Ber are the laws of the Shema, blessings said during prayers, blessings on food, and blessings of praise and thanksgiving to God. These same themes comprise the majority of discussions in y. Ber. In addition, the themes mentioned earlier in this chapter that are not specifically generated by commentary on the Mishnah, constitute the similar themes and motifs that appear consistently in the stories throughout tractate Berakhot. 176  The primary focus of Chapter Two of my study is the demonstration that PT composers/redactors appropriated Greco-Roman literary genres which they utilized to create complex narratives. I analyze two aggadot in Chapter Two, one exhibits the literary genre known as “a statement from analogy,” the other is a “pronouncement story.” Both stories  174  See Jaffee’s review of Baruch Bokser’s study of y. Pesachim in Martin Jaffee, "Voices in the Page: Representing the Palestinian Talmud in English," Prooftexts 16, no. 2 (1996): 184-186. 175  Ibid. 176  See page four of this chapter of my study. 42 display the great degree to which these narratives are evidence of cultural hybridity. My analysis also discloses the efficacy of applying a literary approach in addition to historical/contextual analysis. My methods reveal the richness of meaning of the narrative stories by viewing them from both viewpoints. The first story to be analyzed in Chapter Two demonstrates the extensive use of literary repetition to create meaning. The numerous parallel versions of this story in other compilations provide the opportunity to examine redactional questions relating to the PT. The second story in Chapter Two demonstrates purposeful redaction in the way that the aggadah is closely related to its literary context in the sugya in which it appears. This narrative evinces ideological and polemical concerns. These are characteristics of BT stories that Rubenstein ascribes to the Stammaitic editors, 177  while I demonstrate this aspect in this PT story. After having established the PT’s use of Greco-Roman literary genres to create complex narratives in Chapter Two of my study, in Chapter Three I demonstrate another aspect of the complexity in some PT stories. The story analyzed in Chapter Three is an example of the ways in which specific PT stories conform to the genre of “anthology.” In addition, the full complexity of the story analyzed in Chapter Three becomes apparent as I conduct the literary and historical analyses in tandem. In taking this approach, I am influenced by Reuven Kimelman, who suggests that: Literary analysis no more occurs in a historical vacuum than historical analysis occurs in a literary vacuum. Novel perspectives in literary analysis are apt to yield new historical information as new historical information is apt to generate alternative literary analyses. It is only through a double dialectic between literary and historical approaches that such understandings can be reached. 178    177  Rubenstein, Creation and Composition, 16. 178  Reuven Kimelman, "The Shema Liturgy:  From Covenant Ceremony to Coronation," in Kenishta:  Studies in Synagogue Life, ed. J. Tabory (Ramat-Gan: 2001), 11. 43 The main focus of Chapter Four concentrates on yet another aspect of the complexity of some PT stories. The story analyzed in Chapter Four demonstrates the ways in which PT redactors asserted their ideological and theological views and their self-identification through their redeployment of biblical and prior rabbinic traditions. The apparently freely edited biblical and rabbinic traditions point to the distinct compositional and redactional techniques of the composers/redactors as being similar to characteristics regularly ascribed to Stammaitic editors of the BT. Cumulatively, Chapters Two, Three, and Four support my claims that these PT narratives underwent considerable redaction, they are creative and complex literary constructions, and this section of the PT represents a tightly organized compilation. I present the overall conclusions in Chapter Five. 44 Chapter Two: Rabbinic Prayer in Dialogue with Priestly Ritual 2.1 Introduction It is appropriate to begin with a discussion related to the two liturgical units, the Shema and the Shemonah Esreh, since both figure prominently in the narrative stories that are analyzed in this dissertation, and they constitute the two most important elements of Jewish liturgy. The rabbinic texts that discuss the institution of these prayers are varied, often contradictory, and stem from different time periods. This has resulted in different academic accounts of the historical development of the liturgy. 1  2.2 The Shema The Shema is comprised of three biblical sections: Deuteronomy 6:4–9, Deuteronomy 11:13–21, and Numbers 15:37–41. It derives its name from the first word of its opening verse. 2  “Shema” begins Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.” The rubric of the Shema is not, strictly speaking, a prayer because it begins with a word God uses to address people, while in prayers it is people who address God. 3  In keeping with this distinction, the Shema is actually a lectionary proclamation or a speech act affirmation of the unity of God. 4  In Deuteronomy 6:4, לארשי עמש “Hear O Israel” is a commandment from God, imparted by Moses, imploring Israel to recognize and proclaim the unity of God. Ancient witnesses of the Shema include Mark 12:29–30, which depicts Jesus reciting the first two verses of the Shema in a debate with a group of scribes. Josephus may also be alluding to the Shema with his remark that Jews twice daily thank God for his bounteous gifts (Jewish  1  Stefan Reif summarizes the methodological complexities connected with liturgical research. Stefan C. Reif, "Prayer and Liturgy," in Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, ed. Catherine Hezser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 545-565. See also Lee Levine, The Ancient Synagogue: The First Thousand Years (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2000), 504 note 509. 2  C. Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah  (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1975), 13 (Hebrew). 3  Jakob J. Petuchowski, "The Liturgy of the Synagogue: History, Structure, and Contents," in Approaches to Ancient Judaism Volume 4, ed. William Scott Green (Chico, California: Scholars Press, 1983); ibid, 18. 4  Ibid. 45 Antiquities 4.8.13, §212). 5  In addition, the first verse of the Shema appears on the second- century BCE Nash Papyrus. 6  The scriptural verses of the Shema also appear in phylacteries (tefillin) found at Qumran. 7  That said, a comprehensive discussion of the scholarship relating to liturgy at Qumran and the relationship between the forms of prayer at Qumran and rabbinic prayer is beyond the scope of this study. It has been suggested that while there was no standard liturgy at the time of the Second Temple, some groups may have adopted the practice of reciting prayers. However, there seems to be no consistency regarding the text and context of these prayers. At the same time, the breadth of liturgical material found at Qumran indicates that there is a tradition of prayer in a broad sense that unites Qumran and rabbinic liturgies. 8  Mishnah Tamid 4:3 and 5:1 speak of priests reciting the Shema in the Temple. According to m. Tamid 5:1, the three biblical paragraphs of the Shema were preceded by a blessing and the Decalogue, and they were followed by a blessing. The Decalogue (Deut 5:6–18) and the first paragraph of the Shema (Deut 6:4–9) appear together in the Nash Papyrus and in the tefillin from Qumran. 9  Lee Levine suggests that it was common practice  5  Stefan C. Reif, "The Theological Significance of the Shema," in Problems with Prayers: Studies in the Textual History of Early Rabbinic Liturgy, ed. Stefan C. Reif (Walter de Gruyter, 2006), 116-117. 6  W. F. Albright, "A Biblical Fragment from the Maccabaean Age: The Nash Papyrus," Journal of Biblical Literature 56, no. 3 (1937): 145-176. F. C. Burkitt, "The Hebrew Papyrus of the Ten Commandments," Jewish Quarterly Review 15, no. 3 (1903): 392-408. Reif, "Theological Significance," 115-116. Ezra Fleischer, Eretz- Israel Prayer and Prayer Rituals as Portrayed in the Genizah Documents (Jerusalem 1988), 259-274 (Hebrew). 7  G. Vermes, "Pre-Mishnaic Jewish Worship and the Phylacteries from the Dead Sea," Vetus Testamentum 9(1959): 65-72. 8  Stefan C. Reif, "The Second Temple Period, Qumran Research, and Rabbinic Liturgy: Some Contextual and Linguistic Comparisons," in Liturgical Perspectives:  Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Esther G. Chazon (Boston, Leiden: Brill, 2003), 133-149; Richard S. Sarason, "Communal Prayer at Qumran and Among the Rabbis: Certainties and Uncertainties," in Liturgical Perspectives: Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Esther G. Chazon (Boston, Leiden: Brill, 2003), 151-172. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Qumran and Jerusalem: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism  (Grand Rapids, Michigan/ Cambridge U. K.: Wiliam B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2010), 219-234. 9  E. Wurthwein, The Text of the Old Testament  (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1979), 33, 132. Reif, "Theological Significance," 115. 46 to combine the Decalogue with the Shema during the late Second Temple period. 10  However, Tzvee Zahavy argues that the notion that priests recited the Shema in the Temple is anachronistic. He claims that the redactors of the Mishnah sought to artificially link the recitation of the Shema with ancient priestly authority. 11  Other scholars accept that some form of the Shema was recited in the Temple. 12  Lee Levine suggests that the sages changed the version of the Shema that was recited in the Temple. He concludes that they excised the Decalogue, added a second blessing before the Shema, and changed the content of the first blessing. 13  A polemical statement in y. Ber 1:8, 3C mentions that the Ten Commandments were removed from the Shema because of the arguments of the “minim.”14 Over time, the rubric of the biblical paragraphs of the Shema became linked with three blessings: two preceding it and one following. Blessings or benedictions—berakhah (singular) and berakhot (plural)—constitute a primary feature of rabbinic prayers. Lawrence  10  Lee Levine, "The Development of Synagogue Liturgy in Late Antiquity," in Galilee Through the Centuries: Confluence of Cultures, ed. Eric M. Meyers (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbaums, 1999), 133. 11 Tzvee Zahavy, "Political and Social Dimensions in the Formation of Early Jewish Prayer: The Case of the Shema," in Proceedings of the Tenth World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem: The World Union of Jewish Studies, 1990), 37. At the same time, Zahavy concludes that the Shema was regularly recited in the first century CE. Tzvee Zahavy, "Three Stages in the Development of Early Rabbinic Prayer," in From Ancient Israel To Modern Judaism Intellect in Quest of Understanding Essays in Honor of Marvin Fox Volume I, ed. Jacob Neusner, Ernest S. Frerichs, and Nahum M. Sarna (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 238-241. 12  Stefan C. Reif, Judaism and Hebrew Prayer  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 57, 83. R. Hammer, "What did They Bless? A Study of Mishnah Tamid 5.1," Jewish Quarterly Review 81(1991): 305- 324. Shaye Cohen points to Psalms as evidence that prayer was a component of Temple ritual. Shaye J. D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah  (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987), 64. 13  Levine, "Development of Synagogue Liturgy," 133. 14  Scholarship regarding the geneology of the term “minim” and the excision of the Decalogue from the Shema are beyond the scope of this study. See Reuven Kimelman, "Polemics and Rabbinic Liturgy," in Discussing Cultural Influences Text, Context and Non-Text in Rabbinic Judaism, ed. Rivka Ulmer (Lanham: University Press of America Inc., 2007), 67-70. Reif, "Theological Significance," 112-117. Levine, "Development of Synagogue Liturgy," 133. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, 521-522. Reuven Kimelman, "The Shema and its Rhetoric:  The Case for the Shema being more than Creation Revelation and Redemption," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosopy 2, no. 1 (1992): 135-143. G. Vermes, "The Decalogue and the Minim," in In Memoriam Paul Kahle, ed. M. Black and G. Fohrer (Berlin: Töpelmann, 1968), 232-240. E. E. Urbach, "The Role of the Ten Commandments in Jewish Worship," in The Ten Commandments in History and Tradition, ed. Gershon Levi (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1990), 161-189. 47 Hoffman suggests that although stylistic rules for blessings continued to evolve, the blessings were basically in place by the third century CE. 15  Although m. Ber 1:4, 2:2 and Sifre Deuteronomy 34:5 attest to a liturgical unit in which the Shema is embedded in a framework of blessings, a full text of the Shema containing the blessings is found neither in the Mishnah nor in either Talmud. Differing versions of the blessings circulated into the Geonic period. 16  The earliest attestation of the complete wording of the Shema and its blessings is in the first known prayer book, Order of Prayers, by Amram Gaon, from the ninth century CE. The Order of Prayers contained the prayers that existed at the time, with the exception of alternative versions according to Palestinian traditions. 17  Fragments of the Shema were also found in the Cairo Genizah. 18  2.3 The Shemonah Esreh Whenever the term “prayer” appears on its own in the Mishnah and in either Talmud, it always refers to the liturgy named הרשע הנומש (Shemonah Esreh), Eighteen Benedictions.19 It is also known as the Amidah. The word Amidah comes from the Hebrew verb דמע which means to stand. The liturgical unit of the Shemonah Esreh is always recited standing. 20  Whereas the Shema is a declaration of the unity of God, the Shemonah Esreh is a petitionary prayer composed of benedictions requesting repentance, forgiveness, health, peace, personal  15  Hoffman, "Jewish Liturgy," 248. Blessings are discussed extensively in m. Berakhot. 16  Levine, "Development of Synagogue Liturgy," 133. Ismar Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History, trans. Raymond P. Scheindlin (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1993), 22-24. Lawrence A. Hoffman, The Canonization of the Synagogue Service  (London: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979), 24-29. 17  Hoffman, "Jewish Liturgy," 250. Lee Levine discusses the differences in prayers, and liturgical practices, in Palestine and Babylonia. Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, 536-539. 18  Reuven Kimelman, "The Shema and the Amidah: Rabbinic Prayer," in Prayer From Alexander to Constantine: A Critical Anthology, ed. Mark Kiley et al (London: Routledge, 1997), 108. 19  Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 24. Reuven Kimelman, "Blessing Formulae and Divine Sovereignty in Rabbinic Liturgy," in Liturgy in the Life of the Synagogue Studies in the History of Jewish Prayer, ed. Ruth Langer and Steven Fine (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2005), 1-39. 20  The first known reference to the Shemonah Esreh liturgy as the Amidah is in tractate Soferim 16:9. 48 salvation, and national redemption. 21  The Shemonah Esreh was the first statutory prayer to emerge in the post-Second Temple era, with much of its material derived from biblical and midrashic sources. 22  Ezra Fleischer contends that the text of the Shemonah Esreh was established between the late first and early second century CE. 23  He bases this conclusion on the statement recorded in b. Megillah 17b and in b. Ber 28b, claiming that the sage Simon Hapaquili had organized the eighteen benedictions sequentially in the presence of the patriarch Rabban Gamliel at Yavneh. Mishnah Ber 4:3 also states: “Rabban Gamliel said every day a man should pray the eighteen benedictions.” In contrast, Ruth Langer maintains that the earliest confirmation of this prayer is in the liturgical poetry known as piyyut, which began to surface in the fifth and sixth centuries CE. 24  However, some scholars still maintain that the overall framework, sequential topics, and number of blessings may have been promulgated at Yavneh, but that it took much longer for the prayer to take its final form. 25  At some point, it became the practice to recite the Shema followed immediately by the Shemonah Esreh, but there is no consensus on when this came into effect. 26  Talmudic accounts are contradictory. In b. Ber 4b and 9b, R. Yochanan recommends that the Shema be recited prior to the Shemonah Esreh in the evening service. In the same pericope, R. Joshua ben Levi states that the Shemonah Esreh prayer should be said before the Shema in the  21  Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 37-54. Kimelman, "The Shema and the Amidah: Rabbinic Prayer," 114-117. 22 Reuven Kimelman, "The Literary Structure of the Amidah and the Rhetoric of Redemption," in The Echoes of Many Texts Reflections on Jewish and Christian Traditions Essays in Honor of Lou H. Silberman, ed. William G. Dever and J. Edward Wright (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1997), 175. Ruth Langer, "Early Rabbinic Liturgy in its Palestinian Milieu: Did Non-Rabbis know the Amidah," in When Judaism and Christianity Began: Essays in Memory of Anthony J. Saldarini, ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck, Daniel Harrington, and Jacob Neusner (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2004), 425. 23  Ezra Fleischer, "On the Beginnings of Obligatory Jewish Prayer  " Tarbiz 59(1990): 397-441 (Hebrew). 24  Langer, "Early Rabbinic Liturgy," 436-437. 25  Levine, "Development of Synagogue Liturgy," 136. Reif, Judaism and Hebrew Prayer, 124-125. Elbogen, Jewish Liturgy, 202. Reuven Kimelman, "Rabbinic Prayer in Late Antiquity," in The Cambridge History of Judaism the Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 580-581; Sarason, "Communal Prayer at Qumran and among the Rabbis," 170. 26  Levine, "Development of Synagogue Liturgy," 137. Kimelman, "The Shema and the Amidah: Rabbinic Prayer," 108. Langer, "Early Rabbinic Liturgy," 436-437. 49 evening. The joining of these two liturgies is thematized in the second narrative story that I analyze in this chapter. The question of how widespread the practice of reciting these prayers was for various time periods and locales cannot be answered by the rabbinic sources alone. The primary focus of this thesis is the literary complexity of PT narratives. At most, the talmudic sources I analyze attest to the sages’ desire to establish and control prayer practices. I follow my teacher, Robert Daum, who concludes that: [t]exts claiming particular practices for the Amoraic period are also cultural productions edited over the course of many generations. The reliability of these texts, therefore, as evidence for daily practice in the period which they purport to describe, rather than for the period in which they were last edited, must be held in reserve. 27   Having reviewed some of the literary sources and scholarly work pertaining to the Shema and the Shemonah Esreh, I now turn to the analysis of m. Berakhot 1:1, which comprises part of the literary/redactional context for the two PT aggadot that I analyze in this chapter. 2.4 Introduction to Mishnah Berakhot 1:1 Mishnah Berakhot, the first tractate of the Mishnah, is devoted to liturgy. Its first pericope focuses on the Shema, seeming to indicate that the recitation of the Shema is a primary and fundamental principle. 28  There are no significant manuscript variants for this  27  Robert Alan Daum, "Describing Yavneh: The Foundational Traditions of Rabbinic Judaism" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 2001), 52-53. Langer, "Early Rabbinic Liturgy," 436-437. 28  Norman Lamm, The Shema Spirituality and Law in Judaism  (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1998), 9. 50 pericope. 29  The stability of the text traditions suggests that m. Berakhot 1:1 may have had an early final redaction c. 220 CE. 2.5 Mishnah Berakhot 1:1 םיברעב עמש תא ןירוק יתמאמ םינהכהש העשמ ןתמורתב לכאל םיסנכנ רזעילא רבד הנושארה תרומשאה ףוס דע30 תוצח דע ׳מוא ׳כחו רחשה דומע הלעיש דע ׳מוא לאילמג ןבר31  From what time [may people] recite the evening Shema? From the hour that the priests come in to eat of their heave-offering. 32  Until the end of the first watch, [these are] R. Eliezer’s33 words. But the sages say until midnight. R. Gamliel 34  says until the first light of dawn.  The proper timing of ritual practice is an important theme throughout the Mishnah and occupies the first pericope. 35  Mishnah Berakhot 1:1 commences without any formal introduction, in the terse, highly edited, and stylized fashion that is paradigmatic of the Mishnah’s laconic nature as a whole. It communicates through a kind of technical code that requires elucidation beyond the text of the Mishnah. Many have concluded that the rhetoric  29 Alberdina Houtman concludes that the redactional status of the entire tractate of Mishnah Berakhot is a well- structured composition. The number and extent of variant readings in the different recensions are very small. Alberdina Houtman, Mishnah and Tosefta: A Synoptic Comparison of the Tractates Berakhot and Shebit (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1996), 222. 30  The Kaufmann Mishnah manuscript has רזעילא רבד. Most printed editions of m. Ber 1:1 have the words רזעילא יבר ירבד. 31  I only cite the first few lines of m. Ber 1:1 that are relevant for the aggadot that I analyze in this chapter. 32  A parallel text in t. Ber 1:1 states, “From what time does one recite the Shema in the evening? From the time that people go inside to eat their meal on the eve of the Sabbath, the words of R. Meir. And the sages say: from the time that the priests are permitted to eat their heave-offering.” 33  R. Eliezer is most likely R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus. He is a second generation Tanna, c. 90-130 CE. He is mentioned more than 320 times in the Mishnah. According to narrative portrayals he held very conservative views regarding legal traditions. According to b. Sukkah 27b, R. Eliezer never said a statement that was not first said by one of his teachers. He was the brother-in-law of Rabban Gamliel II, with whom he is represented as having frequently disagreed as he does in this mishnah pericope. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 69-70. J. Neusner, Eliezer ben Hyrcanus The Tradition and the Man  (Leiden: Brill, 1973). 34  This sage is Rabban Gamliel II. He was a second generation Tanna, and the head of the academy at Yavneh. He was a grandson of Rabban Gamliel I. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 69. 35  Sacha Stern, Time and Process in Ancient Judaism  (Portland: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003), 46. 51 of the Mishnah was primarily directed at the sages, the only audience intimately familiar with scriptural texts. 36  This mishnah text suggests important questions from the start. No discussion is recorded relating to the actual obligation of reciting the Shema; the mishnah seems to presuppose the practice itself. There is also no explanation for why the mishnah begins with the recitation of the evening Shema rather than the morning Shema. 37  The phrase “from the hour that the priests come in to eat of their heave-offering” refers to the biblical requirement that priests who had become ritually impure were not able to eat the heave-offering (terumah)—food designated exclusively for consumption by the priests—until they had immersed in the mikveh (ritual bath) at nightfall.38 The mishnah teaches that just as the proper time for the priests to eat their heave-offering is after they have immersed at nightfall, this is also the earliest time for reciting the evening Shema. 39  Even though the Mishnah was codified more than a century after the destruction of the Second  36  Hezser, "The Mishnah," 191; David Kraemer, "The Mishnah," in The Cambridge History of Judaism the Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 308; Alan J. Avery-Peck and Jacob Neusner, eds., The Mishnah In Contemporary Perspective (Leiden: Brill, 2002), viii; Martin Jaffee, Early Judaism  (Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall, 1997), 219. Robert Goldenberg, "Talmud," in Back to the Sources Reading the Classsic Jewish Texts, ed. Barry W. Holtz (New York: Summit Books, 1984), 134. 37  According to Rashi and Pne Moshe, m. Ber 1:1 begins with the discussion of the evening Shema because Deuteronomy 6:7 states that the Shema should be recited when you lie down in the evening prior to mentioning that you should recite it when you get up in the morning. It also follows the pattern in Genesis 1:5 which states, “and there was evening and there was morning, one day.” 38  Leviticus 22:4-7. Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 7 (Hebrew). There were two types of tithes. Both were dedicated for priests, and were known as terumah or heave-offering. One type of heave-offering, terumah gedolah, required Israelites to give a portion of their own crops to priests who would eat the offerings in a state of ritual purity. The Levites were required to give the priests a portion of the tithes that they received, known as terumah ma’aser. Tithes are discussed in Lev 22:10-14, Num 18:8- 12, 18:26, 18:30, and Deut 18:3-4. In biblical tradition the tithe was considered indispensable for the maintenance of the temple, and its personnel. (Mal 3:10, Neh 10:38, 12:44, 13:10-13). 39  Louis Ginzberg suggests that all priests, not just those who were impure, as well as non-priests, would immerse regularly at sundown to purify themselves. Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 7 (Hebrew). This suggestion is speculative. Evidence is lacking for a confirmation of the notion that non-priests observed priestly ritual. Tracy Ames, "Fellowship, Pharisees and the common people in early Rabbinic tradition," Studies in Religion 34, no. 3-4 (2005). 52 Temple, it speaks of priests eating their heave-offering in the present tense. 40  The concatenation of the time for the recitation of the evening Shema with the hour that the priests eat their heave-offering conjures up the image of the Temple, even though the word “temple” is not mentioned. In fact, the mishnah does not state where the priests were entering to eat the heave-offering. In Danby’s translation of m. Ber 1.1, the priests are entering the Temple. 41  By contrast, Albeck suggests that the priests are entering their houses. 42  Further images of the ritual activities previously performed by priests in the Temple are evoked by the mishnah’s three conflicting opinions regarding the latest time that the evening Shema may be recited. Rabbi Eliezer expounds that the Shema can be recited “until the end of the first watch.” Rabbinic commentators understand that this phrase refers to the concluding period of the first third of the night. 43  Night was considered to be twelve hours in length, divided into three watches of four hours each, or four watches of three hours each. 44  Watches regulated the times for the Temple service of the priests. Mishnah Yoma 1:8 suggests “the end of the first watch” and “midnight” as times for priests to remove ashes from the altar. “Midnight” is also the second opinion offered in m. Ber 1:1 for the latest time that the evening Shema is permitted to be recited. “Midnight” is connected with priestly  40  Ginzberg claims that the symbol of the priests eating terumah was a fitting sign for when to recite the Shema because everyone knew when that time was during the Tannaitic period. Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 7 (Hebrew). I suggest that it is questionable whether everyone in the Tannaitic period would have known the time that priests entered to eat their heave offering when the Temple stood. In the Amoraic period there may also have been a concern that people would not know the correct time because neither Talmud accepts the suggestion “from the hour that the priests come in to eat of their heave-offering.” The Tosefta and both Talmuds offer several other scenarios as indications of when the period for the evening recitation of the Shema begins, such as: “from the time people go in to eat their meal Friday night.” (t. Ber 1:1, b. Ber 2b) Yerushalmi Ber 1:1, 2a claims that the time people go in to eat on Friday night is the same time that the priests would enter to eat. Bavli Ber 2a says that from the moment the stars appear is the time that priests went in to eat. Stars are also mentioned in t. Ber 1:1 and y. Ber 1:1, 2b. Bavli Ber 2b states that the time for the evening Shema is when poor men enter their houses to eat bread. 41  Herbert Danby, The Mishnah  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933), 2. 42  Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 7 (Hebrew). 43  Ibid, 13. 44  Tosefta Ber 1:1, y. Ber 1:1, 2d and b. Ber 3a, 3b. 53 ritual in m. Zevahim 5:3, 5:5, and 6:1. 45  The third opinion offered in m. Ber 1:1 is that of R. Gamliel who says that the Shema can be recited until ayyelet hashachar, the first light of dawn. Dawn was the time each day when the sacrificial service began in the Second Temple. 46  The motif of ayyelet hashachar is central to the first aggadah that I analyze in this chapter.  The mention of the priests’ practice as the time for reciting the evening Shema seems to be an assertion that following the destruction of the Temple, the recitation of the Shema is intended to be equal to, or even to replace, Temple traditions. In other words, m. Ber 1.1 suggests a transformation through which one becomes like a priest in a state of ritual purity when one recites the evening Shema at the proper time. Many parts of the Mishnah deal with laws relating to the Temple and priestly duties as though they were still in effect. 47  The traditional reason for the ubiquitous Tannaitic narratives presenting interrelated events relating to the Temple is that the Mishnah sought to preserve priestly rules for when the Temple would be rebuilt. Recent scholarship understands discussions in the Mishnah that combine priestly traditions with post-Temple practices as artful literary devices that reflect Tannaitic culture and concerns, rather than as accurate portrayals of the Second Temple  45  תוצח is the term that the Mishnah uses for midnight. In some Mishnah passages תוצח also refers to midday. 46  Anson Rainey, Aaron Rothkoff, and Joseph Dan, "Sacrifice," in Encyclopedia Judaica (2007), 17: 645. 47  For recent discussions relating to the silence of the Mishnah regarding the destruction of the Temple see Gardner and Osterloh, Antiquity in Antiquity, 12. Kraemer, "The Mishnah," 310-313. For scholarship relating to the actual roles, and functions, of priests following the destruction of the Second Temple see Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, 491-500. Oded Irshai, "Confronting a Christian Empire," in Cultures of the Jews, ed. David Biale (New York: Schocken Books, 2002), 194. Stuart S. Miller, "Priests, Purities, and the Jews of Galilee," in Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition, ed. Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 375-402. 54 Period. 48  Recent scholars also suggest that the analogy between the practices of the rabbinic sages and those of the destroyed Temple served to justify rabbinic claims to exclusive authority in the post-Temple era. 49  Others suggest that the sages sought to bring the past into the present, 50  or to represent the early rabbinic vision of a Torah perfected world. 51   I now turn to analyzing two aggadot. The main focus of this chapter is the demonstration that Greco-Roman literary genres contributed to the complexity of PT aggadot. Both stories also relate to the motifs mentioned in m. Ber 1:1, demonstrating the reception-history of this mishnah pericope by the PT. The ideological centrality of the Temple continues to be apparent in both stories. In the first story, two sages are walking at dawn, the time of ayyelet hashachar, the last time to recite the evening Shema, according to Rabban Gamliel in m. Ber.1:1. The two sages in the aggadah discuss the future redemption of Israel in a highly stylized narrative that employs the literary style known as the “statement from analogy” in classical Greco-Roman rhetorical composition and in Tannaitic stories.      48  Ishay Rosen-Zvi, "Orality, Narrative, Rhetoric: New Directions in Mishnah Research," AJS Review 32, no. 2 (2008): 244-245. Avraham Walfish, "The Poetics Of The Mishnah," in The Mishnah in Contemporary Perspective Part Two, ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck & Jacob Neusner (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 153-189; ibid. Steven D. Fraade, "The Temple as a Marker of Jewish Identity Before and After 70 CE: The Role of the Holy Vessels in Rabbinic Memory and Imagination," in Jewish Identities in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern, ed. Lee Levine and Daniel Schwartz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 239. Alexander, "Recent Literary Approaches To The Mishnah," 233. Walfish, "The Nature And Purpose Of Mishnaic Narrative: Recent Seminal Contributions," 264. See also Daum, "Describing Yavneh," 66-67. 49 Peter Schäfer, "Rabbis and Priests, or: How to Do Away With the Glorious Past of the Sons of Aaron," in Antiquity in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian Pasts in the Greco-Roman World, ed. Gregg Gardner and Kevin L. Osterloh (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 171-172. Ben Zion Rosenfeld, "Sage And Temple In Rabbinic Thought After The Destruction Of The Second Temple," Journal for the study of Judaism in the Persian Hellenistic and Roman Period 28:4(1997): 439. 50  Rosen-Zvi, "Orality, Narrative, Rhetoric," 245. 51  Kraemer, "The Mishnah," 313. 55 2.6 A Tale of Two Sages: y. Ber 1:1, 2c אמלד A. אתפלח ןב ןועמש יברו אבר אייח יבר התצירקב לברא תעקב אדהב ןיכלהמ ווה הרוא עקבש רחשה תלייא וארו אתפלח ןב ןועמש 'רל הבר אייח יבר רמא B. האמיק האמיק הליחתכ 'שי לש ןתלואג איה ךכ יבריב תכלוהו הבר איה תכלוה איהש המ לכ  אמעט יאמ יל ירוא 'ה ךשוחב בשא יכ C. ךלמה רעשב בשוי יכדרמו הליחתכ ךכ סוסה תאו שובלה תא ןמה חקיו ךכ רחאו ךלמה רעש לא יכדרמ בשיו ךכ רחאו D. תוכלמ שובלב ךלמה ינפלמ אצי יכדרמו ךכ רחאו החמשו הרוא התיה םידוהיל ךכ רחאו   A. An incident (אמלד):    R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimeon ben Halafta   were walking at daybreak 52  in the valley of Arbel   and they saw the light of the ayyelet hashachar 53  break through B. R. Hiyya the Great said to R. Shimeon ben Halafta:   “Eminent one, such is the salvation of Israel: at the beginning little by little,   But as it continues it will grow ever greater.”   What is the reason? C. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” (Micah 7:8).    so it was at the beginning, “and Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate” (Esther 2:21).    And afterwards, “and Haman took the [king’s] robes and the [king’s] horse” (Esther 6:11). D. And afterwards, “and Mordecai returned to the king’s gate” (Esther 6:12).    And afterwards, “and Mordecai left the king’s presence dressed in royal apparel” (Esther 8:15).    And afterwards, “The Jews had light and gladness” (Esther 8:16).    52  The word התצירק translates as daybreak. Michael Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (Ramat-Gan, Baltimore and London: Bar-Ilan University Press and The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 506. The variant אתעירק appears in the Vatican manuscript. Pne Moshe and Haredim suggest that התצירק refers to the period of time immediately prior to the start of the morning. 53  Ayyelet hashachar refers to the time each day when the first rays of the sun appear. The literal meaning of ayyelet is hind, doe, or gazelle. David J. A. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew  (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), Vol I, 212. 56 2.7 Halakhic and Literary Context The trope referred to as ayyelet hashachar (the first light of dawn) in m. Ber 1.1 plays an important part in this PT story and in its preceding talmudic halakhic context. The halakhic context for this story elaborates on the mishnah’s instructions regarding the proper time for the recitation of the Shema. It discusses the parameters of night and day, twilight and dawn, to determine the correct times for the recitation of the evening and the morning Shema. The talmudic discussion establishes that the first hint of day occurs at ayyelet hashachar. R. Hanina 54  discusses three different stages leading to the establishment of a new day. The first is ayyelet hashachar, the beginning of dawn. The second occurs when the sun lights up the eastern sky, and the final stage occurs when the first rays of the sun can be seen. This marks the establishment of a new day. We are told that from ayyelet hashachar until the eastern horizon is illuminated, a person can walk a distance of four mil. From the time when the eastern horizon is illuminated until the sun rises, one can walk another four mil. 55  The mil is a unit of measurement used in a wide range of contexts within rabbinic literature. 56  The notion that three stages lead to the commencement of the day, in halakhic terms, is the literary trope found in the following aggadic story. The story also discusses a process with different stages leading not to the unfolding of day but to the realization of redemption.  54  Several sages have this name. This R. Hanina could be a third or fourth generation Palestinian Amora. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 94. Albeck, Introduction, 155 (Hebrew). His name appears as אנצח in the Ed. princ. Venedig MS. It appears as אנינח in the Leiden, Vatican, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Constantinople and Yalqut manuscripts as well as in the parallel versions of this passage in y. Yoma 3:2, 40b and in Bereshit Rabbah 50:10. Pne Moshe and Haredim contend that אנצח is really אנינח. Daniel Sperber suggests that the spelling אנצח resulted from a copyist incorrectly reading ינ as צ. Daniel Sperber, Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature  (Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1994), 209. 55  A variant text in b. Pesachim 93b states that “R. Yochanan said: from ayyelet hashachar until the sun rises it is five mil.” 56  The mil is equivalent to 2000 cubits, 960 meters or 1,049 yards. It may have received its name from the Roman mile but it is not identical with the length of the Roman mile. Sacha Stern suggests that, according to talmudic terminology, the duration of a mil was defined in terms of the activity of walking rather than spatial distance. Stern, Time and Process in Ancient Judaism, 54.  57 R. Hanina defines the period of time from ayyelet hashachar until the rising of the sun in terms of how long it takes a man to walk eight mil. In a similar fashion, the aggadah begins with R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimeon ben Halafta walking from the time of ayyelet hashachar until the rising of the sun. The redactional work of PT composers/redactors can be seen in the way that the discussion in the preceding halakhic context is incorporated into the aggadah. 2.8 Genre This aggadah is a tale involving sages and is known as a sage story or a rabbinic story. The rabbinic story is one of the major types of discourse in both Talmuds. The distinct characteristics of the rabbinic story are its brief narrative form, its usage of past tense verbs to describe an event, and its openly didactic function. 57  The rabbinic story is usually considered to take the form of a השעמ (ma’aseh), for which the literal translation is a “happening,” an “incident,” or an “occurrence.”58 The genres of ma’aseh include anecdotes and sage stories that concern the lives and deeds of known rabbis. 59  The primary characteristic of a ma’aseh is its explicit claim to historicity—it purports to tell a story that actually took place. The assertion of historical accuracy is one of the basic narrative strategies that the ma’aseh employs to persuade its audience to behave according to the  57  Hezser, Form, Function and Historical Significance, 1. Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 3-8. 58  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 13, 240. Hezser, Form, Function and Historical Significance, 1. Arnold Goldberg suggests that the term השעמ is derived from the verb השע which translates as ‘to do or to make.’ He determines that a ma’aseh consists of three elements: a question, a situation and a decision. Arnold Goldberg, "Form und Funktion des Maase in der Mischna," Frankfurter Judaistische Beiträge 2(1974): 1-38. 59  Stern considers that sage stories are a sub-category of the ma’aseh genre, along with villain-stories, romances and fulfillment-narratives. Stern, Parables in Midrash, 240-245. Other scholars employ different categorization schemes. Neusner views sage stories as a distinct genre. J. Neusner, "Sage, Story and History: The Medium and the Message in the Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan," Hebrew Studies 28(1987): 82. Ofra Meir maintains that they must contain three elements: characters, plot, and meaning. A plot is “two events which imply some sort of confrontation.” Ofra Meir, "The Narrator in the Stories of the Talmud and the Midrash," Fabula 2(1981): 79. Ofra Meir, The Darshanic Story in Genesis Rabba  (Tel Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuhad, 1987), 43-61 (Hebrew). 58 principles that it illustrates. 60  Whether or not the incident described actually occurred is a separate question. The term ma’aseh is the literary formulation that often begins rabbinic stories, and it is commonly found in the BT. The expression אמלד, at the beginning of this story, is the term in the Aramaic Palestinian dialect for introducing a story. 61  אמלד is utilized as an introductory formula for stories involving two or more named sages within over thirty passages in the PT. 62  The sages in these stories are said to be sitting, walking, speaking, or eating together. Martin Jaffee suggests that the numerous stories in the PT depicting rabbis walking or travelling together are “stock settings” that testify to “the high evaluation of discipleship as the normative setting in which to pursue the transformative life of Torah.”63 He also posits a broad similarity between rabbinic-disciple communities and Greco-Roman philosophical collegia. 64  Like the training offered by Sophists, Rabbinic training bore a strong scholastic orientation, focused on guiding young men in the mastery of  60  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 13. 61  Marcus Jastrow, Dictionary of the Targumim, Talmud Babli, Yerushalmi and Midrashic Literature  (New York: Judaica Press, 1971), 300. In this aggadah, the word is spelled as אמלד. It can also be spelled as המלד, or המליד, because of scribal confusion with the adverb המליד meaning ‘perhaps.’ Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, 151. Haredim improbably concludes that אמלד is a contraction of the term המוד המל אד ‘to what is this analogous.’ Frankel suggests that אמלד means ‘explanation’ from the Greek δήλωμα. Frankel, Einleitung, 10b (Hebrew). Leib Moscovitz states that אמלד is a formulaic phrase used to introduce a ma’aseh story involving named Amoraic sages. The term appears in halakhic, as well as, aggadic stories. Leib Moscovitz, The Terminology of the Yerushalmi: The Principal Terms ( Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2009), 136- 138 (Hebrew). אמלד is not found in the Bavot tractates of the PT, which are considered to have been redacted earlier than the other tractates of the PT. Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," 78 n. 95 (Hebrew). 62  Y. Ber 1.1, 2c; 2.3, 4c; 2.4, 5a; 2.9, 5d; y. Peah 3.7, 17d; 7.3, 20a; 8.8, 21b; y. Shevit 4.3, 35b; 5.4, 36a; y. Maas 3:4, 51a; 4.2, 51b; y. Shab 1.2, 3a; 16.1, 15c; y. Pes 3.7, 30b; y. Yoma 3.2, 40b; y. Sheq 5.4, 49b; y. Suk 5.1, 55a; y. Taan 2.1, 65a; y. Hag 1.7, 76c; y. Ket 6.3, 30d; y. Git 1.5, 43d; 5.10, 47c; 6.5, 48b; y. Qid 1.6, 60d; 3.4, 64a; 3.5, 64a; 4.6, 65d; y. Sanh 7.3, 25c; y. A.Z 4.10, 44b. The variant spelling המלד is found in y. Ber 7.3, 11b; y. Pes 5.5, 32c; y. Yoma 1.1, 38c; y. Yev 8:2, 9b. המלד  also appears in Bereshit Rabbah 35:9 and in Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10. 63  Jaffee, "The Oral-Cultural Context of the Talmud Yerushalmi," 56. See also Catherine Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine  (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997), 228-231. Catherine Hezser, "Rabbis and other Friends: Friendship in the Talmud Yerushalmi and in Graeco-Roman Literature," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture II, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 228. 64  Jaffee, "The Oral-Cultural Context of the Talmud Yerushalmi," 54-57. 59 a literary tradition whose values they would personally embody…Finally, like the students of the rhetorical schools, many of those who studied in the Rabbinic bet midrash would make their professional mark beyond it through skilled effective public speech. 65    Jaffee suggests that these similarities extended beyond institutional settings and are also evident in the literary style and substance of the PT. 66  Building on Jaffee’s scholarship, I propose that the composers/redactors of this particular story utilized the literary genre of analogy, which was a type of oratory composition common in their environment. This aggadah attempts to make an abstract idea tangible through the presentation of an argument via analogy. Analogy was a primary mode of rhetorical induction discussed by Aristotle. 67  In addition, Anaximenes listed analogy as one of three ways to make a supporting argument, 68  and Quintilian also treated analogy or syllogism similarly. 69  In the chapter “On the Chreia” in the Progymnasmata 70  by Hermogenes of Tarsus, from the late second century CE, eight basic modes of argumentation are listed as procedures for the rhetorical elaboration of chreia. Chreia is a formal term for brief reminiscences comprising sayings or actions, or both, and are usually attributed to a particular character. 71  Chreia depict an incident in a philosopher’s life, and feature philosophers rebuking students, debating other philosophers,  65  Ibid, 33-34. See also Burton Visotzky, "Midrah, Christian Exegesis, and Hellenistic Hermeneutic," in Current Trends in the Study of Midrash, ed. Carol Bakhos (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2006), 120-126. 66  Jaffee, "The Oral-Cultural Context of the Talmud Yerushalmi," 34. 67 Aristotle, Rhet. I.ii.8; II.xx.2-4. 68 Anaximenes, Rhet. ad. Alex. 1.1422a. 25-27. The other two are contrary and previous judgments. 69 Quintilian, Inst. 7.8.1 Heinrich Lausberg, Handbook of Literary Rhetoric: A Foundation for Literary Srudy (Leiden: Brill, 1998), 95-96. 70 Progymnasmata began to appear in the first century BCE. The term, Progymnasmata, refers to handbooks containing preliminary exercises for the practice of declamation of rhetoric assigned by Greek grammarians to students. Roman grammarians employed similar exercises in Latin. George Kennedy, Progymnasmata: Greek Handbooks of Prose Composition and Rhetoric, trans. George Kennedy (Leiden: Brill, 2003), X. Graham Anderson, The Second Sophistic: A Cultural Phenomenon in the Roman Empire  (London and New York: Routledge, 1993), 47-50. 71  Ronald F. Hock and Edward N. O'Neil, The Chreia in Ancient Rhetoric Volume 1 The Progymnasmata (Atlanta: Scholar's Press, 1986), 23. 60 reflecting on the philosophical way of life or displaying a philosopher’s wit.72 Henry Fischel discusses the variations of the Greco-Roman chreia that are found within rabbinic literature demonstrating that rabbinic sages appropriated this literary genre and made some changes to it for their own purposes. 73  A “statement from analogy” (ek paraboles) is the fifth of the eight specific modes of argumentation mentioned by Hermogenes. The chreia chosen by Hermogenes for elaboration is a saying of Isocrates about paideia: “Isocrates said that the root of education is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”74 The example that Hermogenes provides for how to elaborate this saying with an analogy is as follows: (5) For just as it is the lot of farmers to reap their fruits after working with the land, so also is it for those working with words. 75   In a study of Tannaitic forms of argumentation, Avery-Peck sought to determine whether rabbinic stories contain the eight basic modes of argumentation established by Hermogenes, who recommended that all eight should be followed to create one coherent argument. 76  Avery-Peck found that early rabbinic stories do not comprise the complete  72  Ibid, 4-5. 73  Henry Fischel, "Studies in Cynicism and the Ancient Near East: The Transformation of a Chria," in Religions in Antiquity Essays in Memory of Erwin Ransdell Goodenough, ed. Jacob Neusner (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1968), 407- 411. 74  Isocrates fr. 19 in É. Brémond and G. Mathieu, Isocrate. Discours, vol 4  (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1962), 229-232, 234-239. 75 Hock and O'Neil, The Chreia in Ancient Rhetoric Volume 1 The Progymnasmata, 177. This work is attributed to Hermogenes, but many consider the attribution to be doubtful. George Kennedy, A New History of Classical Rhetoric  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 203. 76  Alan J. Avery-Peck, "Rhetorical Argumentation in Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," Semeia 64(1993): 49-69. Hermogenes taxonomy is: 1. Praise. 2. Thesis. 3. Rationale. 4. Statement of the Contrary. 5. Analogy. 6. Example. 7. Statement from Authority. 8. Conclusion/Exhortation. 61 elaboration of chreia as recommended in Greco-Roman rhetoric. 77  Rather, they primarily use a single mode of argumentation, but the modes are consistent with the list provided by Hermogenes. Avery-Peck suggests that Tannaitic rabbinic stories use analogies to support legislative decisions “by extending existing rules to new, analogous situations.”78 This aggadah coheres with the Tannaitic stories studied by Avery-Peck in that it uses a single mode of argumentation: in this case, analogy. Whereas Avery-Peck concentrates on Tannaitic legal stories that make use of analogies, this Amoraic story that I analyze is an example of an analogy employed in an aggadic setting in order to set a precedent. 79  2.9 Structure  This story is structurally divisible into four equal parts. Sometimes the structure in a rabbinic story is created by the repetition of words or phrases that formally establish the boundaries of the story’s different parts.80 The content may also create the divisions. In this story we find both techniques employed. The structure of this narrative can be mapped as follows: the content creates the divisions between each of the first three sections of the story—A, B, and C—while in section D the repeated expression ךכ רחאו “and afterwards” introduces each unit. In the first section of the story, we have three statements regarding the sages walking together and viewing the beginning of the morning. The second section of the story also comprises three statements regarding the relationship of the morning light to Israel’s redemption. The introductory Aramaic expression אמלד, which is found at the beginning of section A, and the Aramaic formulaic phrase אמעט יאמ literally “what is the  77  Ibid, 49. Martin Jaffee maintains that some rabbinic pericopae do disclose the complete elaboration of the chreia as recommended by Hellenistic rhetoric. One of the examples Jaffee cites is y. Ber 9:1, 13a. Jaffee, Torah in the Mouth, 128-140. 78  Avery-Peck, "Rhetorical Argumentation in Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 58. 79  On the trope of analogy within rabbinic literature see Rosenfeld, "Sage And Temple In Rabbinic Thought," 437-439. 80  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 9. 62 reason,” 81 which is located at the conclusion of section B, serve as redactional brackets; they enclose the first two tripartite sections of the story. The biblical verses in sections C and D comprise the next two tripartite segments. This tightly woven structure is one aspect of this story’s literary complexity. 2.10 Literary Analysis Regarding the rhetorical tool of analogy within Greco-Roman oratory, Burton Mack suggests that: [b]y definition the analogy may arise from any of the orders of reality, but the Greco-Roman mind seems to have preferred the natural and social orders. It must be a general statement having to do with a class of objects, illustrating a principle or a relationship that has the potential for being universalized. It makes its rhetorical point by showing that the principle operates not only in the arena of relationships addressed by the thesis but in some other order of activity as well. The correlation by analogy achieves the universal truth of the thesis by expanding the contexts to which it applies. 82   This aggadah coheres with Mack’s definition of analogy within Greco-Roman oratory. In connection with ayyelet hashachar, the gemara tells a story about R. Hiyya the Great 83  and R. Shimeon ben Halafta. 84  These two sages appear together in a number of other stories in rabbinic literature. 85  In this narrative, the two sages are apparently walking at dawn in the  81  יאמ אמעט  is an expression used in both Talmuds to introduce an investigation of a law that is based on a rabbinic principle rather than a biblical verse. Michael Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 2002), 634. 82  Burton Mack, "Elaboration of the Chreia in the Hellenistic School," in Patterns of Persuasion in the Gospels, ed. Burton Mack and Vernon Robbins (Sonoma, California: Polebridge Press, 1989), 59. 83  R. Hiyya the Great is mentioned hundreds of times in the PT, BT, and in midrashim. He lived during the last generation of Tannaim and the first generation of Amoraim, so he is considered to have been both a Tanna and an Amora. Responsa Project Bar Ilan University Version 17 (Hebrew). Rashi’s commentary to b. Niddah 26a states that “R Hiyya was a Tanna and an Amora.” 84  A number of sources also identify R. Simeon ben Halafta as a fifth generation Tanna and a first generation Palestinian amora. Ibid. He is associated with aggadic passages in both Talmuds and he is “Hiyya’s friend.” Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 82. Albeck, Introduction, 157-158 (Hebrew). Frankel, Einleitung, 85a (Hebrew). 85  Bereshit Rabbah 79:7; Ruth Rabbah 3:4; Midrash Tanhuma Parshat Re’eh 15:15 and in the parallel texts to this aggadah which are Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10, y. Yoma 3:2, 40b, Esther Rabbah 10:14, and Midrash to Psalm 22. 63 valley of Arbel in the Galilee, near Tiberias. The expression “Rabbi X said to Rabbi Y” is a ubiquitous literary structure found in both Talmuds, and it signifies more than is conveyed by the various senses of the verb “say” in English. In the Talmud it also has the connotation that the sage who is speaking is articulating his legal opinion or his exegetical teaching. 86  This story relates that as R. Hiyya witnesses the sun’s rays starting to shine over the horizon, he compares Israel’s redemption to the long process that extends from dawn until the rising of the sun. 87  At dawn, one does not see the sun, only the thin rays that portend its later arrival. Then, gradually, more light appears until the sun has totally risen. The analogy that this story conveys, through the use of wordplay and literary repetition, is that Israel’s redemption will also occur slowly, but just as surely, as the daily rising of the sun. Wordplay is a prevalent literary strategy that rabbinic stories rely on. 88  The sages are walking in the valley of Arbel,לברא תעקב, when the light of the ayyelet hashachar breaks through. The word for the light breaking through is עקב, from the verb עקב,89 and this creates wordplay with the similar word, העקב, “valley.” Jeffrey Rubenstein identifies the “threefold repetition of a phrase or sequence of phrases” as a familiar motif in rabbinic stories redacted by Stammaim in the BT.90 Threefold repetition also occurs throughout this PT story. The word for light is repeated three times. As mentioned above, the light of the ayyelet hashachar breaks through at the beginning of the story; the verse from Micah in the middle of the story mentions light; and at the conclusion of the story the Jews will have light, with the mentioning of Esther (8:16) which states, “The Jews had light and gladness.”  86  Moscovitz, The Terminology of the Yerushalmi, 31 (Hebrew). 87  Sperber, Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature, 210; ibid. 88  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 9. 89  עקב is the verb meaning “to split.” Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, 110. 90  Rubenstein, Talmudic Stories, 252. 64 The literary repetition continues with הבר—the word that describes the growing redemption. It is mentioned three times, and it is also the cognomen found at the end of R. Hiyya’s name.91 Another significant instance of repetition involves the word for walking: ןיכלהמ. R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimeon ben Halafta are said to be walking together. The same verb is used twice in a later statement describing how redemption will grow. In this context it appears as a participle, indicating continuation or development: תכלוה. This verb has a semantic range of signification that includes “to walk, move forward, travel, spread.”92 The repetition of תכלוה in the context of redemption and in the description of the sages’ activity of walking, together with the repetition of הבר as the word for the increasing redemption and as the cognomen at the end of R. Hiyya’s name are literary tropes that support the notion that while redemption will advance slowly, it will be enacted through the efforts of the sages. The literary repetition of walking also leads us back to the previous halakhic discussion on the duration of time from ayyelet hashachar to the rising of the sun, which is described in terms of the time it takes a man to walk eight mil. Another illustrative example of threefold literary repetition is found in section C of this story which contains one verse from Micah and two verses from Esther. The combination of biblical exegesis with narrative is one of the defining characteristics of rabbinic stories. Narrative is created with elements of biblical verses, while at the same time rabbinic narrative reinterprets those verses. Joshua Levinson suggests that “exegesis provides  91  The name appears as ראב  יבר אייח  at the beginning of the story in the ed. Princ. Venedig ms and as הבר אייח יבר when he is mentioned again in the story. The variant אובר is found in the Vatican ms. The cognomen אבר is often added to the names of rabbis in Amoraic traditions. In the case of R. Hiyya it may have been used to indicate his superiority, or his advanced age, or to distinguish him from other sages of the same name. Frankel, Einleitung, 74b (Hebrew). Albeck, Introduction, 144, 236 (Hebrew). Hezser concludes that the precise meaning of sages’ cognomens is unknown. Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine, 301-306. 92  Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, 165. 65 the necessary cultural authority for the narrative and the narrative provides verisimilitude for the exegesis.”93 The first biblical verse in section C conatins a portion of Micah 7:8. The entire verse states: “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy, though I have fallen, I rise again; though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” Micah 7:8 emphasizes the analogy asserted by R. Hiyya. Exile is the experience of night and darkness, and the forthcoming redemption will be the experience of light and day. Micah 7:8 is followed by two verses from the biblical Book of Esther. The verses from the Book of Esther provide support for the analogy that redemption will occur gradually but with steadily increasing intensity, comparable to the process that culminates in the daily rising of the sun. The Book of Esther depicts a Jewish community living in the Diaspora under Persian rule. 94  The community is threatened with annihilation by Haman, the king’s advisor. The king’s wife, Esther, who happens to be Jewish, reveals her identity and together with Mordecai they are able to annul Haman’s evil decree and the Jews are saved. In the first section of the story, R. Hiyya the Great tells R. Shimeon ben Halafta that the salvation of Israel will occur “at the beginning, little by little.” The construction used for “at the beginning” is כהליחת . The word כהליחת  is found again in the aggadah preceding the placement of Esther 2:21, the first verse of the Book of Esther mentioned in our aggadah. In fact, we find a similar temporal pattern within the Book of Esther itself. In Esther 2:21, we are told that Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate when he overhears the king’s ministers, Bigthan and Teresh, plotting to assassinate the king. Esther 2:22 and 2:23 record how Mordecai informs Esther of the assassination plot. She provides this information to the king,  93  Levinson, "The Cultural Dignity of Narrative," 365. 94  The Book of Esther is generally understood to be a fictional story dating from 400 to 300 BCE. 66 and Mordecai’s deed is inscribed in the king’s chronicles. This demonstrates Mordecai’s loyalty to the king, using the informant motif prevalent in court legends, a major motif on which the plot of Esther depends. 95  This episode foreshadows Israel’s redemption. The commentary of Haredim sees Esther 2:21 as analogous to ayyelet hashachar because initially Mordecai’s act seems insignificant but it becomes an important step leading to salvation, just as ayyelet hashachar appears as only a few rays of light but it is actually the precursor to sunrise. In the aggadah, the redemption that R. Hiyya envisions will become greater over time. In the Book of Esther, redemption also emerges slowly through events that at the outset appear unrelated but act together to bring about redemption. In Esther 6:11, the second verse from the Book of Esther mentioned in our story, Haman is ordered by the king to take the king’s clothes and horse to adorn and honour the person who saved the king from assassination. The conclusion of Esther 6:11 states that Haman dresses Mordecai and parades him through the city square, proclaiming that this act is an honour for a man the king wishes to recognize. 96  The next verse in the aggadah is from Esther 6:12, stating that Mordecai returns to the king’s gate. The rest of Esther 6:12, which is not mentioned in the aggadah, portrays Haman returning home in shame, his evil decree having been averted. The aggadah continues to relate episodes from the Book of Esther, turning to verse 8:15, but only the initial words are provided. Rabbinic stories often cite only a portion of a biblical statement, rather than the entire verse. This is an indication that these stories were intended for an audience familiar with the biblical text. It is possible that the sections of the Book of Esther  95  Adele Berlin, ed. The J. P. S. Bible Commentary Esther (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2001), 31. 96  Haredim interprets this verse as analogous to the spread of dawn across the horizon in the morning and as a sign of impending redemption. 67 that are included in this story were chosen because each verse begins with the temporal phrase “And afterwards,” which continues the motif of movement established earlier in the story. The complete verse of Esther 8:15 states: And Mordecai left the king’s presence dressed in royal apparel of blue and white, with a large crown of gold, and a mantle of fine linen and purple wool. And the city of Shushan rang with joy.  Verse 8:15 serves to confirm that a reversal of fortune has occurred and that Micah’s prophecy has come to fruition. 97  The aggadah concludes with Esther 8:16, which reads, “The Jews had light and gladness, happiness and honour.” 98 Therefore, it seems that the verses from the Book of Esther are incorporated into this aggadah to establish a link between the memory of the past redemption in Esther and the hope for a future redemption. Alexander Samely suggests that using a biblical event to predict future events is one of the established hermeneutic strategies employed in rabbinic Aggadah. 99  However, this trait is not uniquely rabbinic. It is also pre-rabbinic as it is found within the Bible itself. Physical and figurative activity abounds throughout this short story. Figuratively redemption is pictured as materializing slowly and the advancement from the condition of exile to the state of redemption will entail a great deal of movement, comparable to the transformation of the darkness of night into the sunlight of day. Physical activity parallels the figurative movement in the story. In the beginning we find two sages walking, then Micah 7:8 speaks of sitting in the darkness. This is followed by Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate, subsequently returning to the gate, and then departing from the king’s presence clad in royal apparel. The word for “return” in Esther 6:12 is the third person masculine singular imperfect  97  Haredim sees this verse as analogous to the rising of the sun. 98  Haredim sees this verse as analogous to the bright noon-day sun. 99  Alexander Samely, Forms of Rabbinic Literature and Thought: An Introduction  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 178-179. 68 with the waw consecutive form of the Hebrew verb בוש. Although the roots differ, it is identical in form to the word for “he sat,” which is בשי. Consequently, we have the same word repeated twice, and playfully repeated once more. As mentioned, the words for “light,” “great,” and “walking” are also repeated three times. Thus, this story exhibits the threefold literary repetition that is a hallmark of rabbinic stories. 100  The talmud’s assertion that the experiences of exile and redemption are as familiar as the daily transition from night to day appear as an effort on the part of PT composers/redactors to give meaning to the loss of sovereignty that accompanied the destruction of the Second Temple. This is achieved by the vision that posits that future redemption can be anticipated and relied upon as surely as we rely upon the rising of the sun each day. I now turn to the analysis of the parallel versions of this story. There are four parallel versions of this story, one is in tractate Yoma in the PT and the others are in midrashic compilations. Parallel passages consisting of individual traditions as well as larger blocks of entire sugyot are a regular feature of the PT. 101  In the following section I discuss the possible significance of this story appearing in both tractate Berakhot and Yoma in the PT.  100  Rubenstein, Rabbinic Stories, 16-19. 101  Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," 90-92 (Hebrew); Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 673-675. Bokser, "An Annotated Bibliographical Guide," 178-180. It is also common to find variations of Greco-Roman chreia repeated in numerous treatises with differing attributions. Hock and O'Neil, The Chreia in Ancient Rhetoric Volume 1 The Progymnasmata, 316, 318, 323, 340.  96   snoisreV lellaraP 11.2  c2 ,1:1 reB .y fo snoisreV lellaraP .1 elbaT  habbaR rehtsE 41:01 201   ot hsardiM  30131:22 mlasP  sgnoS fo gnoS 01:6 habbaR 401   ,2:3 amoY .y  b04  c2 ,1:1 reB .y   A. ר' חייא רבה ורבי שמעון בן חלפתא הוון מהלכין בהדא  בקעתא דארבל וחזון את אילת השחר  שבקעה את האורה  A. ר' חייא בר אבא ור' שמעון בן חלפתא היו מהלכין בקרוצתא בהדא בקעתא דארבאל וראו אילת השחר שבקע  אורה לעלות  A.דלמה רבי חייא ור' שמעון בר חלפתא הוון מהלכין בהדא בקעת ארבאל בקריצתה, וראו אילת  השחר שבקעה אורה   A. דלמא רבי חייא רובא ורבי  שמעון בן חלפתא הוו מהלכין בהדא בקעת   ל בקריצתהארב ראו איילת השחר  שבקע אורה    A. דלמא רבי חייא רבא ורבי  שמעון בן חלפתא הוו מהלכין בהדא בקעת  ארבל בקריצתה וראו איילת השחר  שבקע אורה   B.אמר ליה רבי חייא רבה לרבי שמעון בן חלפתא כך הוא גדולתן של ישראל בתחלה קימעא כל מה שהולך הוא גדול ורבה   מה טעם והולך   B.אמר לו ר' חייא כך היא גאולתן של  ישראל אמר לו ר' שמעון היינו  דכתיב  B.א"ל ר' חייא רבה לר' שמעון בר חלפתא כך תהיה גאולתן של  ישראל מצפצפת דכתיב  B. אמר רבי חייא רובה לר' שמעון בן    ר כך חלפת בר היא גאולתן של ישראל בתחילה קימעא קימעא היא כל שהיא הולכת   מאי טעמא ומאיר הולכת     B.אמר רבי חייא רבה לר' שמעון בן חלפתא בירבי כך היא גאולתן של יש' בתחילה קימאה קימאה כל מה  רבה שהיא הולכת היא   והולכת מאי טעמא   C.כי אשב בחשך ה' אור לי, כך בתחלה ומרדכי יושב בשער  המלך  C.כי אשב בחשך ה' אור לי בתחלה היא באה קימעא קימעא ואחר כך היא מנפצת  ובאה  C.כי אשב בחשך ה' אור לי, בתחלה היא באה קימעה קימעה ואחר כך היא היא  מנצנצת ובאה  C. כי אשב בחושך ה' אורי לי כך בתחילה  ומרדכי  יושב בשער המלך ואחר כך כך וישב  מרדכי אל שער המלך   C. כי אשב בחושך אורי לי כך בתחילה ה'  ומרדכי  יושב בשער המלך ואחר כך ויקח המן את  הלבוש ואת הסוס  D.ואחר כך וישב מרדכי אל שער המלך וגו' ואחר כך ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך וגו', ואחר כך ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה  וששון ויקר  D.ואחר כך היא פרה ורבה ואחר כך היא משתבחת והולכת  כך בתחלה ומרדכי יושב בשער המלך ואחר כך ויהי כראות המלך את אסתר המלכה ואחר כך ויקח המן את הלבוש ואת הסוס ואחר כך ויתלו את המן ואחר כך ואתם כתבו על היהודים ואחר כך ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש ואחר כך ליהודים  מלכות   אורה  היתה  D.ואח"כ פרה ורבה ואח"כ מרטבת והולכת כך בתחלה בימים ההם ומרדכי יושב בשער המלך ואח"כ ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות, ואחר כך ליהודים היתה אורה  ושמחה וגו   D.ואחר כך ויקח המן את הלבוש ואת הסוס וגו ואחר כך ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות ואחר כך ליהודים היתה אורה  ושמחה    D. ואחר כך וישב מרדכי אל שער  המלך ואחר כך ומרדכי יצא מלפני המלך בלבוש מלכות ואחר כך ליהודים  היתה אורה ושמחה     201   ".)werbeH( 71 noisreV ytisrevinU nalI raB tcejorP asnopseR" noitidE anliV 301  ,)6691 melasureJ detnirpeR  1981 anliV ( vot rehohS honokem-ah :milliheT hsardiM ,rebuB nomolaS  .)werbeH( 401  ".)werbeH( 71 noisreV ytisrevinU nalI raB tcejorP asnopseR" noitidE anliV 70 Table 2. Translations of Parallel Versions of y. Ber 1:1, 2c y. Ber 1:1, 2c y. Yoma 3:2, 40b Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10 A. An incident: R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimeon ben Halafta were walking at day break 105  in the valley of Arbel. And they saw the light of the ayyelet hashachar 106  break through. A. An incident: R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimeon ben Halafta were walking at day break in the valley of Arbel. And they saw the light of the ayyelet hashachar break through. A. An incident: 107  R. Hiyya 108 and R. Shimeon bar Halafta 109  were walking at day break in the valley of Arbel. 110  And they saw the light of the ayyelet hashachar break through. 111  B. R. Hiyya the Great said to R. Shimeon ben Halafta, “Eminent one, such is the salvation of Israel, first little by little but as it continues it will grow ever greater.” What is the reason? B. R. Hiyya the Great said to R. Shimeon ben Halafta, “Son of Rabbi, such is the salvation of Israel, first little by little but as it continues it will go along and it will illuminate.” What is the reason? B. R. Hiyya the Great 112  said to R. Shimeon bar Halafta, “This is how the salvation of Israel will break forth.” As it is written:113  C. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” (Micah 7:8) So it was at the beginning, “And Mordecai was sitting at the King’s gate.” (Esther 2:21) C. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” (Micah 7:8) So it was at the beginning, “And Mordecai was sitting at the King’s gate.” (Esther 2:21) C. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” (Micah 7:8) At first it will come little by little 114  and afterwards, it will sparkle as it goes and after that it will multiply and become great and afterwards, it will thrive as it goes. And so it was in the beginning, “And Mordecai was sitting at the King’s gate.” (Esther 2:21)  105  The term for daybreak the y. Ber version is התצירק. This term is also found in the y. Yoma and Song of Songs Rabbah versions. It is absent from the Esther Rabbah version and it spelled as צורקבאת  in the Midrash to Psalm version. 106  In the y. Ber version in the Ed. princ. Venedig and Leiden mss this word appears as רחשה תלייא, in all other versions תליא only has one י. 107  המלד is found in Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10. The y. Ber and the y. Yoma versions, in all their recensions, have אמלד. The term is absent from the versions in Midrash to Psalms and in Esther Rabbah. 108  Song of Songs Rabbah has R. Hiyya without the cognomen ‘great.’ The Ed. Princ. Venedig and Leiden mss of the y. Yoma parallel have אבור יבר אייח . Midrash to Psalm 22:12 has the variant ‘R. Hiyya bar Abba.’ It is common for the names of sages to vary in parallel versions of stories that are located in different places in the PT. Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," 60-61. 109  Song of Songs Rabbah has Shimeon bar Halafta instead of Shimeon ben Halafta. 110  Song of Songs Rabbah has לאברא as the spelling for Arbel. It appears as לברא in y. Ber and y. Yoma. 111  Song of Songs Rabbah has העקב instead עקב for ‘break through.’ 112  Here Song of Songs Rabbah has יבר אייח הבר . 113  Instead of the formulaic phrase אמעט יאמ, ‘what is the reason,’ in the Song of Songs Rabbah and in the Midrash to Psalm 22:12 versions we find ביתכד, ‘it is written.’ This is a standard phrase for introducing a biblical passage. 114 האמיק is found in the y. Ber Ed. princ. Venedig version while Ms Paris, London, and Amsterdam have אעמיק. The y. Yoma version has אעמיק in the Ed. princ. Venedig and Leiden versions, while Yalqut has העמיק. העמיק is also found in the Song of Songs Rabbah version. 71 Table 2 (continued) y. Ber 1:1, 2c y. Yoma 3:2, 40b Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10 D. And afterwards, “and Haman took the [king’s] robes and the [king’s] horse.” (Esther 6:11)115 And afterwards, “Mordecai returned to the gate of the King.” (Esther 6:12) And afterwards, “And Mordecai left the King’s presence dressed in royal apparel.” (Esther 8:15) And afterwards, “The Jews had light and gladness.” (Esther 8:16)  D. And afterwards, “Mordecai returned to the gate of the King.” (Esther 6:12) And afterwards, “and Haman took the [king’s] robes and the [king’s] horse.” (Esther 6:11) And afterwards, “And Mordecai left the King’s presence dressed in royal apparel.” (Esther 8:15) And afterwards, “The Jews had light and gladness.” (Esther 8:16) D. And afterwards, “And Mordecai left the King’s presence dressed in royal apparel.” (Esther 8:15) And afterwards, “The Jews had light and gladness.” (Esther 8:16) Midrash to Psalm 22:13 Esther Rabbah 10:14 A. Another interpretation of “who is she that comes up as the morning?” (Song of Songs 6:10) R. Hiyya bar Abba and R. Shimeon ben Halafta were walking at day break in the valley of Arbel. And they saw the light of the ayyelet hashachar break through and come up. A. R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimeon ben Halafta were walking in the valley of Arbel and ayyelet hashachar appeared.   B. R. Hiyya said to him, “such is the salvation of Israel.” R. Shimeon said to him, “as it is written”  B. R. Hiyya the Great said to R. Shimeon ben Halafta, “such is the growth of Israel in the beginning, a little, but as it goes it will become big and great and it will continue.” What is the reason? C. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” (Micah 7:8) At first it will come little by little and after that it will sparkle as it goes and after that it will multiply and become great and after that it will go forth in glory. So it was at the beginning, “And Mordecai was sitting at the King’s gate.” (Esther 2:21) And then, “when the king saw Esther the queen.” (Esther 5:2) C. “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.” (Micah 7:8) So it was at the beginning. “And Mordecai was sitting at the King’s gate.” (Esther 2:21)  D. And afterwards, “and Haman took the [king’s] robes and the [king’s] horse.” (Esther 6:11) And afterwards, “they hung Haman.” (Esther 7:10) And afterwards, “and you may write with regard to the Jews.” (Esther 8:8) And afterwards, “And Mordecai left the King’s presence dressed in royal apparel.” (Esther 8:15) And afterwards, “The Jews had light.” (Esther 8:16) D. And afterwards, “Mordecai returned to the gate of the King.” (Esther 6:12) And afterwards, “And Mordecai left the King’s presence.” (Esther 8:15) And afterwards, “The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honour.” (Esther 8:16)    115  This line is absent from the versions in Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10 and Esther Rabbah 10:14. 72 2.11.1 y. Yoma 3:2, 40b  The wording in the y. Berakhot and y. Yoma versions of this story is almost identical. In y. Ber, R. Hiyya the Great states that the process of Israel’s salvation will become greater. This is designated by the term הבר. However, in y. Yoma we find instead the word, ריאמו116 meaning “and it will illuminate.” With this variation, a different literary allusion is created. The word ריאמו evokes Micah 7:8, which states “the Lord is my light.” רוא is the noun for light, and ריאמ is the hiphˊil form of the Hebrew verb רוא. The only other difference is that two sentences appear in a different order in the two versions. In y. Ber we find the following:  And afterwards, “and Haman took the [king’s] clothes and the [king’s] horse.” (Esther 6:11) And afterwards, “and Mordecai returned to the king’s gate.” (Esther 6:12)  In y. Yoma the verses appear thus:  And afterwards, “and Mordecai returned to the king’s gate.” (Esther 6:12) And afterwards, “and Haman took the [king’s] clothes and the [king’s] horse.” (Esther 6:11)   Moshe Assis identifies close to one thousand examples of transferred material within the PT. 117  Leib Moscovitz finds that the characteristics of most parallel passages in the PT that exhibit variants are limited to small differences in words or phrases. 118  The minor variants in the versions in tractates Berakhot and Yoma appear to constitute the type of variant passages studied by Moscovitz, who advances several possibilities to account for their prevalence in the PT, without drawing any definitive conclusions. He suggests that such pericopae could be the result of the nature of the composition of the PT, which was worked  116  ריאמו is in the Ed. Princ. Venedig and the Leiden MS, while הבר is found in the Yalqut MS. 117 Moshe Assis, "Parallel Sugyot in the Jerusalem Talmud" (Ph.D. diss., Hebrew University 1976), 1 (Hebrew). 118  Leib Moscovitz, "Parallel Sugyot and the Text-Tradition of the Yerushalmi," Tarbiz 60, no. 4 (1991): 538 (Hebrew). 73 on for over one hundred and fifty years in different locales in Israel, mainly in the Galilee. 119  A portion of these variant pericopae could have come from different tradents within the same learning centre, or could be the result of changes that arose due to oral transmission of these traditions among different rabbinic sages and different centres of learning during the Amoraic period. 120  He also suggests that variant passages may have been the result of the intentional reworking of material by early scholars. 121  Finally, Moscovitz does not discount the notion that some changes could also have been the result of post-Amoraic editors. 122  Similarly, Albeck discusses the possibility that the duplication of passages took place during the talmudic era by “the masters of the Talmud,” or by post-Amoraic editors.123  Yaacov Sussman, on the other hand, seems certain that the literary transmission of PT material to other places in the PT took place exclusively during the Amoraic period due to an associative mode of Amoraic rabbinic thinking. 124  Jacob Epstein had reached the same conclusion earlier with his view that the transfer of passages in the PT from one place to another represented the work of the “sages of the land of Israel.”125 Epstein adds that such transfer is also a regular feature of the Mishnah, Tosefta, and midrashim. 126  Where it can be demonstrated that a parallel tradition within the PT thematically fits one context in which it is found but does not relate to the other context where it is located, it may be possible to reach conclusions about where the passage might have originally appeared. The preceding halakhic literary contexts of the parallel aggadot in y. Ber and y.  119  Moscovitz, "Sugyot Muhlafot," 19 (Hebrew). 120  Ibid, 59-61. Moscovitz, "Parallel Sugyot ": 538 (Hebrew). Moscovitz also suggests that in some cases two passages that might seem to parallel each other may actually originate from different sources. Ibid, 541. Moscovitz, "Sugyot Muhlafot," 60 (Hebrew). 121  Moscovitz, "Parallel Sugyot ": 540-541 (Hebrew). 122  Ibid, 540. Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 674. 123  Albeck, Introduction, 504 (Hebrew). 124  Sussman, "Ve-Shuv Li Yerushalmi Nezikin," 90-92 (Hebrew). 125  Epstein, Introduction to Amoraitic Literature  328 (Hebrew). 126  Ibid, 329. 74 Yoma are identical in both tractates, which may indicate that this story and its preceding literary context were copied from one tractate to another. I now examine the wider redactional contexts in which both of these stories are found to try to suggest which tractate the story and its preceding literary context might have first appeared in. The beginning of the third chapter of y. Yoma discusses when morning begins in order to identify the prescribed time to offer sacrifices. In tractate Berakhot, the urgency of determining when morning begins is motivated by the need to identify the legally correct time for the recitation of the morning Shema. The determination of the beginning of day is important in both contexts so, initially, the parallelism does not seem to be particularly noteworthy in either context. However, a comparison of the entire chapter in Yoma with the entire chapter in Berakhot reveals that in Berakhot the discussion of the halakhic term ayyelet hashachar continues in the literary context following this aggadah. The determination and definition of night and day for the purposes of prayer continues to be a major theme throughout the chapter. By contrast, the chapter in Yoma does not concentrate on the definition of night and day to the extent that the chapter in Berakhot does. Yoma is primarily focused on the sacrifices and the activities of priests on the Day of Atonement. The mentioning of ayyelet hashachar in these parallel passages in tractates Yoma and Berakhot indicates that PT composers/redactors appear to be continuing the agenda of m. Ber 1:1. As we witnessed, the motif of conflating the activity of priests with rabbinic prayer practices is a major theme in m. Ber 1:1. Similarly, Ishay Rosen-Zvi concludes that a major feature of m. Yoma is the combination of priestly traditions with post-Temple practices. 127  It appears that this theme has been carried on in this section of y. Yoma. Thus, it seems that purposeful redaction was employed in the transfer of the parallel versions of this story, which might  127 Rosen-Zvi, "Orality, Narrative, Rhetoric," 243-245. 75 have first appeared in tractate Berakhot, since ayyelet hashachar concerns prayer, and was subsequently transferred to tractate Yoma which concerns the activity of priests. I now turn to the analysis of the other parallel texts of y. Yoma 3:2, 40b that appear in midrashic compilations. 2.11.2  Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10  Song of Songs Rabbah 128  is a midrash on the Songs of Songs. This text was composed in Galilean Aramaic and Hebrew, and it exclusively cites Palestinian sages. Scholars generally conclude that it dates from around 600 CE in Israel. 129  The version in Song of Songs Rabbah tells the same story as the version in y. Ber 1:1, 2c but there are many different words in the midrashic version, and the literary repetition that is prevalent in the versions in the PT is absent. Changes in parallel versions in different compilations can result from one or more of the following factors: scribal errors, conscious editing, or the circulation of differing oral and/or written traditions that interface with each other. However, it is not always possible to definitively assign one or another of these reasons to differences in parallel texts. 130  The literary context for the version in Song of Songs Rabbah is Song of Songs 6:10. Who is this looking down like the dawn, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, awesome as an army with banners? (Song of Songs 6:10)   128  It is also known as Canticles Rabbah or Midrash Shir ha-Shirim. No critical edition of Song of Songs Rabbah exists. Dr. Tamar Kedari, of the Schechter Institute in Jerusalem, is currently preparing one and has kindly shared the results of her research with me. There are no manuscript variants for this midrashic text, aside from minor spelling differences. 129  Luis F. Giron Blanc, "Song of Songs in Song of Songs Rabbah," in Encyclopedia of Midrash Volume Two, ed. Jacob Neusner and Alan J. Avery Peck (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2005), 866-867. 130  Moscovitz, "Parallel Sugyot ": 525 (Hebrew); Moscovitz, "The Formation and Character of the Jerusalem Talmud," 673. See the discussion on “Transferred Material” in Bokser, "An Annotated Bibliographical Guide," 178-181. 76 The mention of dawn in Song of Songs 6:10 serves to place Song of Songs Rabbah 6:10 in the same literary context as the PT parallel versions. This seems to explain why a version of this aggadah is found in Song of Songs Rabbah. 2.11.3  Midrash to Psalm 22:13 There is no consensus regarding the date of the composition of this text, which is known both as Midrash Tehillim and Shoher Tob. 131  According to Zunz, the work in its present form, through Psalm 118, was redacted in Italy sometime in the ninth century CE. 132  Salomon Buber, in the introduction to his edition of Midrash Psalms, suggests an earlier date in the talmudic period in Palestine, claiming that later interpolations give the false impression of a later date. 133  Midrash to Psalm 22:13 is the longest of all the parallel versions. It contains more verses from the Book of Esther than are found in the other versions. At the same time, its literary context is consistent with the contexts in which the other versions appear. Midrash to Psalm 22:13 is an exegetical narrative of Psalm 22 that mentions ayyelet hashachar. 2.11.4  Esther Rabbah 10:14  The earliest extant manuscript dates from the fifteenth century. Scholars have suggested that this text was redacted in the eleventh or twelfth century CE. 134  The Esther Rabbah text is a later accretion of the other versions. It presents the most concise retelling of the story. Notwithstanding, the basic narrative is the same in all of the versions. In addition, the preceding literary context in which each of these versions is located is consistent. They  131  No critical edition of this text is available. One is currently being prepared by Dr. Therese Hansberger, Westfälische Wilhelms- Universität, Münster. Dr. Hansberger has kindly shared her research with me. There are no ms variants for this midrashic text except for spelling differences. 132  L. Zunz, Die gottesdienstlichen Vorträge der Juden historisch entwickelt, repr. Hildesheim 1966 ed. (Frankfurt am Main1892), 278-280. 133  Buber, Midrash Tehillim: ha-mekonoh Shoher tov  5-8. William Braude agreed with Buber’s dating. William G. Braude, The Midrash on Psalms  (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959), xxviii. 134  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 318-319. There is no critical edition of Esther Rabbah. 77 are all preceded by a discussion relating to dawn, with the exception of Esther Rabbah 10:14, which is a midrashic interpretation of Esther 8:15, a portion of which is part of the aggadah itself. This inclusion seems to point to the existence of a consciously constructed rabbinic tradition related to the theme of redemption, linking the figure of Esther to dawn. Galit Hasan-Rokem discusses the rabbinic predilection for its repeated associations with biblical motifs and concludes that rabbinic stories do not constitute “a systematic doctrine or philosophy.”135 Rather, the sages ensured the continuity of traditions by linking specific motifs to the biblical text, thus creating “fixed associations” which were often repeated. The tradition of equating Esther with the dawn constitutes one of the “fixed associations” that Hasan-Rokem speaks of. Purposeful redaction may be responsible for: the discussion of dawn constituting the literary context for all of the versions of this story; and for the transfer of this narrative that is located in tractate Yoma and Berakhot in the PT. 136  Although y. Yoma concerns the activity of the priests, rather than prayer, PT redactors appear to have been continuing the conflation of the activity of the priests with prayer by situating this narrative in tractates Berakhot and Yoma. For the same reason purposeful redaction appears to be responsible for the narrative story and the preceding halakhic discussion appearing in both tractates. I now turn to the discussion of the historical context of this story as it appears in the PT.  135  Hasan-Rokem, Web of Life, 130. 136  Hans- Jürgen Becker concludes that the PT and Bereshit Rabbah are not dependent on each other when they share textual material, but rather they both cite independently existing traditions. Becker, "Texts and History: The Dynamic Relationship between Talmud Yerushalmi and Genesis Rabbah," 155-158. I raise the possibility that the PT and the midrashic compilations that cite this story may be dependent on each other since the stories occur in the same literary context in each compilation. 78 2.12 Historical Context This story supposedly takes place while the sages are walking in the valley of Arbel, 137  which is near Tiberias in the Galilee. According to rabbinic literature, R. Hiyya lived in Tiberias. 138  Recent scholars have concluded that there was a noticeable shift of rabbinic activity from villages to cities such as Tiberias in the third century CE. Prior to that period, the rabbinic movement seems to have been primarily based in small towns and villages. 139  The geographical marker of the Galilee in this story is significant because following the defeat of the revolt under Bar-Kochba in 135 CE, 140  the Temple and the city of Jerusalem were declared permanently prohibited to Jews. The Galilee subsequently became the centre for Jewish life in Israel for the next four to five hundred years. 141  Scholars have generally concluded that the Bar-Kochba uprising, which sought to overthrow Roman occupation and restore Jewish sovereignty, was in part motivated by strong messianic  137  The Valley of Arbel was situated along a trade route that stretched from Damascus to Egypt. Goodman, State and Society, 19. Genesis Rabbah 77:2 portrays R. Hiyya as a silk trader. Anita Engle, "Rabbi Hiyya the Great-Halachist and Travelling Salesman," Niv Hamidrasha (1972): 63-72. See also Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 82. 138  Albeck, Introduction, 144 (Hebrew). 139  Levine, The Rabbinic Class of Roman Palestine in Late Antiquity, 25. Shaye J. D. Cohen, "The Place of the Rabbi in Jewish Society of the Second Century," in The Galilee in Late Antiquity, ed. Lee Levine (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1992), 159-160. Hayim Lapin, "The Origins And Development Of The Rabbinic Movement In The Land Of Israel," in The Cambridge History Of Judaism: The Late Roman- Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 220. Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 132. Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine, 164-165. Hayim Lapin, "Rabbis and Cities: Some Aspects of the Rabbinic Movement in the Graeco Roman Environment," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture II, ed. Peter Schäfer and Catherine Hezser (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), 51-80. 140  Eshel, "The Bar Kochba Revolt, 132-135," 105-127. 141  Eric M. Meyers, "Jewish Culture in Greco-Roman Palestine," in Cultures of the Jews:Mediterranean Origins, ed. David Biale (New York: Schocken Books, 2002), 165. 79 hopes. 142  Coupled with the revolt’s failure, Tannaitic sages drew the lesson from the trauma of the defeat in 70 CE that nationalistic aspirations involving military resistance against Rome, combined with messianism, exacted too high a price. 143  Tannaitic texts generally assumed a cautious position on messianism and nationalistic aspirations by attempting to preserve these ideas while relegating their fulfillment to a future time. 144  It is also possible that the trend towards the pacification of the messianic ideal by treating Israel’s salvation as a gradual process, rather than as an imminent event, was partially in response to various apocalyptic tendencies including those associated with the followers of Jesus. Messianic speculation is more developed in the BT which might account for the absence of this aggadah in the BT.  The importance of the theme of redemption and the role of the sages in bringing about redemption, which are components of the story just analyzed, are continued in the next story. It thematizes the attempt by sages to establish the practice of reciting the “redemption blessing,” the concluding blessing of the Shema, immediately prior to the recitation of the Shemonah Esreh prayer. The next story also demonstrates a close connection to m. Ber 1:1 and to its talmudic literary/halakhic context. Greco-Roman literary constructs are again evident. In particular, my analysis focuses on the ways that the appropriation of the pronouncement story genre contributes to the complexity of the next narrative, and the  142  R. A. Horsley, "Messianic Figures and Movements in First-Century Palestine," in The Messiah: Developments in Earliest Judaism and Christianity, ed. J. H. Charlesworth (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 276-295. Schwartz, "Political, Social and Economic Life in the Land of Israel 66-c. 235," 33-34. Lawrence H. Schiffman, "Messianism and Apocalypticism in Rabbinic Texts," in The Cambridge History of Judaism Volume Four The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 1053-1072. Gershom Scholem, "Toward an Understanding of The Messianic Idea in Judaism," in The Messianic Idea in Judaism and other Essays in Jewish Spirituality (New York: Schocken Books, 1972), 1-36. 143  Lee Levine, "Judaism from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the End of the Second Jewish Revolt 70-135 ce," in Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: A Parallel History of Their Origins and Early Development, ed. Hershel Shanks (Washington D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society, 1992), 147. J. Neusner, Judaism and Its Social Metaphors  (New York: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 1989), 177. Meyers, "Jewish Culture in Greco-Roman Palestine," 165. Schiffman, "Messianism," 1064-1065. 144  Schiffman, "Messianism," 1063-1064. 80 manner in which exegetical, ideological, and historical concerns are integrated along with a complex range of attitudes towards imperial Rome. 2.13 Myrtle—A Contested Site: y. Ber 1:1, 2d   ןוב יבר יב יסוי יבר רמא .A  ןברק ותואב עגונ לוספ ןיא הטיחשל הכימס ףכות אוהש ימ לכ  הדועס התואב גרטקמ ןטשה ןיא הכרב םידי תליטנל ףכות אוהש ימ לכו .B םויה ותואב גרטקמ ןטשה ןיא הליפתל הלואג ףכות אוהש ימ לכו .C ןיטלפל סדה אלבומ אירגנאב תידצתיאו הליפתל הלואג תיפכת אנא אריעז יבר רמא .D ןיטלפ םיכחמ ןיטירפ ןיכה ישניא ינב תיא איה ובר יבר היל ורמא .E  א"וה המל הליפת הלואגל ףכות וניאש ימ לכ ימא ר 'המוד .F   גילפה אוה דוע גילפהש ואצמו שקבמ אוה המ עדיל אצי ךלמ לש וחתפ לע קיתרהו אבש ךלמ לש ובהואל .G   A. R. Yose b. R. Bun 145  said,   “All who immediately follow the leaning [the laying of hands on]   with slaughter [of the offering] — no disqualification will touch that offering. B. And all who immediately follow the washing of hands with the blessing   the Satan will not prosecute [him] during that meal. C. And all who immediately follow [the reciting of the] redemption [blessing]   with [the reciting of] the prayer — the Satan will not prosecute him that day.” D. Said R. Zeira, “I immediately followed [the reciting of the] redemption [blessing]   With [the reciting of] the prayer and I was drafted into [the king’s] service   And made to transport myrtle [to his] palace.” E. They said [to R. Zeira], “Master that was a great privilege.   There are people who pay money [for the opportunity] to see the palace.” F. R. Ami said, “All who do not immediately follow [the reciting of the]   redemption [blessing] with [the reciting of] the prayer — to what may they be likened?” G. To the king’s friend, who came and knocked on the door of the king,   and [the king] came out to find out what [the friend] wanted   and [the king] found that [his friend] had left.   So [the king] distanced himself [from that friend] even more.   145  This narrative is consistent in all its manuscripts. The only variants are minor spelling differences. The name R. Yose ben R. Bun is spelled ןוב יבר יב יסוי יבר in the Ed. princ. Venedig and in the Leiden MS. In the Vatican MS the name appears as ןוב רב הסוי ר. In the Paris, London, and Amsterdam manuscripts the name appears as  רב ןוב יסוי ר. R Yose ben R. Bun is thought to have been a fourth or fifth generation Palestinian Amora. He is known as R. Yose bar Abin, or Abun, in the BT. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 96. According to Frankel, he was a fifth-generation Amora. Frankel, Einleitung, 55a (Hebrew). 81 2.14 Halakhic and Literary Context Yerushalmi Berakhot 1:1, 2d, which extends from line A to line G, employs the same technique that is utilized in m. Ber 1.1. The aggadah begins by citing a Temple ritual related to sacrifices, and proceeds to create a link between it and two rabbinic injunctions regarding blessings and prayer instituted in the post-Temple era. Just as m. Ber 1.1 asserts that an individual who recites the Shema at the proper time will have the efficacy of a priest eating his heave-offering, in this story we witness a similar type of structural complexity. Hands on a sacrificial offering in the Temple become hands washed prior to a rabbinic blessing. The gemara seems to be saying that if you wash your hands prior to the blessing, you will be like one who places his hands on a sacrificial offering in the Temple, and if you recite the prayer in the proper way, no harm will come to you. 146  In the immediately preceding halakhic pericope, the gemara mentions a statement that is attributed to R. Zeira 147  and is said in the name of R. Abba bar Jeremiah. 148  It closely matches lines A–C in the story in y. Ber 1:1, 2d. R. Zeira also figures prominently in the aggadah that follows. In the halakhic pericope, we learn that the owner of a sacrifice is required to place his hands upon the animal to be sacrificed, and this act must immediately be followed by the slaughter of that animal by a priest. Similarly, hands must be washed immediately before reciting the blessing. Although the Talmud does not specify which blessing must be recited following hand washing,  146  Ben Zion Rosenfeld suggests that analogies between rabbinic teachings and Temple practices are frequent in aggadic utterances. Rosenfeld, "Sage And Temple In Rabbinic Thought," 438. 147  R. Zeira was a third generation amora from Babylonia. He appears in the BT as R. Zera. R. Zeira moved to Palestine where he became a colleague and a student of R. Yochanan. Albeck, Introduction, 233-235 (Hebrew). Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 85. Frankel, Einleitung, 54b (Hebrew). 148  R. Abba bar Jeremiah is his name in the PT. He is called Rabbah bar Jeremiah in the BT. He is a second or third generation Babylonian Amora who lived in Sura. Albeck, Introduction, 306 (Hebrew). Abba bar Jeremiah is mentioned nineteen times in the PT. In thirteen of those cases R. Zeira transmits a saying in his name. R. Zera also transmits around nineteen statements in the BT in his name. 82 talmudic commentaries generally agree that this pericope refers to the blessing said either before or after a meal at which bread is consumed. 149  The next rituals that must be performed together pertain to prayer. The gemara states that the “redemption blessing” must be recited immediately prior to prayer. It is the concluding blessing contained in the Shema, it refers to the redemption from Egypt, and states, “Blessed are you, O Lord who has redeemed Israel.” This means that the Shema should be recited directly prior to the הרשע הנומש (Shemonah Esreh) prayer. 150  The next portion of the gemara attaches scriptural sources to each of the rules involving immediacy. Leviticus 1:4–5 are cited as the source for the first rule, which requires the slaughtering of an offering immediately followed by the laying of hands on the offering. 151  The scriptural warrant for hand washing immediately prior to blessing is Psalm 134:2, which states, “Lift your hands in holiness and bless the Lord.” There is no specific biblical rule mandating ritual hand washing for all Israelites. The Bible only requires hand washing for priests. (Exodus 30:17–21)152 Therefore, the exegetical derivation of Psalm 134:2 is a support upon which to hang this rabbinic ruling. The PT is relying on the talmudic hermeneutical technique known as אמלעב אתכמסא or simply אתכמסא (asmachta); deriving from the root word ךמס, meaning support or reliance.153 This technique is used where a biblical verse is cited as the basis for a rabbinic decree, but the biblical verse is only an  149  Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 71 (Hebrew). In b. Berakhot 42a, R. Hiyya bar Ashi in the name of Rav presents the three immediacies in a different order and no scriptural proof-texts are mentioned. Rashi to b. Ber 42a understands that the requirement to wash hands immediately prior to the blessing refers to the washing of the hands preceding the reciting of the grace after meals. The rule to wash one’s hands prior to a meal is found in t. Ber 4:8, 5:6 and 5:26. In t. Ber 5:13 washing after a meal is compulsory, but washing before a meal is optional. 150  In b. Ber 30a, the requirement of joining the redemption blessing to the prayer is transmitted by R. Shimon ben Eleazar, a fourth generation Tannaitic sage. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 80. The requirement is also mentioned in b. Berakhot 26a with no attribution. 151 Leviticus 1:4-5 states: “and he shall lay his hands upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. And he shall slaughter the bullock before the Lord.” Bavli Menachot 93b elaborates on this biblical requirement and discusses the reasons for it. 152  The rabbinic innovation obligating all individuals to fulfill ritual hand washing is an example of what Reuven Kimelman refers to as “a sacrificization of prayer.” Kimelman, "Rabbinic Prayer in Late Antiquity," 573-577. 153 Jastrow, Dictionary of the Targumim, 94. Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 71 (Hebrew). 83 allusion to a law because no biblical passage explicitly states such a law. Similarly, Psalm 19:15 and Psalm 20:2 are the support for the third immediacy, which is joining the redemption blessing to the prayer. Only the first part of Psalm 19:15 is mentioned which states, “May the expressions of my mouth be acceptable to you.”154 The portion of Psalm 20:2 that appears is, “May the Lord answer you on the day of distress.”155 Psalm 19:15 thus contains an allusion to prayer, while Psalm 20:2 is related to the notion that prayer conveys protection upon the person reciting it. This notion is developed in the aggadah that follows directly from this halakhic context by repeating “the three immediacies.” 2.15 Genre  This is a conglomerate narrative, combining some elements of the genre known as the pronouncement story 156  with the royal parable genre. Aggadot are often composed of several genres of material. 157  There is a considerable amount of scholarship relating to the pronouncement story as a distinct literary genre within Greco-Roman literature. 158  Studies of the pronouncement story within the New Testament also abound. 159  Several studies specifically relating to Tannaitic pronouncement stories have been undertaken based  154  The entire verse of Psalm 19:15 states: “May the expressions of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” 155  The conclusion of Psalm 20:2 is, “may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.” 156  The specific term, “pronouncement story” was first introduced by Vincent Taylor, The Formation of the Gospel Tradition  (London: Macmillan, 1933), 30, 63-87. The pronouncement story is also known as an apothegm, paradigm or chreia (Greek), chria (Latin). Vernon K. Robbins, "Classifying Pronouncement Stories in Plutarch's Parallel Lives," Semeia 20(1981): 31. 157  Heinemann, "The Nature of the Aggadah," 44-45. Daniel Boyarin characterizes Joseph Heinemann’s method as placing Aggadah “too firmly in its own historical circumstances.” Boyarin, Intertextuality, 11. 158  Earl Breech, "Stimulus-Response and Declaratory, Pronouncement Stories in Philostratus," in Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers, ed. Paul J. Achtemeier (Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press, 1977), 257- 271. Paula Nassen Poulos, "Form and Function of the Pronouncement Story in Diogenes Laertius' Lives," Semeia 20(1981): 53-63. Robbins, "Classifying Pronouncement Stories," 29-52. John E Alsup, "Type, Place and Function of the Pronouncement Story in Plutarch's Moralia," Semeia 20(1981): 15-27. Robert C. Tannehill, "Introduction: The Pronouncement Story and its Types," Semeia 20(1981): 1-13. Vernon K. Robbins, "A Rhetorical Typology For Classifying and Analyzing Pronouncement Stories," in Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers, ed. Kent Harold Richards (Chicago: Scholars Press, 1984), 93-133. 84 on the definition of the pronouncement story and its variations within Greco-Roman literature, but no studies exclusively dealing with Amoraic pronouncement stories exist. 160  Robert Tannehill suggests the following definition of pronouncement stories, based on his analysis of Lucian’s Demonax, Philostratus’ The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Diogenes Laertius’ Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, and (pseudo)-Plutarch’s Sayings of Kings and Commanders: 161  Pronouncement stories are brief narratives in which the pronouncement is issued at the end of the story as a response to something said or observed. 162  Of the six types of pronouncement stories identified by Tannehill, this aggadah most closely coheres with the model known as objection stories. 163  Paula Poulos determines that Diogenes Laertius’ Lives, from the third century CE, contains one of the best presentations of the pronouncement story genre within Greek literature. 164  Laertius’ adoption of the pronouncement story genre from a diverse body of earlier and contemporary sources points to the popularity of this genre during the period of the PT’s composition. Objection stories comprise almost twenty percent of the pronouncement stories in the Lives. 165  Poulos provides the following definition for objection stories:  159  To mention just a few: Rudolph Bultmann, The History of the Synoptic Tradition  (New York: Harper & Row, 1968). Martin Dieblius, From Tradition to Gospel  (New York: Scribner's, 1961). Robert C. Tannehill, "Varieties of Synoptic Pronouncement Stories," Semeia 20(1981): 101-119. Vernon K. Robbins, "Pronouncement Stories and Jesus' Blessing of the Children: a Rhetorical Approach," Semeia 29(1983): 42-74. William D. Stroker, "Examples of Pronouncement Stories in Early Christian Apocryphal Literature," Semeia 20(1981): 133-141. 160  Gary Porton, "The Pronouncement Story in Tannaitic Literature:  A Review of Bultmann's Theory," Semeia 20(1981): 81-99. Tannehill, "Introduction: The Pronouncement Story and its Types," 1. Alan J. Avery-Peck, "Classifying Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," in Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers, ed. Kent Harold Richards (Dallas: Scholars Press, 1983), 223-244. Avery-Peck, "Rhetorical Argumentation in Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 49-71. Hezser categorizes some of the narratives in the PT Bavot tractates as pronouncement stories. Hezser, Form, Function and Historical Significance, 288-292, 307-309. David Stern considers that pronouncement stories are a sub-genre of the sage story. Stern, Parables in Midrash, 243. 161  Tannehill, "Introduction: The Pronouncement Story and its Types," 7. (The question mark is from Tannehill) 162  Ibid, 1. 163  Ibid, 6- 11. The other types are correction, commendation, quest, inquiry, and description stories. 164  Poulos, "Form and Function of the Pronouncement Story in Diogenes Laertius' Lives," 53. 165  Ibid, 57. 85 In these stories one or more people find fault with the behaviour or speech of a philosopher and reproach him for it. Sometimes the objection is made in the form of a question as to the reason for such behaviour. Since justification for his words or deeds is implicitly or explicitly requested in the objection, a sense of conflict and tension is evident before the sage makes his reply. However, the tension is always resolved when the sage vindicates himself, often eloquently and cleverly. 166   Poulos cites the following examples of objection pronouncement stories in the Lives:  It happened once that he set sail for Corinth and, being overtaken by a storm, he [Aristippus] was in great consternation. Someone said, “We plain men are not alarmed, and you philosophers turned cowards?” To this he replied, “The lives at stake in the two cases are not comparable.” (2.71)167  To one who accused him of living with a courtesan, he [Aristippus] put the question, “Why, is there any difference between taking a house in which many people have lived before and taking one in which nobody has ever lived?” The answer being no, he continued, “Or again, between sailing on a ship in which 10,000 people have sailed before and in one in which nobody has ever sailed?” “There is no difference” “Then it makes no difference,” said he, “whether the woman you live with has lived with many or with nobody.” (2.72)168  Avery-Peck classifies seven stories within the Tannaitic corpus as objection pronouncement stories in which: [a] secondary person or group plays an adversarial role by objecting to the actions or ideas of the primary character. This calls for a response (the dissent), on the part of the main character, a response which appears as the story’s final, pithy, utterance. 169   166  Ibid. Vernon Robbins finds thirty objection stories in Plutarch’s Lives of Alexander, Julius Caesar, Demosthenes and Cicero. Robbins, "Classifying Pronouncement Stories," 41. 167  Poulos, "Form and Function of the Pronouncement Story in Diogenes Laertius' Lives," 58. 168  Ibid. The linguistic conflation of the words “woman” and “house” is also found in the Mishnah. Mishnah Yoma 1:1 states: “For seven days before the Day of Atonement they separated the high priest from his house into the counselors’ chamber, and they made ready for him another priest in his place in case there should befall him some ineligibility. Rabbi Judah says, ‘Also another wife they made ready for him in case his own wife were to die,’ as it is said, ‘and he shall atone for his own behalf and on behalf of his house’ (Lev. 16:6); ‘his house’—that is, his wife.” Mishnah Niddah 2:5 states: “The sages spoke in a parable about woman: [There is in her] a chamber, an ante-chamber, and an upper room.” See also m. Avot 1:5, m. Niddah 2:1 and m. Mikavot 8:4. Cynthia M. Baker, Rebuilding the House of Israel: Architectures of Gender in Jewish Antiquity  (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002), 48-53. Charlottte Elisheva Fonrobert, Menstrual Purity: Rabbinic and Christian Conceptions of Biblical Gender  (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 48-60. 169  Avery-Peck, "Classifying Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 230. 86 One of Avery-Peck’s examples is the following:  There was an incident concerning Rabban Gamliel, who recited the Shema on the night of his wedding. His students said to him: Did you not teach us, our Rabbi, that the groom  is exempt from reciting the Shema on the night of his marriage? He said to them, I will not listen to you to absolve myself from acknowledging the sovereignty of God for even one hour. (m. Ber 2:5) 170    Porton and Avery-Peck determine that rabbinic pronouncement stories differ from the pronouncement stories in the Gospels and Hellenistic literature, which tend to emphasize the personality and character of the individuals who make the pronouncement or about whom it is made. In contrast, the concerns of rabbinic pronouncement stories focus on legal and exegetical issues. 171  Notwithstanding these differences between Hellenistic and rabbinic pronouncement stories, I suggest that the pronouncement story is a useful genre for viewing this rabbinic story. It demonstrates that this aggadah conforms to a stylistic genre in Tannaitic literature and that it uses a type of argument common within Hellenistic rhetoric.  These factors lead to my conclusion that the composers/redactors of this narrative made a deliberate redactional choice to employ the pronouncement story genre.  The third section of this aggadah is a (mashal) or parable. In the context of this story, it serves the needs of the pronouncement story. At the same time, it is a distinct genre. Parables exist in the literatures of cultures worldwide. Some of the forms of the parable within rabbinic literature have been linked to the ancient Near East and are found within the Tanakh 172  and the New Testament. 173  Eli Yassif suggests that rabbinic parables are  170  Ibid. All seven examples are found on p. 230-33. 171  Porton, "The Pronouncement Story in Tannaitic Literature," 94; Avery-Peck, "Classifying Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 225. Avery-Peck, "Rhetorical Argumentation in Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 69. 172  Yassif, Hebrew Folktale, 192-193. 87 frequently embedded in the conclusion of aggadic narratives, and they are contextually dependent on the ideas in the stories in which they appear. 174  This description coheres with the parable in the conclusion of this narrative story.  Whereas forms of the ma’aseh genre use the literary technique of repetition to explicitly state its message(s), the mashal parable genre typically utilizes ambiguity and only alludes to its meaning(s). 175  In this aggadah, the mashal is in the form of a king or royal parable. The traditional motif of the royal parable where the human king is a metaphor for God became formalized in the Amoraic period. 176  Scholars have suggested that this theme may have derived from biblical and ancient Near Eastern perceptions of the divine. 177  It has also been suggested that the figure of the king portrayed in the royal parable is modeled on recognized features of Roman emperors. 178  Michael Avi-Yonah claimed that royal parables reflect the actual political events that occurred from the time of Caracalla to Diocletian. 179   173  For scholarship regarding New Testament parables see: Warren S. Kissinger, The Parables of Jesus - A History of Interpretation and Bibliography  (Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press and the American Theological Library Association, 1979). David Flusser, "The Parables of Jesus and the Parables in Rabbinic Literature " in Jewish Sources in Early Christianity (Tel-Aviv: 1979), 150-210 (Hebrew). Clemens Thoma and Michael Wyschogrod, eds., Parable and Story in Judaism and Christianity (New York: Paulist Press, 1989). Robert Johnston, "Parabolic Interpretations Attributed to Tannaim " (Ph.D. diss., Hartford Seminary Foundation 1977), 1-123. Boyarin, Intertextuality, 80-85. 174  Yassif, Hebrew Folktale, 191. 175  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 4-21. Yassif, Hebrew Folktale, 191. Stern suggests that there are approximately one thousand parables in rabbinic literature. Stern, Midrash and Theory, 41. This figure is based on the parables collected by Ziegler and by I. Ziegler, Die Königsgleichnisse in der Midrasch beleuchtet durch die römische Kaiserzeit  (Breslau: Schlesische Verlagsanstalt, 1903); Johnston, "Parabolic Interpretations Attributed to Tannaim ". 176  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 20-21. 177  Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighbourhood, 39, 156 note 125. Stern, Parables in Midrash, 19. See also Marc Brettler, God is King:  Understanding an Israelite Metaphor  (Sheffield, England: JSOT Press, 1989). Kimelman, "Rabbinic Prayer in Late Antiquity," 605. 178  The pioneering work in this area comes from Ziegler, Die Königsgleichnisse in der Midrasch beleuchtet durch die römische Kaiserzeit. 179  Avi-Yonah, The Jews of Palestine, 91-93. 88 That said, the majority of recent scholarship concludes that royal parables are fictional narratives. 180  At the same time, David Stern maintains: There is a high probability that behind the mashal there stands some kind of historical specificity...The extent and complexity with which historical reality is woven into the texture of the mashal’s imaginative prose cannot be overstated. 181   The complexity and purposeful redaction of this story can be seen in the manner in which elements of the pronouncement story are combined with the royal parable genre. My analysis demonstrates how these two genres are employed together to convey the multilayered thematic concerns expressed in this story. 2.16 Structure  Rubenstein defines tripartite structure as one of the literary characteristics of rabbinic stories in the BT. 182  Tripartite structure also frames this PT story. It contains three distinct sections: the first runs from A to C, the second from D to E, and the third from F to G. I suggest that the structure of this narrative unit as a whole should be considered to include the halakhic pericope that precedes the aggadic story, for the following reason. The comprehensive rhetorical handbook Rhetorica ad Herennium, which dates to around 85 BCE, 183  provides details of an outline for embellishing a subject, or creating a complete  180  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 19-21. Stern, Midrash and Theory, 41. Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighbourhood, 39- 41. Boyarin, Intertextuality, 91. Clemens Thoma, "Literary and Theological Aspects of the Rabbinic Parables," in Parable and Story in Judaism and Christianity, ed. Clemens Thoma and Michael Wyschogrod (Mahwah, N. J.: Paulist Press, 1989), 27. 181  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 20. See also Daniel Boyarin, Sparks of the Logos: Rabbinic Hermeneutics (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2003), 110. Hasan-Rokem, Web of Life, 145. 182  Rubenstein, Rabbinic Stories, 16-19. 183  Regarding the authorship, sources, and dating of Rhetorica ad Herennium see George Kennedy, The Art of Rhetoric in the Roman World 300 B.C- A.D. 300  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972), 110-138. Kennedy, A New History of Classical Rhetoric, 121-127. Stanley F. Bonner, Education in Ancient Rome: From the elder Cato to the younger Pliny  (London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1977), 80. 89 argument. 184  The seven successive stages it defines conform exactly to the structure of this aggadah when its preceding halakhic pericope is included. The seven successive stages are detailed below: 1. STATE THE SUBJECT PLAINLY: R. Zeira said in the name of R. Abba bar Jeremiah: There are three immediacies. Immediately after leaning comes slaughtering. Immediately after hand washing comes blessing. Immediately after redemption blessing comes prayer.  2. APPEND A RATIONALE: Immediately after leaning comes slaughtering: (Leviticus 1:4–5) Immediately after hand washing comes the blessing: (Psalm 134:2) Immediately after redemption blessing comes prayer: (Psalm 19:15 and 20:2)  3. RESTATE THE SUBJECT A SECOND TIME WITH OR WITHOUT RATIONALES: R. Yose b. R. Bun said: All who immediately follow the leaning [the laying of hands on] With slaughter [of the offering] no disqualification will touch that offering. And all who immediately follow the washing of hands with the blessing The Satan will not prosecute [him] during that meal. And all who immediately follow [the reciting of the] redemption [blessing] With [the reciting of] the prayer the Satan will not prosecute him that day.  4. BRING FORWARD A CONTRARY: Said R. Zeira: I immediately followed [the reciting of the] redemption [blessing] with [the reciting of] the prayer and I was drafted into [the king’s] service and made to transport myrtle [to his] palace. They said [to R. Zeira]: Master that was a great privilege. There are people who pay money [for the opportunity] to see the palace.  5. AN ANALOGY: R. Ami said: All who do not immediately follow [the reciting of the] Redemption [blessing] with [the reciting of] the prayer to what may they be likened?  6. AN EXAMPLE: To the king’s friend who came and knocked on the door of the king, And [the king] came out to find out what [the friend] wanted.  184  Rhetorica Ad Herennium, trans. Harry Caplan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1954), 4.56 p. 369. Ronald F. Hock and Edward N. O'Neil, eds., The Chreia and Ancient Rhetoric: Classroom Exercises (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2002), 86-90. Mack, "Elaboration of the Chreia in the Hellenistic School," 56-57. 90 7. A CONCLUSION: And [the king] found that [his friend] had left. So [the king] distanced himself [from that friend] even more.  The preceding halakhic pericope of this aggadah comprises the first two stages for embellishing a subject. R. Zeira states the subject clearly; it is the three immediacies. Next, biblical proof-texts are attached as rationales for the three immediacies. The aggadah fulfills the next five stages. R. Yose b. R. Bun repeats the subject with different rationales. The episode with R. Zeira provides the contrary opinion. The royal parable (mashal) fulfills the last three stages: analogy, example, and conclusion.  It is impossible to know whether any of the sages who composed/redacted this pericope had actually read the Rhetorica Ad Herennium. They may have gleaned this information in a number of ways, such as in conversations or through listening to orators. 185  The elaboration pattern provided in Rhetorica Ad Herennium may have been well known, since it remained fairly consistent for a few centuries following its composition. A similar pattern of elaboration is provided in the second-century CE Progymnasmata of Hermogenes of Tarsus, and it changes very little after the time of Hermogenes. 186  2.17 Literary Analysis of the Aggadah  Each of the three distinct sections of this story relate to each other and to the narrative as a whole. In the first section we have a statement by the Palestinian amora R. Yose b. R. Bun in praise of the three immediacies, which parallels the statement of R. Zeira in the preceding halakhic pericope. The fact that there are exactly three immediacies is another example of the literary trope of threefold repetition within the PT. In this PT aggadah, the  185  See Hidary, "Classical Rhetorical Arrangement and Reasoning in the Talmud: The Case of Yerushalmi Berakhot 1:1," 36-37. Wayne A. Meeks and Robert L. Wilken, Jews and Christians in Antioch in the First Four Centuries of the Common Era  (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1978), 59-63. 186  Hock and O'Neil, The Chreia in Ancient Rhetoric Volume 1 The Progymnasmata, 161. Hock and O'Neil, The Chreia and Ancient Rhetoric: Classroom Exercises, 88-90. 91 juxtaposing of the biblical requirement for the laying of hands on a sacrifice with the rabbinic injunctions regarding washing hands before blessing, combined with the joining of the Shema liturgy to the Shemonah Esreh prayer, serves to place rabbinic prayer within a Temple-like ritual structure. The sages assert that hands that are washed prior to the blessing (which is recited before a meal) will be like hands on a sacrificial offering. Prayer thus replaces sacrifices. The implicit thematic motif in this aggadah is that just as sacrifices atoned for the sins of the people, prayer will now take on that role. This notion is explicitly thematized in b. Ber 26a which states:  איה ןברק םוקמב הלפת—“prayer is in place of sacrifice,” and in b. Ber 32b which adds  תונברקה ןמ רתוי הלפת הלודג—“prayer is greater than the [Temple] offerings.”187 In this aggadah, the three immediacies lack the biblical proof-texts to which they are attached in the preceding halakhic pericope. Instead, we find hyperbolic statements asserting that if these directives are followed, the sacrifices will be free from blemishes and Satan will not taunt people at meals nor throughout the day. The threat of Satan’s wrath is only one of several possibilities within the spectrum of rabbinic rhetorical devices of persuasion. The sages also asserted that prayer has the power to elicit divine protection. 188  In b. Ber 4b and 9b, we find a promise that everyone who joins the redemption blessing to the prayer will be guaranteed a place in the world to come. Promises of protection or a long life, or threats of the opposite, are mentioned frequently in talmudic passages relating to formalized prayer practices. Bavli Ber 8a promises a long life for those who pray in the synagogue morning and evening. According to y. Ber 1:1, 2d and b. Ber 5a, reciting the Shema in the evening will protect one from demons and evil spirits. Bavli Ber 7b says that having a fixed place for  187  See Kimelman, "Rabbinic Prayer in Late Antiquity," 573-580. 188  Ruth Langer, To Worship God Properly: Tensions Between Liturgical Custom and Halakhah in Judaism (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1998), 14. 92 prayer will protect one from enemies. If God has not answered prayers, the sages recommend more praying, as in y. Ber 4:1, 7c, y. Taanit 4:1, 67c, and b. Ber 32b, or fasting, as in y. Ber 4:3, 8a. It is characteristic for hyperbolic statements to be attached to rabbinic rulings which sages had no judicial power to enforce. 189  Seth Schwartz suggests that the PT never describes sages as having jurisdiction in a technical sense. 190  The attempt to strengthen respect for rabbinic authority and to prescribe expected behaviour is also a specific characteristic of some of the Tannaitic pronouncement stories identified by Avery-Peck. 191  Similarly, Tannehill finds this feature in Hellenistic pronouncement stories. 192  In the second section of our story, R. Zeira fulfills the role of the character expressing a contrary attitude. R. Zeira challenges R. Yose b. R. Bun’s statement that no harm will come to one who follows the blessing with the prayer. R. Zeira relates that he once followed the redemption blessing with the prayer and harm came to him since he was taken away for forced labour, which required him to transport myrtle to the palace. The words for palace are ןירוטלפ and ןיטלפ. They may come from the Latin terms praetorium and palatium.193 According to rabbinic biographies, R. Yose b. R. Bun was a late-fourth-century sage, so he would have lived almost a century after R. Zeira. Although this story is constructed to make it appear that R. Zeira was responding to R. Yose b. R. Bun, the story obviously bears the work of redactors. James Scott’s work on hidden transcripts aids in the analysis of this section of the story. Scott uses the term “hidden transcripts” to refer to “discourse that takes place offstage  189  Ibid, 17. See also Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine, 462-466. 190  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 120. 191  Avery-Peck, "Classifying Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 241. These characteristics are also found in rabbinic stories that do not fit the genre of pronouncement stories. 192  Tannehill, "Introduction: The Pronouncement Story and its Types," 3, 4. 193  Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, 435. 93 beyond direct observation by power holders.”194 According to Scott, “every subordinate group creates, out of its ordeal, a ‘hidden transcript’ that represents a critique of power spoken behind the back of the dominant.”195 Daniel Boyarin has already drawn our attention to the ways in which rabbinic discourse, with its Hebrew/Aramaic language and its oral transmission, makes itself inaccessible to Roman authorities and accessible only to the sages and their disciples. 196  Seth Schwartz also asserts that by choosing to compose texts in Hebrew and Aramaic, rather than in Greek, “the rabbis proclaimed their alienation from normative Roman culture in every line they wrote.”197 Aryeh Cohen draws our attention to the fact that the process of reading and understanding a talmudic text in the BT is often interrupted by “ungrammaticalities” in the text. 198  Ungrammaticalities or gaps are actions or dialogues that seem to be out of place because they are not motivated by the story. They are contradictions, or unexpected or unclear actions, signaling that the story is about more than what a superficial reading suggests. According to many theorists, and specific to reception theory, narratives are inherently gapped and the process of reading involves a reader making implicit connections  194  James Scott, C., Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts  (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 4. See also Berkowitz, Execution and Invention, 154. Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighbourhood, 129-130. 195  Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, xii. 196  Daniel Boyarin, Dying for God: Martyrdom and the Making of Christianity and Judaism  (Stanford: Stanford Univeristy Press, 1999), 46. 197  Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 114. See also Gafni, "The World of the Talmud," 254; Daniel Boyarin, Carnal Israel, Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture  (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), 17. 198  Cohen, Rereading Talmud, 135-145. Cohen is influenced by Riffaterre’s understanding of subtext. Michael Riffaterre, Fictional Truth  (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1990), 23, 128-130; Michael Riffaterre, The Semiotics of Poetry  (Bloomington: Indiana Press, 1984), 42. 94 in order to fill in or close the gaps. 199  Ungrammaticalities also point to the “multiple textures” of a text.200 This PT aggadah contains gaps that lead to successive dimensions or multiple textures of the text. It is strange that R. Zeira complains about the requirement to join the redemption blessing to the prayer, since he is portrayed as the transmitter of this tradition in the immediately preceding halakhic pericope. Another gap is that R. Zeira’s tale appears to make the claim that righteousness does not always bring reward. He seems to be asserting that he was punished even though he had not sinned. This contradicts early rabbinic notions of divine justice. Even though some pre-rabbinic sources contain the motif that suffering is unjustified, such as the book of Job, scholars suggest that Palestinian sources, almost exclusively, insist that righteousness brings reward and that sin is the cause for suffering. 201  Although some passages in the BT allow that suffering may be undeserved, such a view is generally not found in earlier rabbinic sources. 202  The statement by the anonymous sages in the next part of the story constitutes another gap. It is assumed that these sages are R. Zeira’s students, because they refer to him as “master.” This upsets the usual rabbinic hierarchy, which maintains that students are expected to follow the rulings imparted by their teachers. 203  Students are prohibited from acting against the pronouncements of their teachers. Also, they must not teach laws that differ from the rulings of their rabbi, out of respect for the authority  199  Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics  (New York: Routledge, 2002), 128- 130.  Wolfgang Iser, The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction From Bunyan to Beckett (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1974), 274-294. Eagleton, Literary Theory, 76-77. 200  Vernon K. Robbins, Exploring the Texure of Texts: A Guide to Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation  (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1996), 3-5. 201  David Kraemer, Responses to Suffering in Classical Rabbinic Literature  (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 102-114. Elman, "The Suffering of the Righteous in Babylonian and Palestinian Sources," 315 - 339; Elman, "Righteousness as its Own Reward: An Inquiry into the Theologies of the Stam," 35-67. 202  Kraemer, Responses to Suffering in Classical Rabbinic Literature, 102-114. Elman, "The Suffering of the Righteous in Babylonian and Palestinian Sources," 315 - 339; Elman, "Righteousness as its Own Reward: An Inquiry into the Theologies of the Stam," 35-67. 203  Bavli Eruvin 62b, b. Nedarim 8b, b. Sanhedrin 5b, y. Shevit 6:1, 3c. 95 of their master sage. According to Sifra 45, anyone who renders legal decisions in the presence of his teacher deserves death. 204  In b. Berakhot 9b, the admonition to R. Zeira that people have to pay money to see the king is given anonymously. Perhaps this is because BT redactors chose not to portray students rebuking their teacher. The gaps in this PT aggadah are literary indications that this narrative presents a hidden transcript. The students tell R. Zeira that he should not view his work for the palace as forced labour but as a privilege, since people pay money to see the palace. 205  The response of the students forces an examination regarding the intent of R. Zeira’s statement. Is R. Zeira really complaining that he properly fulfilled the prayer requirement but was still punished, or is he complaining about an onerous burden placed on him by Roman authorities? I suggest that within this talmudic text regarding prayer, we find a subtext relating to the theme of Roman domination. We also witness competing ideological voices: R. Zeira appears to be advocating resistance to Roman rule with his complaint that he was forced to transport myrtle to the palace, while the students are urging accommodation with the authorities with their statement that people would pay to see the palace and that R. Zeira should view his forced labour as a privilege. 206  This subtext contributes to the complexity of this narrative. Further evidence of literary complexity can be seen in the use of the “myrtle” motif.  204  Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine, 339-341. Levine, The Rabbinic Class of Roman Palestine in Late Antiquity, 59-61; Jaffee, Torah in the Mouth, 147-151. 205  Daniel Sperber suggests that the palace was the seat of the proconsul in Caesarea and there were days when people could, for an entrance fee, get a tour inside the palace. Sperber, Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature, 227. In contrast, Ginzberg concludes that this incident cannot be linked to any specific Roman authority. Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 75 (Hebrew). 206  Daniel Boyarin detects differing responses to Roman power played out in y. Shabbat 1:3, 3c between R. Hiyya the Great and R. Shimon ben Yohai. One sage advocates accommodation and the other resistance. Boyarin, Dying for God, 46-48. 96 2.18 Myrtle  The aggadah refers to the act of transporting myrtle to the palace. The Hebrew word for myrtle is סדה.207 It is a shrub that grows wild in the upper Galilee, and according to rabbinic literature, סדה had several uses. It was featured in wedding celebrations.208 Its branches were arranged to make wreaths for bridegrooms. 209  Sages would juggle with myrtle branches in order to entertain bridal couples. 210  Myrtle leaves are also mentioned as a remedy for blood pressure in the head. 211  Furthermore, according to Sepher Ha-Razim, a magical handbook thought to date from the early talmudic period, one should hold a myrtle twig when questioning a ghost. 212  Finally, myrtle leaves are said to have the shape of an eye. 213  Myrtle is one of the four plants that form an obligatory ritual during the annual festival of Sukkot. This use is based on the biblical commandment that states, “And you will take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook” (Leviticus 23:40). The exact meaning of the biblical words is unclear. Rabbinic rulings named the plants mentioned in Leviticus 23:40 as “the four species.” “The fruit of goodly trees” was interpreted to mean a citron (in Hebrew etrog). The “branches of palm trees” became known as lulav, the “boughs of leafy trees” as myrtle  207 In Esther 2:7 Esther’s name is הסדה– myrtle. Within this aggadah there may be an echo or hint of the previous story analyzed in this chapter. That is, R. Zeira complains about performing angareia to bring myrtle to the palace. Within the biblical Book of Esther, Esther/  הסדה – Myrtle, is also forced to go to the palace by the king’s order. 208  Bavli Shabbat 110a 209  Tosefta Sotah 15:8. B. Sotah 49b discusses which types of bride groom wreaths are permitted, and which types are not permitted, following the destruction of the Temple. There is an unresolved dispute about whether myrtle wreaths are allowed. 210  Bavli Ketuboth 17a 211  Bavli Gittin 68b. Michael Zohary, Plants of the Bible  (Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 1982), 119. 212  Sepher Ha-Razim: The Book of Mysteries, trans. Michael A. Morgan (Chico, California: Scholars Press, 1983), 38. 213  Leviticus Rabbah 30:14. 97 leaves, and “willows of the brook” were called aravot.214 The ritual, referred to simply as “lulav,” involves holding the four species together and waving them in a prescribed manner toward the east, south, west, north, and then up and down. 215   In ancient Greece, myrtle had many uses, and the numerous references to myrtle in Greek literature attest to its popularity and significance. The plant was known for being sacred to Aphrodite. 216  In Wasps, by Aristophanes, characters call for fire to be brought with incense and myrtle to invoke the gods. 217  Pindar mentions a crown of white myrtle on the head of Theban Melissos, in connection with a sacrificial festival of the dead. 218  Myrtle crowns were also associated with priests, who would wear them when sacrificing. 219  Theophrastus characterizes the superstitious man as one who buys myrtle wreaths and then spends the whole day garlanding the Hermaphrodites. 220  From Pliny the Elder’s Natural  214  Mishnah Sukkah 2:2 - 2:9, 4:1- 4:10, b. Sukkot 32b. סדה as myrtle is also mentioned in: Nehemiah 8:15, Isaiah 41:19, 55:13, Zechariah 1:8, 1:10, 1:11. 215  Rashi to b. Sukkah 37b suggests that this ritual is an acknowledgment of divine rule over nature. According to m. Sukkah 3:12 the ritual took place on all seven days of the festival of Sukkot in the Temple, but it was practiced for only one day in areas outside of the vicinity of the Temple. Following the destruction of the Temple, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai declared that the ritual should be conducted everywhere for all seven days. This may represent another example of the extension of Temple based practices in the post- Temple era. Regarding the role of priests in promoting the lulav ritual in the post-Temple era see David Levine, "Between Leadership and Marginality: Models for Evaluating the Role of the Rabbis in the Early Centuries CE," in Jewish Identities in Antiquity: Studies in Memory of Menahem Stern, ed. Lee Levine and Daniel Schwartz (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009), 197-198. 216  P. G. Maxwell-Stuart, "Myrtle and the Eleusinian Mysteries," Wiener Studien 6(1972): 145. Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 24.7 states, that the rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite. See also Marcel Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis: Spices in Greek Mythology, trans. Janet Lloyd (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1977), 63. 217  Aristophanes, Wasps, 826. The birds eat myrtle flowers in Aristophanes, Birds 1099-1100. 218  Pindar, Isthmian 4, 117-118. A garland of myrtle is also mentioned in Isthmian 8, 65. 219  Herodotus 1.132. Maxwell-Stuart, "Myrtle and the Eleusinian Mysteries," 150. Emily Kearns, Ancient Greek Religion: A Source Book  (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 251, 315. 220 Theophrastus, Characters, 16.10. Theophrastus was a pupil of Aristotle and his successor as head of the Lyceum. The Characters, is a collection of about thirty sketches of different types of (exclusively) male behaviour. Hugh Bowden, "Before Superstition and After: Theophrastus and Plutarch on Deisidaimonia," Past and Present Supplement 3(2008): 57. 98 History, we learn that myrtle was consecrated to Venus, 221  and Ovid depicts myrtle being sacrificed to Venus. 222   Maxwell-Stuart lists the multiple uses of myrtle common among the Greeks. There was a myrtle grove at Delphi; myrtle sprays were woven into garlands; at symposia, guests sang proverbs and love songs while passing a spray of myrtle to each other, and all guests were expected to receive the myrtle and sing to it. Myrtle wreaths were given to victors at games and contests; myrtle rings were thought to be able to cure swellings in the groin; a crown of myrtle would be presented to a magistrate as a mark of honour; Hermes’ sandals were made of tamarisk and myrtle twigs; and his statue in the temple of Athene Polias at Athens was almost hidden by myrtle boughs. 223   Closer to the time period of the PT, according to Plutarch, Roman women bathed and wore garlands of myrtle before making sacrifices to Aphrodite on the first of April. 224  Pausanias also speaks of an image of Aphrodite made of a myrtle tree. 225  Myrtle was closely connected with sexual passion. 226  To Maxwell-Stuart, a clear association of sexual passion and myrtle comes from Longus’ third-century CE novel, Daphnis and Chloë, in which Myrtle is the name of the goatherd’s wife, and the foster-mother to Daphnis.227 Myrtle is also found in literary scenes of marriage. 228  In Attica, myrtle was used to weave crowns worn by  221  Pliny the Elder, The Natural History,12.2.1; The Natural History, 15.29 lists myrtle leaves as a remedy for wounds. 222  Ovid, Fasti, 4, 865 223  Maxwell-Stuart, "Myrtle and the Eleusinian Mysteries," 147-149, 151. 224  Plutarch, Numa 19. Plutarch may have been recalling an older custom here. 225  Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5. 13. 7 226  Pliny, 12, 3; Ovid, Fasti 4, 869; Ars Am. 3, 181; Vergil, Ecl. 7, 62; Georg. 1, 28; 2, 64; Vergil, Aen. 72. Maxwell-Stuart, "Myrtle and the Eleusinian Mysteries," 152 note 148; Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis, 63. 227  Maxwell-Stuart, "Myrtle and the Eleusinian Mysteries," 153-154. 228  Ibid, 156. 99 brides and grooms. 229  This application seems to parallel the use of myrtle at weddings, as recorded in rabbinic literature. In our aggadah, following R. Yose ben Bun’s statement referring to Satan, R. Zeira states that he transported myrtle to the palace. A unique practice is cited in b. Sukkot 38a: Rav Aha bar Yaakov 230  used to extend (the lulav) outward and bring it inward and say, “this is an arrow in the eye of Satan.” But this is not a (proper) thing Because (Satan) may come to provoke him to sin  The tradition about the lulav and Satan, as cited in b. Sukkot 38a, may have been informed by this aggadah. Scholars agree that Palestinian sources are ubiquitous in the BT and that there were many interactions between the Palestinian and Babylonian rabbinic communities during the Amoraic period. 231   In the aggadah, R. Yose Ben Bun states that Satan will not prosecute anyone who recites the redemption blessing and prayer together. On the next line, R. Zeira announces that he did recite the redemption blessing and prayer together but was still punished. The implication seems to be that he was punished by Satan, who in this case is an official in the Roman palace, and R. Zeira may be taking myrtle to poke out the eye of Satan. Scholars generally agree that in most biblical references, Satan is one of God’s angels whose role is as a heavenly accuser, acting only as God’s agent to serve God’s purposes.232 In some biblical  229  Detienne, The Gardens of Adonis, 63. 230 R. Aha bar Yaacov was a fourth generation Babylonian Amora. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 95. 231  Gray, A Talmud in Exile, 3. 232  Numbers 22:22-23, Job 1-2, Zechariah 3:1-2. Henry Ansgar Kelly, Satan: A Biography  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 13-31. Elaine Pagels, "The Social History of Satan, The "Intimate Enemy": A Preliminary Sketch," Harvard Theological Review 84, no. 2 (1991): 107. Johnny Awwad, "Satan in Biblical Imagination," Theological Review XXVI, no. 1 (2005): 113. Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem, 272. 100 passages, Satan also refers to human adversaries. 233  References to Satan are few in Tannaitic literature. 234  Although the figure of Satan becomes more prominent in Amoraic literature, 235  it is suggested that no concrete concept of Satan as a demonic power exists within the Talmud, which tends to portray Satan as the evil inclination or an impersonal force of evil that infects humanity. 236  Henry Ansgar Kelly suggests that early Christian texts identify Satan as the figure who is responsible for instituting the “Idolatry of Paganism.” In other words, “heretics” were under the spell of Satan.237 In this aggadah, Satan appears to represent Roman domination and Greco-Roman cultic practice.    There may be a double meaning in the mentioning of Satan in this story and the theme of R. Zeira taking myrtle to the palace. For this suggestion, I draw on the work of Homi Bhabha in The Location of Culture. Bhabha states: “The menace of mimicry is its double vision which in disclosing the ambivalence of colonial discourse also disrupts its authority.”238 By mentioning the carrying of myrtle to the Roman palace, the aggadah draws attention to the use of myrtle in the context of Greco-Roman ritual. This creates mimicry with the use of myrtle in rabbinic ritual as described above. In this story, myrtle appears to serve as a vehicle for criticizing what the sages deemed as improper ritual practice, the use of myrtle in pagan rites. There is also mimicry in the mentioning of Satan and the Roman  233  I Samuel 29:4, II Samuel 19:23, I Kings 5:18, 11:14, 11:23; 11:25. The identity of Satan in 1 Chronicles 21:1 has long been debated. Ryan E. Stokes, "The Devil Made David Do it...Or Did he?  The Nature, Identity, and Literary Origins of the Satan in 1 Chronicles 21:1," Journal of Biblical Literature 128, no. 1 (2009): 92-96. Peggy L. Day, An Adversary in Heaven: Satan in the Hebrew Bible  (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1988). Regarding the role of Satan in Apocryphal literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls see Kelly, Satan: A Biography, 32-50. For Satan in Enochic texts see Annette Yoshiko Reed, Fallen Angels and the History of Judaism and Christianity: The Reception of Enochic Literature  (Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2005). 234  ןטש (Satan) does not appear in the Mishnah. It is found once in the Tosefta, in t. Shabbat 17:3, and once in the PT in y. Yevamot 1:6, 3a. ןטשה (the Satan) is not found in the Mishnah or the Tosefta. It appears twice in the PT, in this pericope and in y. Shabbat 2:6, 5b. 235  ןטש appears 26 times in the BT. ןטשה is in the BT 21 times. Satan appears with and without the definite article more than a hundred times in midrashic literature. 236  Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem, 272. 237  Kelly, Satan: A Biography, 324. See also Reed, Fallen Angels, 176-177. 238  Bhabha, The Location of Culture, 88. 101 palace because in the third section of the story, in the royal parable, that I discuss further on, God in his palace is metaphorically shown to be the genuine ruler of the universe, thereby surpassing the power of the Roman ruler and his earthly palace.   A search for the term myrtle in Tannaitic sources and in Amoraic material in the PT, in addition to contemporaneous Greco-Roman literary sources, suggests that the mentioning of myrtle in this aggadah is intended to draw attention to the use of myrtle in the context of Greco-Roman ritual. The Mishnah knows of a pagan 239  rite involving myrtle. Mishnah Sukkah 3:1 states: לוספ תחדנה ריע לשו הרישא לש בלול  A lulav from an Asherah or an apostate city is not valid. 240  Archaeological evidence for cultic worship in temples in the vicinity of the Galilee from the early third century is plentiful. 241  Fourth-century CE Roman emperors, except for Julian, supported Christianity. Averil Cameron concludes that nevertheless a variety of societal pagan practices continued during this period. 242  Amnon Linder concurs: Finally, the victory of Christianity over paganism was not considered a foregone conclusion during most of the fourth century; by its close, pagans still accounted for a considerable proportion of the imperial  239  The term “pagan” is viewed as problematic by many scholars who have concluded that “paganism” implies a more unified system of religious tradition in the Roman world than actually existed. Some now use polytheism, religious traditions of the Roman Empire, or traditional Greco-Roman religion. I follow James Rives who continues to employ the term “pagan” because, as he points out, no completely adequate substitute has been devised. James B. Rives, "Graeco-Roman Religion in the Roman Empire: Old Assumptions and New Approaches," Currents in Biblical Reseaarch 8, no. 2 (2010): 242-243. 240  This statement is repeated in m. Sukkah 3:2 and 3:3. 241  Goodman, State and Society, 46-49. Millar, The Roman Near East: 31 BC-AD 337, 369. Mordecai Aviam, Jews, Pagans and Christians in the Galilee: 25 Years of Archaeological Excavations and Surveys Hellenistic to Byzantine Periods  (Rochester, N. Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2004), 17. Nicole Belayche, Iudaea- Palaestina: The Pagan Cults in Roman Palestine (Second to Fourth Century), trans. Monica Brain (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001). Material remains do not always provide unambiguous evidence of a specific lived reality. Material remains can be interpreted to provide a range of conclusions. See Levine, The Ancient Synagogue, 190-193. 242  Averil Cameron, The Later Roman Empire: A.D. 284-430  (London: Fontana Press, 1993), 74-75. 102 and the municipal cadres, and traditional values (pagan almost by definition) still infused the culture shared by rulers and ruled alike. 243   In addition, Günther Stemberger concludes that Jewish daily life in Roman Palestine was hardly affected by Christianity in the first three centuries CE, while paganism in the Galilee region survived into the fifth century CE. 244  The Mishnah and both Talmuds devote an entire tractate, Tractate Avodah Zarah (literally “strange practice), to discussions relating to idolatry. 245  Mishnah Avodah Zarah 1:4 states: מ תויונח הב ויהו הרז הדובע הב שיש ריע׳מכח ורמאו ןאש תיבב השעמ היה הז תורטועמ ןניאשו תורטוע תורתומ תורטועמ ןניאשו תורוסא תורטועמ246  In a city that has idolatry in which [some] shops were adorned and [some shops] were not adorned—there was such an incident247 in Beth Shean. 248  And the sages said, “those that are adorned are forbidden and those that are not adorned are permitted.”249  Mishnah Avodah Zarah 1:4 can be contextualized when viewed with its interpolation in the PT and in a passage by Pausanias in the second-century CE text Description of Greece. “Adorn” is a key word in m. Avodah Zarah 1:4. The mishnah does not tell us what or whom  243  Amnon Linder, "The Legal Status of the Jews in the Roman Empire," in The Cambridge History of Judaism: The Late Roman-Rabbinic Period, ed. Steven T. Katz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 144- 145. 244  Stemberger, "The Impact of Paganism and Christianity," 511, 514. 245  Gray, A Talmud in Exile. 246  There are no variants for this mishnah among MSS Kaufmann and Parma. 247  The word the mishnah uses is השעמ, ma’aseh. 248  Beit Shean is synonymous with Scythopolis, a pagan city, in which Jews dwelt. Millar, The Roman Near East: 31 BC-AD 337, 378. G. Fuks, "The Jews of Hellenistic and Roman Scythopolis," Journal of Jewish Studies 33(1982): 407. 249  Translation is my own. Danby’s translation reads “If there was an idolatrous festival in that city.” Danby, The Mishnah, 437. The word festival does not appear in this mishnah. Danby seems to base his translation on the elucidation of Rashi and Tosafot to b. Avodah Zarah 11b and 12a where Rashi states that, in the Mishnah, the words, ‘a city in which there is idol worship’ always refers to a specific festival. Mishnayot Avodah Zarah 1:1-1:3 discuss idolatrous festivals that take place on specific days. Fritz Graf speculates that m. Avodah Zarah 1:4 may refer to the Saturnalia festival during which shops were decorated. Fritz Graf, "Roman Festivals in Syria Palaestina," in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture III, ed. Peter Schäfer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 442. 103 is being adorned or what the adornment is. The only thing we can be sure of is that the adornment is imagined as happening in the marketplace. However, we can conclude that it has something to do with idolatry, since the mishnah begins, “In a city that has idolatry.” Presumably, the mishnah is saying that it is not permissible to do business with shops that are adorned. 250  Market days often coincided with pagan festivals. 251   The PT will address some of the missing information in m. Avodah Zarah 1.4 by offering suggestions for the type of material used for the adornment. The beginning of y. Avodah Zarah 1:4, 39d states: בררד היתעד לע ןינימה לכ ראשב רמא שיקל ןב ןועמש יבר סדהב רמא ןנחוי י ' רוסא לכה ןנחוי  R. Yochanan said, “with myrtle.” R. Shimon b. Lakish said, “with any sort of decorative leaves.” According to R. Yochanan all (adorned shops) are prohibited.  A passage in Description of Greece also discusses adornment in the marketplace and is specific about what is being adorned: The most notable things that the Eleans have in the open part of the market-place are a temple and image of Apollo healer. The meaning of the name would appear to be exactly the same as that of Averter of Evil, the name current among the Athenians. In another part are the stone images of the sun and the moon; from the head of the moon project horns, from the head of the sun, his rays. There is also a sanctuary to the Graces; the images are of wood, with their clothes gilded, while their faces, hands and feet are of white marble. One of them holds a rose, the middle one a die and the third a small branch of myrtle. 252   Viewing the preceding texts in light of each other, we see that m. Avodah Zarah 1.4 mentions that the adorned shops in the marketplace are prohibited. In y. Avodah Zarah 1:4, 39d, R.  250  In Pompeii and Herculaneum excavations have discovered many examples of cultic shrines in taverns and shops. James B. Rives, Religion in the Roman Empire  (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007), 119. The sages did not object to all Greco-Roman statues, only to those they assumed were used for idol worship. Eliav, "Viewing the Sculptural Enviornment: Shaping the Second Commandment," 411-433. 251 Graf, "Roman Festivals in Syria Palaestina," 435-451. 252  Pausanias, "Description of Greece," (The Loeb Classical Library, 1954), 6. 24. 26  p.151. 104 Yochanan suggests that the prohibited shops are adorned with myrtle. The statement of Pausanias in Description of Greece explicitly discusses the adornment of cult statues with myrtle in the marketplace.  It is generally recognized that decorating and parading cult statues were central and commonplace aspects of the religious life of Greco-Roman cities within the first few centuries CE. 253  In a comprehensive study of pagan cults in Israel from 135 CE to the fourth century, Nicole Belayche concludes that rabbinic sages were familiar with the essential features of Greco-Roman religious practices and rites, which were generally conducted in public. 254  James Rives summarizes the views of current scholarship related to Greco-Roman religion in the first few centuries CE: A culture in which traditional public cults remained vibrantly alive,  a world filled with processions, festivals, temples and priesthoods... Traditional deities dominate the epigraphic record: in the west, Jupiter, Mercury, Hercules, Silvanus and Mars, with Isis and Cybele only in the lower ranks, and in the east, Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Dionysos and Artemis. 255   R. Zeira’s complaint that he had to take myrtle to the palace may be a condemnation of the use of myrtle in connection with pagan worship and specifically in relation to the use of myrtle for adorning cult statues. My analysis is in line with Seth Schwartz’s conclusion that stories in the PT reveal that PT sages openly and frequently expressed their alienation from non-legal and non-political aspects of Roman culture, as a way of denying the legitimacy of the Roman state. 256   253  Bowden, "Before Superstition and After," 63. Robert Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 178. Rives, Religion in the Roman Empire, 114. 254  Belayche, Iudaea-Palaestina: The Pagan Cults in Roman Palestine (Second to Fourth Century), 35, 71. 255  Rives, "Graeco-Roman Religion," 251. 256  Schwartz, Were the Jews a Mediterranean Society, 118-119. See also Louis Feldman, "Some Observations on Rabbinic Reaction to Roman Rule in the Third Century," Hebrew Union College Annual 63(1992): 39-81. 105 I now turn to the literary analysis of the final section of the aggadah, where we find R. Ami 257  repeating the admonition stated by R. Yose ben R. Bun, at the beginning of the story, regarding the importance of joining the redemption blessing to prayer. R. Ami explains the reason by way of a royal parable. Most rabbinic parables have two parts. In the case of the royal parable, in the first part we find a fictional narrative about a king. The second part of the parable contains its narrative application, or nimshal. 258  R. Ami’s statement, “to what may they be likened,” is the formulaic clause with which rabbinic parables usually begin. The word mashal translates as “likeness” in English. The nimshal, the narrative application of the mashal, characteristically begins with the formulaic expression “similarly” or “so,” as it does in this story. The parable is related in the simple past tense and it fleshes out the ideas presented in the aggadah. The mashal presents a fictional story that draws parallels with the narrative situation presented in the rest of the story. The parallels in the mashal are not made explicit; rather, it is up to the audience to figure them out. This aspect of the mashal is, according to David Stern, “its inherently hermeneutic character…the mashal is a narrative that actively elicits from its audience the application of its message.”259 Daniel Boyarin characterizes the genre of mashal as the narrative structure that fills in the gaps in the biblical text, which is indeterminate at many points. 260  While Boyarin concentrates on the genre of mashal as an interpretive strategy for explicating the biblical text, in this aggadah we witness the marshalling of the mashal to expound the words of the rabbinic sages.  257  R. Ami’s full name is R. Ami ben Natan. He was a third generation Palestinian Amora. He was a student of R. Yochanan and he succeeded R. Yochanan as head of the academy in Tiberias. R. Asi, also known as R. Yasa, was one of his main colleagues. Albeck, Introduction, 227-228 (Hebrew). Frankel, Einleitung, 54b (Hebrew). 258  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 8. Neusner finds Stern’s account of the mashal genre to be inadequate because Stern does not differentiate the form of the mashal in different rabbinic documents. J. Neusner, Building Blocks of Rabbinic Tradition: The Documentary Approach to the Study of Formative Judaism  (Lanham: University Press of America, 2008), 203-206. 259  Stern, Midrash and Theory, 44. 260  Boyarin, Intertextuality, 80-92. 106 According to Tannehill, in Greco-Roman objection stories, the response to the character that has made the objection may correct assumptions upon which the objection was based. It may also disclose “issues of fundamental priorities and of basic perceptions of truth.”261 The parable in section F of the aggadah does just that. This parable supports the statement issued by R. Yose ben Bun at the beginning of the story regarding rabbinic prayer. It communicates the message that the Shema and its blessings should be recited directly preceding the recitation of the Shemonah Esreh liturgy. The lesson of the parable is that reciting the Shema is like knocking on the gates of heaven. The Shema consists of passages that recognize the unity and oneness of God and proclaim divine kingship. Therefore, reciting the Shema creates a favorable atmosphere for approaching the divine. This should be done immediately prior to the recitation of the Shemonah Esreh prayer that asks God for help, for good health, and for sustenance. The parable is saying that one cannot make the requests in the Shemonah Esreh prayer without first praising the divine with the Shema liturgy and the “redemption blessing” which praises God for the redemption from Egypt. Otherwise, it is as if one had knocked on the king’s door and run away just as the king was opening his door to see who was there. 262  In other words, once you bother the king by asking him to open his door, you should not run away or this will invoke the indignation of the king/God. 263  “The king’s friend” is a formulaic expression found in more than fifty royal  261  Tannehill, "Introduction: The Pronouncement Story and its Types," 8-9. 262  Sperber, Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature, 228. 263  Ibid. Rashi’s commentary to b. Ber 4b cites this parable as the reason for why one should join the redemption blessing to the prayer. This is, at least, one instance where Rashi seems to have relied on the PT. 107 parables that feature the king’s friend interacting in some way with the king.264 The king’s friend is a metaphor for the people of Israel, just as the king is a metaphor for God. In some of these passages, the king’s friend is identified as a biblical figure or as the children of Israel. 265  The work of the composers/redactors of this story becomes visible in the reference to the formulaic expression “the king’s friend,” the code word for Israel, within the ubiquitous royal parable.  In this aggadah, the parable also serves as the conclusion of the pronouncement story and the successful argument. Rabbinic pronouncement stories typically culminate in a highly quotable and wise remark. 266  The parable elucidates the major theme of this story, which is the advancement of rabbinic modes of prayer. I suggest that the juxtaposition of the parable, wherein the figure of the king is a metaphor for God, immediately after equating the Roman authority figure with Satan, is purposeful and functions as part of the hidden transcript. The literary structure of this narrative serves to draw attention to the contrasts between the Roman authority figure and God, as well as the differences between pagan worship using myrtle and rabbinic prayer ritual that utilizes myrtle. The message of the parable is that God, the genuine deity, requires prayer conducted in the manner established by the sages; otherwise, God will distance himself “even more” from his people. The addition of the phrase “even more” at the end of the parable serves as a poignant reminder of the destruction of the Temple and the loss of Jewish sovereignty. It also takes us back to the very beginning  264  The texts in which this term is located and the number of times it is repeated is the following: Bereshit Rabbah 8 times, Shemot Rabbah 3 times, Yayikra Rabbah twice, Devarim Rabbah 5 times, Ruth Rabbah twice, Esther Rabbah once, Kohelet Rabbah once, Pesikta Rabbati 4 times, Midrash Tanhuma 3 times, Midrash Yelamdenu once, Pesikta Zutra once, Yalkut Shemoni 11 times, Sifre Bamidbar once, Midrash Zutta once, Peskita d’ R. Eliezer 12 times. Some of these texts are contemporaneous with the PT, and some stem from a later date.  265  In Bereshit Rabbah 30:10 the phrase ‘the king’s friend’ refers to the biblical figure Noah. In Bereshit Rabbah 68:10 it refers to Jacob. In Bereshit Rabbah 98:2 it refers to the children of Israel. 266  Stern, Parables in Midrash, 243. 108 of the story which makes the point that in the post-Temple era prayer will have the efficacy of Temple sacrifice. 2.19 Historical Context  In the first section of the aggadah, R. Yose B. Bun’s saying is an example of the transformation that took place as rabbinic prayer supplanted sacrifices in the post-Temple era. One facet of this transformation was the establishment of ritual hand washing before meals involving the consumption of bread. Rabbinic ritual hand washing metaphorically extends priestly holiness to the entire nation by evoking the image of priests washing their hands before approaching the altar. According to b. Ber 55a and b. Hag 27a “as long as the Temple stood, the altar atoned for Israel. Now a man’s table atones for him.”267 This story is also a reflection of the specific move to combine the Shema liturgy with the Shemonah Esreh prayer. Benedictions referring to repentance and forgiveness in the Shemonah Esreh may have served to fulfill the roles that guilt and sin offerings fulfilled in the Temple era. 268  This section of the aggadah reflects the process of working out the framework of the system of rabbinic prayer. Ginzberg maintains that this pericope refers to the joining of the Shema recitation to the Shemonah Esreh in the morning service, and that the practice of joining these two liturgies was established in the Tannaitic period. 269  However, this conclusion seems questionable. The rabbinic hyperbole employed in this pericope to assert the importance of these liturgies may be an indication that these were not fully accepted practices in the Tannaitic era, or even in the Amoraic era, when this pericope was redacted.  267  See Kimelman, "Rabbinic Prayer in Late Antiquity," 577. 268  On the use of Temple symbols in the synagogue see Steven Fine, This Holy Place On the Sanctiity of the Synagogue during the Greco-Roman Period  (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997). 269  Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 72-73. Daniel Sperber also attributes this development to the Tannaitic time period. Sperber, Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature, 228. 109 2.20 Angareia Contextually, the major theme for the first section of this story concerns the development of rabbinic prayer, while the second section subtly moves to one of Roman domination. This is partially accomplished with the use of the motif of angareia. In the second section R. Zeira claims that he was drafted into service for the palace. The term employed is אירגנא  (angareia). The definition from the Greek, ἀγγαρεία, is “seizure of people or goods for public services.”270 Angareia is a form of exploitation known to the Gospel writers. Matthew 5:41 states, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.” Matthew 27:32 and Mark 15:21 discuss soldiers who compel Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross. Fergus Millar draws our attention to a remark made by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus around 108 CE: If there is a transport requisition (angareia) and a soldier seizes your ass, don’t resist or grumble; for then you will get a beating and still lose your ass. 271   Variant meanings have been attached to angareia in rabbinic literature, so it resists precise classification. 272  In halakhic contexts, it relates to the requisitioning of the services of a donkey or another pack animal for transportation. 273  The term is used in aggadic contexts to  270  Sokoloff spells it as היירגנא. Sokoloff, A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, 64. See also Jastrow, Dictionary of the Targumim, 81. Michael Avi-Yonah claims that angareia was a Persian word adopted by the Greeks. Avi-Yonah, The Jews of Palestine, 94. See also Daniel Sperber, "Angaria in Rabbinic Sources," Antiquite Classique XXXVIII(1969): 166. Gafni, "The World of the Talmud," 230. Schäfer, The History of the Jews in Antiquity, 170-175. Goodman, State and Society, 147. 271  Epictetus 4. 1. 79 cited by F. Millar, The Roman Empire and its Neighbours  (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1967), 98. (The italics are in Millar’s translation) “Stoic” refers to the philosophical school founded by Zeno of Citium c. 300 BCE. John Sellars, The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy  (London: Ashgate, 2003), 178. Epictetus was a Stoic philosopher c. 55–135 CE. 272  אירגנא is found in m. Bava Metzia 6:3, t. Bava Metzia 7:7, 7:8, y. Ber 1:1, 2, y. Bava Metzia 7:1,11c, 7:4,10c, b. Bava Qamma 38b, b. Bava Metzia 78a, 78b, b. Sanhedrin 101b, b. Avodah Zarah 2b, b. Yoma 35b, and b. Sotah 10a. 273  Mishnah Bava Metzia 6:3 mentions angareia incidentally, in a halakhic passage that discusses the obligations one has to the owner of a donkey he hires. The pericope discusses cases in which the donkey goes blind, dies, slips, or is enlisted for angareia. Tosefta Bava Metzia 7:7, y. Bava Metzia 7:1,11c, 7:4,10c, b. Bava Metzia 78a, and 78b are all commentaries on m. Bava Metzia 6:3. 110 refer to people who are requisitioned for some type of labour that is usually not made explicit and is not always conscripted by Roman authorities. For instance, in b. Yoma 35b we are told that on one occasion R. Eleazar b. Hasom was travelling in disguise and was forced into angareia by his servants, who did not recognize him. Tosefta Bava Metzia 7:8 relates that a person was pressed into angareia, but it is not clear to whom or what that service entailed. In an aggadic exegetical trope in b. Avodah Zarah 2b, God rebukes the Roman authorities for compelling Jews and their livestock to perform angareia. A review of the passages in the Mishnah, Tosefta, PT, and BT that mention angareia reveals that it is used in dissimilar ways in different texts, and even in diverse ways within the same texts. Angareia is well attested in Roman sources: it is mentioned in a series of imperial documents that begin during the reign of the emperor Tiberius (17–37 CE) and culminate with rescripts from the emperors of the fourth and fifth centuries CE. 274  Detailed regulations relating to angareia as a requirement of individuals and villages to provide a supply of mules, oxen, horses, and wagons for the transport of individuals and goods on behalf of the empire are contained within 8.5.1 to 8.5.66 of the Theodosian Code. 275  The code specifies the maximum allowable weight to be loaded on each animal or wagon; it also records abuses of the system, and the attempts made to rectify these abuses with various punishments. Stephen Mitchell suggests that one of the earliest documents mandating angareia may be the inscription bearing an edict issued by Sextus Sotidius Strabo Libuscidianus, legatus pro pratore of the emperor Tiberias, around 19 CE. The edict concerns the provision of transport  274  Stephen Mitchell, "Requisitioned Transport in the Roman Empire: A New Inscription from Pisidia," The Journal of Roman Studies 66(1976): 106-112. 275  Clyde Pharr, The Theodosian Code and Novels and the Sirmondian Constitutions: A Translation with Commentary, Glossary and Bibliography  (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952), 194-205. See also Cameron, The Later Roman Empire, 6. Victor Ehrenberg and A. H. M. Jones, eds., Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Augustus & Tiberius (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 320. W. H. C. Frend, "A Third-Century Inscription Relating to Angareia in Phrygia," The Journal of Roman Studies 46(1956): 53 note 25. 111 for official use by a particular subject community, Sagalassus in Pisidia. 276  Angareia is the exact term found on the inscription. The text comprises regulations regarding the type of transport that the people of Sagalassus were required to provide, including two types of pack animals, mules, donkeys, and wagons. 277  Angareia is also mentioned in a third-century CE inscription from Phrygia that mandates particular communities to supply oxen for official requirements. 278  The inscription records that the Phrygian villages of Anossa and Antimacheia had made formal appeals to the Procurator complaining about the burden of angareia. 279  An earlier inscription relating to angareia during the time of Antoninus Pius records the complaints of the village of Dagis, in the territory of Histria, in lower Moesia. 280  This inscription bears a protest to the governor, complaining that the village was unequal to the task of providing transport along the main road. It cites, as a precedent, complaints that a neighbouring community had made to an earlier governor. Mitchell concludes that the Empire required wagons and pack animals primarily for moving military supplies, such as grain and other food stuffs, in areas where there were large concentrations of troops. He finds no evidence that comprehensive regulations lay behind the practice; rather, requisitioning seems to have been carried out on an ad hoc basis. 281   R. Zeira’s statement in y. Ber 1:1, 2d is an explicit reference to angareia as a type of human forced labour imposed by the Roman administration. Whether such a requirement was really imposed on R. Zeira is impossible to know, but from the Roman evidence it is  276  Mitchell, "Requisitioned Transport in the Roman Empire," 106-131. 277  Ibid, 122. 278  Frend, "A Third-Century Inscription," 48. 279  Ibid, 51-52. 280  Mitchell, "Requisitioned Transport in the Roman Empire," 120. Fergus Millar discusses a letter of Domitian to Claudius Athenodorous, the procurator of Syria, who was responsible for preventing abuses of the system of angareia. F. Millar, "Evidence on the Meaning of Tacitus "Annals XII". 60," Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geshichte 13, no. 2 (1964): 182. 281  Mitchell, "Requisitioned Transport in the Roman Empire," 129. 112 clear that others in the Roman Empire also complained about the requirement to perform angareia. The motifs of myrtle, Satan, and angareia all seem to be employed to create the sub-text within this narrative. In other words, the talmudic discourse discloses a hidden transcript that, within a discussion of rabbinic prayer, focuses on contextual references to the surrounding culture related to Roman domination and cultic practice.  The two themes of rabbinic prayer and criticism of Roman practice are combined in the third section of the story which presents the royal parable. The message of the parable is that rabbinic prayer is superior to cultic practices and that the God who desires rabbinic prayer conducted in the proper way is the authentic king of the universe. The ideological message of the parable is that the Roman kingdom has no legitimate sovereignty; genuine sovereignty only rests with the heavenly kingdom of God.  Current trends in research related to Greco-Roman religious practices within the first few centuries CE provide an indication of the historical context in which this aggadah may have arisen. Scholars now recognize that several factors contributed to the fusing of divine and monarchial images within the Roman realm. Prior scholarship primarily treated the imperial cult 282  as a political phenomenon imposed from the top down. One example is the official cult of Deus Sol Invictus, “the divine unconquered sun,” established by the emperor Aurelian in 274 CE, which had a significant political dimension. 283  Recent scholarship considers that the imperial cult was a religious expression driven by the populus itself. 284   282  The term “imperial cult” has become problematic as it seems to infer a coherent system. Current scholarship is of the opinion that there were a wide range of differing practices associated with emperor worship. Rives, "Graeco-Roman Religion," 256. 283  Rives, Religion in the Roman Empire, 205. Lee Levine, "Contextualizing Jewish Art The Synagogues At Hammat Tiberias And Sepphoris," in Jewish Culture And Society Under The Christian Roman Empire, ed. Richard Kalmin and Seth Schwartz (Leuven: Peeters, 2003), 103-108. 284  Rives, "Graeco-Roman Religion," 252. S. R. F. Price, "Gods and Emperors: The Greek Language of the Roman Imperial Cult," Journal of Hellenic Studies 104(1984): 79-95. Ittai Gradel, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion  (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002), 198-212. 113 Gradel argues that the imperial cult was in accordance with traditional Roman religion. 285  Rives sums up the view of current scholars: It now appears that the extent to which the imperial cult flourished in private contexts has previously been greatly underestimated. For example, literary evidence shows that the emperor was worshipped on the domestic level, with his image placed among the household gods…Epigraphic evidence reveals the existence of numerous private associations of “worshippers of the emperor” or “of the emperor’s image”…In short, private cults of the emperor were “very common and widespread indeed, in the domus, in the streets, in public squares, in Rome itself (perhaps there in particular) as well as outside the capital.”286  I suggest that the widespread prevalence of emperor worship in the Roman realm should be considered as one factor that contributed to the rhetorical message contrasting divine rule with Roman rule. In other words, within this aggadah, the motif of contrasting the sovereignty of divine rule with Roman sovereignty can be understood in the historical context in which it was composed. 287  Although Reuven Kimelman concludes that material in rabbinic literature contrasting the kingdom of Rome with the kingdom of God is rare, 288  this PT aggadah is at least one example of a story in rabbinic literature that does appear to contrast the kingdom of Rome with the kingdom of God. We must also consider that the composers/editors of this aggadic material may have been responding obliquely to Christian portrayals of Jesus as king.  285  Gradel, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion, 198-233. 286  Italics are in the quote. Rives, "Graeco-Roman Religion," 256. In the last sentence, Rives quotes Gradel, Emperor Worship and Roman Religion, 232. See also Monika Bernett, "Roman Imperial Cult in the Galilee: Structures, Functions, and Dynamics," in Religion, Ethnicity, and Identity in Ancient Galilee: A Region in Transition, ed. Jürgen Zangenberg, Harold W. Attridge, and Dale B. Martin (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 356. 287  In y. Ber 9:1, 13b and its parallel text y. Avodah Zarah 3.1, 42c divine rule is also contrasted with Roman rulers who are shown to be less powerful than divine rule. 288  Kimelman, "Blessing Formulae and Divine Sovereignty in Rabbinic Liturgy," 27. 114 2.21 Conclusion The first story analyzed in this chapter, which I have called “A Tale of Two Sages,” exhibits signs of comprehensive editing and literary creativity. Composers/redactors created a narrative employing the Greco-Roman genre of “analogy,” with a precise tripartite structure and a great deal of literary repetition. Drawing on the trope of ayyelet hashachar (the first light of dawn) mentioned in m. Ber 1.1, they utilized a rabbinic tradition that equated Esther with dawn in order to link a future redemption with the redemption portrayed in the Book of Esther. The theme of redemption and the role of sages in bringing about redemption are continuing motifs in a number of stories in tractate Berakhot in the PT. The second story analyzed in this chapter, “Myrtle-A Contested Site,” is also an intricate and carefully edited literary creation, displaying the evidence of purposeful redaction. The aggadah utilizes a Greco-Roman and Tannaitic literary generic form as a type of pronouncement story. Furthermore, its structure conforms to the seven stages for the complete elaboration of a theme, as set out in the Rhetorica ad Herennium. In so doing, the aggadah employs a Greco-Roman oratorical technique to produce a narrative that criticizes Roman rule. The manner in which ideological concerns regarding rabbinic prayer is combined with polemical statements relating to Greco-Roman ritual practice attest to the complexity and multi-layers of meaning in this story. This story also demonstrates the paradigmatic themes found in other PT Berakhot stories. These include the sages’ attempts to institute prayer practices, their nuanced attitudes to Greco-Roman culture, and the motif of future redemption. Having shown in this chapter how the use of Greco-Roman literary genres contributes to the over-all complexity and purposeful composition of the stories analyzed, in the next 115 chapter I focus on the ways in which PT redactors included themes not generated exclusively by the Mishnah. This feature is another aspect of the complexity of some PT stories. 116 Chapter Three: Destroyers 3.1 Introduction In this chapter my primary focus is to demonstrate the complexity in the narrative I analyze by viewing it through the lens of Eliezer Segal’s notion that “anthology” serves as a useful genre for categorizing talmudic material. As already stated, the entire section of the PT that I analyze coheres with the notion of anthology and in this chapter I demonstrate how anthology is also applicable for an individual story. I analyze an aggadah that pertains to m. Ber 1:3. The mishnah text thematizes, in a highly stylized manner, a dispute among sages regarding the differing views of the Schools of Hillel and Shammai relating to recitation of the Shema. In a similar fashion, the aggadah also portrays a dispute among sages regarding the correct way to recite the Shema. At the same time, the dispute in the aggadah concerns a discrete subject that departs from m. Ber 1:3. The story is thus a good example of the genre of “anthology” that Eliezer Segal uses to explain stories in the BT that do not exclusively relate to commentary on the Mishnah, but pertain to matters raised by the greater talmudic text. I also apply literary and contextual analysis in tandem to further demonstrate the story’s complexity. The establishment of the correct physical positions for the recitation of the Shema, along with the struggles rabbinic sages faced in the process of assuming leadership in regard to prayer practices, and their nuanced attitudes to Greco-Roman culture are all themes evinced from this narrative. Prior to my presentation of m. Ber 1:3, it is helpful to provide brief information about the School of Hillel and the School of Shammai, which are the focus of m. Ber 1:3 and the aggadah that I subsequently analyze. Information relating to these two groups is found almost 117 exclusively in rabbinic literature. 1  The Schools of Hillel and Shammai are two schools of the exposition of oral traditions, named after the sages Hillel and Shammai, who lived at the end of the first century BCE and the beginning of the first century CE. 2  The schools may have constituted disciple circles that gathered around early masters. 3  Scholars assume that these entities existed until the destruction of the Second Temple. 4  Tannaitic literature records numerous debates between the followers of these two schools regarding differing views of rabbinic law. The two schools are portrayed as holding different opinions about the interpretation of earlier traditions, and they had diverse approaches toward creating new laws. Some recent scholars suggest that some of the disputes cited in the names of the schools are not necessarily historically accurate accounts of the schools’ disputes. They may have been attributed to the schools primarily in order to categorize anonymous legal traditions. 5   1  One extra-rabbinic source on Hillel and Shammai is found in the writings of Jerome, who states: “Shammai and Hillel arose in Judea not long before the Lord’s birth.” Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 65. 2  Shmuel Safrai, "Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai," in Encyclopedia Judaica (2007), 3: 530. 3  Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, 157. 4  Alexander Guttmann, "Hillelites and Shammaites: A Clarification," Hebrew Union College Annual 28(1957): 125; Alexander Guttmann, "The End of the Houses," in The Abraham Weiss Jubilee Volume, ed. M. S. Feldblum (New York: 1964), 89-105. Shaye J. D. Cohen, "The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis and the End of Jewish Sectarianism," Hebrew Union College Annual 55(1984): 28. Haim Shapira, "The Schools of Hillel and Shammai," Jewish Law Annual 17(2007): 159-208. 5  Paul Heger, The Pluralistic Halakhah: Legal Innovation in the Late Second Commonwealth and Rabbinic Periods  (Berlin, New York: Walter De Gruyter, 2003), 355-384. J. Neusner, "Why We Cannot Assume the Historical Reliability of Attributions: The Case of the Houses in Mishnah-Tosefta Makshirin," in The Mishnah in Contemporary Perspective Volume 2, ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck and Jacob Neusner (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2006), 190-212. 118 3.2 Mishnah Berakhot 1:3 ודמעי רקבבו ורקיו וטיי םדא לכ ברעב ׳מוא ימש תיב.A ךמוקבו ךבכשב ׳נש.B  ןכרדכ ןירוק ם)ן(דא לכ ׳מוא ללה תיב.C  ךרדב ךתכלבו ׳נש.D ךמוקבו ךבכשב רמאנ המל ןכ םא.E ןידמוע םדא ינבש ךרדש העשבו םיבכוש םדא ינבש ךרד ש העשב אלא.F  תורקל יתיטהו ךרדב אב יתייה ינא ןופרט ׳ר ׳מא.G ימש תיב ירבד כ.H  םיטסלה ינפמ ימצעב יתנכסו.I יב יורבד לע התרבעש ךמצעב בוחל התייה יידכ ול ורמא(ה)לליה ת .J  A. The School of Shammai 6  says, “In the evening everyone [should] recline7 and recite [the Shema] and in the morning they [should] stand up [and recite the Shema].” B. As it is said, 8  “And when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) C. And the School of Hillel say, “Everyone should recite [the Shema] according to his [preferred or accustomed] way.” D. As it is said, “and when you walk by the way.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) E. If so, why does it say, “and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7) F. But rather, [this refers to] the time that people lie down and at the time that people get up. G. R. Tarfon 9  said, “I was on the way10 and I reclined to recite [the Shema]. H. In accordance with the words of the School of Shammai. I. And I found myself in danger from bandits.” J. They said to him, “it would have been fitting for you to be liable for your own punishment because you transgressed the words of the School of Hillel.”  6  Although תיב is literally “house,” I use the term “school” because school is a more precise term for these two entities. 7 Classical Mishnah commentators explain the usage of  וטיי in this mishnah as “lying on one’s side.” Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 14 (Hebrew). This word appears as וטי in the Vilna Mishnah manuscript.   וטי is the hiphˊil third person masculine plural prefix form of הטנ. 8  The term is רמאנש which usually serves as a formulaic introduction to a biblical quotation. 9 R. Tarfon is from the younger group of second-generation Tannaim (c. 90–130). He is frequently pictured as debating, and disagreeing, with R. Akiva and other sages. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 73. G. Alon concluded that Rabbi Tarfon officiated as the Patriarch following the death of Rabban Gamliel. Gedalia Alon, Jews, Judaism and the Classical World  (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1977), 321-322. 10 Tosefta Hagigah 3:33 and b. Eruvin 45a have different stories about R. Tarfon but both begin with the parallel phrase to this mishnah that he was “walking on the way.” 119 3.3 Analysis of Mishnah Berakhot 1:3 Mishnah Berakhot 1:3 exhibits evidence of the type of literary complexity that scholars have come to consider common place in the Mishnah. Alan J. Avery-Peck suggests that the rhetoric in this mishnah conforms to the formulation of chreia. 11  Gary Porton classifies the dialogue between R. Tarfon and the sages as a Tannaitic pronouncement story. 12  The opinions of the School of Hillel and the School of Shammai, recorded in lines A and C relate to the posture one should assume when reciting the Shema, based on differing interpretations of Deuteronomy 6:7. 13  Lines B and D provide the scriptural proof-texts for the schools’ differing statements. The proof-text in B explains that the School of Shammai’s ruling that one should recline to recite the evening Shema and stand to recite the morning Shema is based on a literal reading of the portion of Deuteronomy 6:7 that states, “when you lie down and when you rise up.” The proof-text in D is intended to show that the interpretation of the School of Hillel is also based on Deuteronomy 6:7. Hillel’s view that people should recite the Shema according to their preferred way is based on the phrase in Deuteronomy 6:7 that states, “and when you walk by the way.”  The repetition of the word ךרד is an example of the literary complexity in this mishnah. The Hebrew word ךרד, which means “way,” has the same semantic range of meaning as the English word “way.” ךרד can mean “path” as well as “manner.”14 In its biblical context, in Deuteronomy 6:7, ךרד means path, as in “when you walk by the way.”  11 Avery-Peck, "Rhetorical Argumentation in Early Rabbinic Pronouncement Stories," 54. 12 Porton, "The Pronouncement Story in Tannaitic Literature," 93. 13  The full text of Deuteronomy 6:7 states: “Teach them to your children and speak of them when you are at home, when travelling on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7 relates to Deuteronomy 6:4-6:6: “Hear oh Israel the Lord is our God the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command to you today must be on your heart.” 14  Samely, Forms of Rabbinic Literature, 83. 120 However, the interpretation of the School of Hillel, that people should recite the Shema in any position that they are accustomed to, uses the word ךרד in the sense of manner.15 Lines E and F explain, by means of a question and an answer, how the opinion of the School of Hillel interprets the biblical proof-text given in line B. The statement in line F explicates that the School of Hillel understands “when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut 6:7) not as Shammai does, which is as a description of the physical position you should assume for recitation, but rather as referring to the times that the Shema should be recited— i.e., when you lie down in the evening and when you get up in the morning. The Mishnah does not generally show how its laws are based on the biblical corpus, so pericopae that provide biblical proof texts to support mishnaic statements, as this one does, are somewhat unusual. 16  Further complexity is evidenced in the statement in line G that appears as a first- person report delivered by R. Tarfon. Tarfon repeats the word ךרד with his claim that he was on the way—in other words, travelling—when he stopped and reclined to recite the Shema.17 With the use of ךרד, Tarfon’s statement evokes the interpretation of the School of Hillel—but Tarfon uses ךרד in the sense of “path” rather than “manner.” In fact, the mishnah states that Tarfon recites while he is reclining, which is the preferred position for reciting the evening Shema, as advocated by the School of Shammai. The term that Tarfon uses for “I reclined” is יתיטה which is the hiphˊil first person common singular perfect form of הטנ . This verb has a range of meanings including “turn,” “turn aside,” “bend,” “deflect,” “mislead,” “lead astray,”  15  Ibid. 16  Shaye J. D. Cohen, "Judaean Legal Tradition and Halakhah of the Mishnah," in The Cambridge Companion to The Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, ed. Charlotte E. Fonrobert and Martin S. Jaffee (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 124. 17  Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 15 (Hebrew). The theme of dismounting a donkey while travelling on the road in order to pray is also mentioned in m. Ber 4:5 and t. Ber 3:18. Judith Hauptman suggests that m. Ber 4:5 was produced in response to t. Ber 3:18. Judith Hauptman, Rereading the Mishnah: A New Approach to Ancient Jewish Texts  (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), 3-4. 121 and “deviate.”18 The plain meaning of יתיטה is “I reclined,” but in this mishnah it seems to also take on the connotation of “I turned aside or deviated from the practice of my colleagues,” or “I bent in another direction,” as though R. Tarfon purposely acted contrary to the views of his colleagues. The meaning of יתיטה as “deviate” is thematized in the aggadah that is redactionally connected to this mishnah, which I analyze in this chapter of my study. In m. Ber 1:3 Rabbi Tarfon does not actually state what time of day the incident happened, so it is also possible to see his actions as recitation according to the School of Hillel, which permits reciting in any manner including reclining. However, the mishnah states that Rabbi Tarfon recited “in accordance with the words of the School of Shammai” (line H), but Joel Gereboff concludes that there is no sustained effort in rabbinic literature to depict R. Tarfon as a follower of Shammai. 19  In fact, it is uncommon to find statements in the Mishnah and the Tosefta that explicitly connect a tradition of R. Tarfon with the views of Shammai. R. Tarfon’s personal account in line I states, “and I found myself in danger from bandits.”  םיטסל (listim) is the word this mishnah uses for bandits, robbers or pirates from the Greek ληστής.20 The retort in line J from anonymous sages, who declare that “it would have been fitting for you to be liable for your own punishment because you transgressed the words  18  Jastrow, Dictionary of the Targumim, 898-899. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, Volume V 672- 675. The word has the sense of bending or perverting and warping justice in Exodus 23:6. It is understood as mislead in Isaiah 44:20. 19 In m. Nazir 5:5, R. Tarfon disagrees with a ruling of the School of Shammai, while in y. Shevit 4:2, 36b he appears to follow the School of Shammai. Richard Hidary reads t. Yev. 1:10 as R. Tarfon rejecting the view of the School of Shammai. Richard Hidary, "Tolerance for Diversity of Halakhic Practice in the Talmuds" (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 2008), 177. Joel Gereboff suggests that t. Yev 1:10 lends itself to two interpretations, one supports the opinion of the School of Shammai, the other that of the School of Hillel. Joel Gereboff, Rabbi Tarfon: The Tradition, The Man and Early Rabbinic Judaism  (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1979), 14, 71, 259-260. 20 Jastrow, Dictionary of the Targumim, 708-709. םיטסל (listim) appears twelve times in the Mishnah, seventeen times in the Tosefta, twenty times in the PT, and 40 times in the BT. 122 of the School of Hillel,” is understood by commentators to mean that R. Tarfon is liable for the death penalty because he followed the School of Shammai. 21  This mishnah records no reply from R. Tarfon to the sages’ rebuke. As we observed with m. Ber 1.1, the Mishnah often leaves its readers with unanswered questions. R. Tarfon’s statement that he endangered himself may represent regret about his practice, or it may be an example of how seriously he takes the law that he would endanger himself to fulfill it. 22  It is also not evident whether the sages’ rebuke of R. Tarfon is exclusively the result of his following the School of Shammai, or whether the condemnation might be motivated by his poor judgment which led to him lying down on the road at night. In fact, Richard Hidary suggests that both readings of this mishnah are possible. 23  However, Louis Ginzberg concluded that the sages were primarily criticizing R. Tarfon’s poor judgment that had led him to lie down on the road at night, which had made him vulnerable to dangerous thieves. 24  Two motifs may be operating in this mishnah: concern about following the School of Shammai, and the issue of endangerment. Several Tannaitic and Amoraic statements mention concern that one might encounter danger while travelling and/or praying on the road, especially at night. 25   21  Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, 15 (Hebrew). In b. Ber 11a Rav Nahman bar Isaac interprets m. Ber 1:3 to mean that anyone who follows any opinion of the School of Shammai is liable to receive the death penalty. 22  Hidary, "Tolerance for Diversity of Halakhic Practice in the Talmuds," 176. 23  Ibid, 176-177. 24  Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 150 (Hebrew). 25  Mishnah Ber 4:4 states that one who travels in a dangerous place should pray a short prayer. In a discussion about when to recite the evening Shema, y. Ber 1:1, 2a–2b mentions that inhabitants of small villages abandon the roads and return home by day because they are in danger of being ambushed by wild animals at night. In an aggadah in b. Ber 3a, we are told that R. Yose went into one of the ruins of Jerusalem to pray because he was afraid that passersby would have interrupted him if he had prayed on the road. Danger on the road is also discussed in Eccles Rabbah 3:3, Eccles Rabbah 4:14, y. Ber 3:1, 6a and y. Ber 4:4, 8a. 123 Josephus frequently mentions that Judea and the Galilee region were periodically infested with brigands. 26  Numerous scholars have examined the problem of banditry or brigandage in ancient Palestine and the Roman Empire, and it is beyond this study’s scope to do more than adumbrate the broad outlines of these previous studies. 27  Recent scholars discuss political banditry by groups refusing to accept the order imposed by Rome. This type of banditry is distinguished from non-political or social banditry, as well as divergences pertaining to different time periods and localities. 28  It is impossible to know what type of banditry this mishnah is referring to and whether it was banditry experienced in third-century Galilee or if it presents a memory from an earlier encounter with banditry. Who was R. Tarfon? Joel Gereboff analyzed 128 discrete units of tradition attributed to R. Tarfon, and he summarizes the picture that the Mishnah, as a whole, gives of R. Tarfon. Gereboff concludes that R. Tarfon “often looks like a fool.” He [R. Tarfon] always rules that objective facts are determinative; he decides to the advantage of priests. 29   I suggest that it is not surprising that the Mishnah would choose R. Tarfon, who is generally considered to have been a priest, and put him in the position of regularly losing disputes with other sages, as he does in this mishnah. This supports the conclusions of scholars mentioned  26  Brent Shaw, "Tyrants, Bandits and Kings," Journal of Jewish Studies 44, no. 2 (1993): 176-204. See also Richard A. Horsley, “Ancient Jewish Banditry and the Revolt against Rome A.D. 66–70,”  Catholic Bible Quarterly 43 (1981): 409–32, Richard A. Horsley, “Josephus and the Bandits,”  Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian Hellenistic and Roman Period 10 (1979): 37–63. 27  Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem, 406-409. Brent Shaw, "Bandits in the Roman Empire," Past & Present 105 (1984): 3-52. Benjamin Isaac, "Bandits in Judea and Arabia," Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 88(1984): 171-203; Ramsey MacMullen, Enemies of the Roman Order: Treason, Unrest and Alienation in the Empire (Cambridge: Harvard Univeristy Press, 1966), 255-268. E. Smallwood, The Jews Under Roman Rule From Pompey to Diolectian  (Leiden: Brill, 1976), 489. 28  Isaac, "Bandits in Judea and Arabia," 177, 182, 183. T. L. Donaldson, "Rural Bandits, City Mobs and the Zealots," Journal for the study of Judaism in the Persian Hellenistic and Roman Period 21, no. 1 (1990): 19-40. Sean Freyne, "Bandits in Galilee: A Contribution to the Study of Social Conditions in First-Century Palestine," in The Social World of Formative Christianity and Judaism Essays in Tribute to Howard Clark Kee, ed. Jacob Neusner, et al. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988), 50-68. Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 89-90. Goodman, State and Society, 39-40. 29  Gereboff, Rabbi Tarfon: The Tradition, The Man and Early Rabbinic Judaism, 438. 124 earlier, who have determined that the framers of the Mishnah sought to establish the authority of the sages. I now engage in the analysis of the aggadic story that redactionally follows this mishnah text in the PT.  125 3.4 y. Berakhot 1:3, 3b   לאעמשי 'רו 'ירזע ןב רזעלא 'רב השעמ ינת .A דחא 'וקמב ןייורש ויהש  ףוקז לאעמשי 'רו הטומ הירזע ןב רזעלא 'ר היהו  עמש תירק תנוע ןמז עיגה .B  לאעמשי יבר הטיהו הירזע ןב רזעלא 'ר ףקזנ  לאעמשי 'רל רזעלא ר"א .C .  םיתיחשמה דגנכ היהי רמוא אוהו לדוגמ ךנקז ךל המ קושב דחאל רמוא תיטה ףוקז תייהש 'תאו יתפקזנ הטומ יתייהש ינא .D  ה"ב ירבדכ יתיטיה ינאו יאמש תיב ירבדכ תפקזנ התא ול רמא .E  יאמש תיב ירבדכ עבק הכלה ושעיו םידימלתה ינוארי אלש א"ד .F   A. It was taught in a baraita. An incident with R. Eleazar ben Azariah 30  and R. Ishmael. 31  When they were staying in a certain place. And R. Eleazar ben Azariah was reclining and R. Ishmael was standing upright. B. The designated time to recite the Shema arrived. R. Eleazar ben Azariah stood upright and R. Ishmael reclined. C. R. Eleazar said to R. Ishmael, “[your actions are analogous to] one [who] says to someone in the marketplace, ‘Why have you grown your beard?’ And he says, ‘Let it be against the destroyers.’ D. I [R. Eleazar] was reclining and I stood up but you [R. Ishmael] were standing up and you reclined.” E. He said to him, [R. Ishmael to R. Eleazar] “you stood upright in accordance with the words (teachings) of the School of Shammai. And I reclined according to the words (teachings) of the School of Hillel. F. Another matter, [I reclined] so that the students should not see me and establish the law in accordance with the words (teachings) of the School of Shammai.”32  30 R. Eleazar ben Azariah is from the older group of second-generation Tannaim (c. 90–130). He is mentioned in at least two hundred pericopae. He was a priest and a sage at Yavneh. Tzvee Zahavy, The Traditions of Eleazar Ben Azariah  (Missoula: Scholars Press, 1977), 1. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 71. 31  R. Ishmael ben Elisha is from the younger group of second-generation Tannaim (c. 90–130). Tosefta Hallah 1:10 says that R. Ishmael comes from a priestly family. His colleagues are R. Akiva, R. Tarfon, and R. Eleazar ben Azariah. Many of the extant halakhic midrashim are traditionally attributed to R. Ishmael, or R. Akiva, and their disciples. Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 20-21, 71-72. See Azzan Yadin, Scripture as Logos: Rabbi Ishmael and the Origins of Midrash  (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004). 32  In the Ed. princ. Venedig and in the Leiden, Vatican, London, and Constantinople MSS this narrative contains almost no spelling or word variations. A greatly abridged version of the story is found in MS Paris. 126 3.5 Halakhic and Literary Context  The location of this aggadah in the y. Berakhot extant manuscripts directly follows the placement of m. Ber 1:3. The original version(s) of the PT did not include mishnah texts, but they were inserted into later manuscript versions of the PT. 33  This story advances the theme of m. Ber 1:3 by elaborating the dichotomy between the Schools of Hillel and Shammai regarding how to recite the Shema. The narrative exposes the ideological preferences of the composers/redactors of the PT relating to the different views of the Schools of Hillel and Shammai. 3.6 Genre and Structure   This story is identified as a ma’aseh in its first line. It fits the genre of a ma’aseh, specifically the category of the sage story, in its form and content. It is an anecdotal tale about the deeds of known rabbis, relating a specific incident that seems to have taken place at one particular time, and it contains tension and resolution. These are all structural characteristics of sage stories, as identified by Jacob Neusner. 34  The literary structure of this story is divisible into a clear beginning, middle, and end. 3.7 Literary and Historical Analysis  Along with being called a ma’aseh, the story begins by being identified as a baraita, as designated by the Aramaic word ינת. The term baraita literally means “external.” A baraita is a Tannaitic teaching that was not included in the Mishnah. Baraitot are often cited in the PT and the BT as evidence for or against Amoraic interpretations of the Mishnah. Not  33  Strack and Stemberger, Introduction, 175-176. 34  Neusner, "Sage, Story and History: The Medium and the Message in the Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan," 82. 127 all baraitot in the Talmuds are from the Tannaitic period, as will be addressed in the next chapter of my study. 35  This aggadic story in y. Berakhot 1:3, 3b that is called a baraita supports m. Ber 1:3 by affirming that the ruling of the School of Hillel regarding the recitation of the Shema is preferred over the ruling of the School of Shammai. Tosefta Ber 1:4 is a parallel of this aggadah, suggesting that this narrative may be an authentic baraita. The version of this story in the PT begins with R. Eleazar reclining and R. Ishmael standing erect. When the time for reciting the Shema arrives, we find R. Eleazar standing up and R. Ishmael reclining. It is not apparent which Shema is being recited. The classical commentator Haredim concludes that it is the morning Shema, based on the view that R. Eleazar stands in order to recite the morning Shema to comply with the ruling of the School of Shammai. Mishnah Ber 1:3 states that, according to the School of Shammai, one must be in a standing position when reciting the morning Shema. 36  If so, why does R. Ishmael, who is already standing up, switch his position to reclining? R. Eleazar rebukes R. Ishmael for doing so. Haredim interprets the statement “your actions are analogous to one who says to someone in the marketplace” as meaning that Eleazar wished to show respect to R. Ishmael by rising to recite the Shema in the same position as R. Ishmael. R. Eleazar complains that R. Ishmael insulted him by lying down. The word for “recline” in m. Ber 1:3 is also utilized in this narrative, and it appears that the sense of the word, as it is used in the aggadah, includes the notion of one who deviates from the views of his colleagues. R. Eleazar claims that R. Ishmael’s action of switching his position from standing to reclining is analogous to one who, when asked why his beard is so  35  Louis Jacobs, "Are There Fictitious Baraitot in the Babylonian Talmud," Hebrew Union College Annual 42(1971): 185-196. 36  See also Saul Lieberman, Tosefta Ki-fshutah: A Comprehensive Commentary on the Tosefta Order Zeraim, Part One (New York: Jewish Theology Seminary of America, 1955), 1:4, 19 (Hebrew). 128 long, replies, “let it be against the destroyers.” The expression םיתיחשמה “the destroyers” is not found anywhere else in rabbinic literature, except for its appearance in all four versions of this story. It does appear without the definite article in numerous places in the Bavli and in midrashim. In these contexts םיתיחשמ usually refers to apostasy. Numerous exegetes have pondered the meaning of “let it be against the destroyers” within the context of this story. Some suggest it should be understood as, “my full beard is a protest against those who destroy their beards.”37 Others declare that the meaning of the expression “destroyers” within this aggadah is unknown. Gary Porton provides a synoptic analysis of the versions of this story. Although the term “destroyers” is found in all four versions, Porton concludes that the tale about the beard does not make any sense and it does not fit into the greater context of the story. 38  Tzvee Zahvay also claims not to know what “destroyers” means.39 Rashi interpreted it to refer to a razor and scissors, as in “since you have mocked the beard, I will cut it off.”40 Ginzberg finds Rashi’s interpretation difficult to accept on philological and contextual grounds, contending that it is unlikely that “destroyers” refers to razor and scissors because the word דגנ means “against.” That is, it does not make sense for a man to say, “My beard is a protest against the razor and scissors,” if he means that he is going to shave his beard. 41  In addition, Ginzberg concludes that it was customary for sages to have beards, and therefore it is unlikely that any sage would question another about the length of his beard. He  37  Ibid, 1:5, line 22 (Hebrew). Heinrich Guggenheimer, The Jerusalem Talmud First Order: Zeraim Tractate Berakhot Edition, Translation and Commentary  (Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2000), 110. Hidary, "Tolerance for Diversity of Halakhic Practice in the Talmuds," 177. This is also the commentary of Solomon ben Abraham Adret, known as the Rashba, (1235–1310) to b. Ber 11a. 38  Gary Porton, The Traditions of Rabbi Ishmael  (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1976), 19-21. 39  Zahavy, The Traditions of Eleazar Ben Azariah, 17. 40  This is Rashi’s commentary on the version of this story in b. Ber 11a. ליאוה םתסלקו ותוא היהי ןותנ רעתל םירפסמלו “Since you have scorned it, it will be given to the razor and scissors.” This is also the commentary of Haredim on y. Ber 1:6, 3b. 41  Ginzberg, Commentary, 1, 144-145 (Hebrew). 129 suggests that the reference is actually to dishevelment, as in, why is your beard wild and untrimmed? An untamed beard would indicate a state of mourning, or that one was awaiting trial. It is an ancient Jewish custom for mourners to grow beards. 42  The Romans also left their hair unkempt and let their beards grow during a time of mourning. 43  According to y. Rosh HaShanah 1:3, 57b: ןיד ול שיש עדי םדא םולעבש גהונב אצוי וניד ךאיה עדי וניאש ונקז לדגמו םירוחש ףטעתמו םירוחש שובל  Ordinarily, a man [expecting trial] knows that it is proper to dress in black and cover himself in black and let his beard grow, for he does not know how his trial will end.  If the question “why have you grown your beard” is intended to determine whether R. Ishmael is a mourner, or is awaiting trial, as Ginzberg suggests, how do we account for the fact that R. Eleazar does not even wait for a response from R. Ishmael? R. Eleazar provides the rhetorical answer, “let it be against the destroyers.” In the final analysis, Ginzberg’s suggestion is not entirely adequate. I will suggest who the destroyers might be, but first, other questions must be addressed. Why did the sages have a proclivity for beards altogether, and what is the significance of beards in this rabbinic tale? The wearing of beards was a custom in the ancient Near East, and several biblical passages make reference to it. 44  For the rabbinic period, Daniel Boyarin suggests that the grey beard of an aged sage was the mark of masculine beauty. Bavli Baba Metsia 84a mentions that even though R. Yochanan was very beautiful, he was left off the list of the  42  Ibid, 144. 43  Jonathan Edmondson, "Public Dress and Social Control in Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome," in Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, ed. Jonathan Edmondson and Alison Keith (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), 27; William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1890), 286. 44  A prohibition against disfiguring one’s beard is found in Leviticus 19:27 and 21:5. In II Samuel 10:4 David’s servants are humiliated when Hanun shaves off half of their beards. Jeremiah 41:5 mentions shaven beards. Mishnah Makkot 3:5 extends the biblical prohibition against disfiguring a beard. William Smith reports that for the Jews, and other ancient nations, the beard represented manhood. It was considered a disgrace to be without a beard. Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1, 285. 130 most beautiful men in history because he did not have a beard. 45  In b. Shabbat 152a, we find the assertion that a beard constitutes the beauty of a man’s face. In Greco-Roman antiquity, the beard was also a positive signifier for philosophers. It became one of the most important defining characteristics of the philosopher when, after 300 BCE, many other Roman citizens adopted the fashion of being clean-shaven. 46  Prior to that time, philosophers’ beards would not have been particularly noticeable because most Greek adult males wore beards. 47  However, scholars suggest that shaving became almost compulsory after barbers were introduced to Rome from Sicily around 300 BCE. 48  From that period onward, philosophers were distinguished from others because they had beards—and anyone with a beard was assumed to be a philosopher. 49  Michael Koortbojian suggests that it was a matter of convention for philosophers to wear beards. In doing so, they individuated theMSelves “by adopting the conspicuous appearance that was synonymous with a distinctive social role.”50 Koortbojian maintains that by participating in what the Romans called habitus, this paradox represented “a quintessentially Roman double sense of identity,  45  Daniel Boyarin, Unheroic Conduct: The Rise of Heterosexuality and the Invention of the Jewish Man (Berkeley  University of California Press, 1997), 130. 46  John Sellars concludes that the cultural phenomenon of the “philosopher’s beard” was firmly established after the Roman conquest of Athens in 87 BCE, when Rome replaced Athens as the centre of philosophical activity. However, Cicero may have never adopted the philosopher’s beard. Sellars, The Art of Living, 15-17. See also Paul Zanker, The Mask of Socrates: The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity, trans. Alan Shapiro (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: University of California Press, 1995), 109. 47  The introduction of shaving is generally credited to Alexander the Great. Sellars, The Art of Living, 16. Zanker, The Mask of Socrates, 108-109. 48  Sellars, The Art of Living. William S. Anderson, "Juvenal: Evidence on the Years A. D. 117-28," Classical Philology 50, no. 4 (1955): 255. Varro, De Re Rustica, 2.11.10. Pliny the Elder, Natural History, 7.211. 49  Sellars, The Art of Living, 15. Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1, 285-286. 50  Michael Koortbojian, "The Double Identity of Roman Portrait Statues: Costumes and Their Symbolism at Rome," in Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, ed. Jonathan Edmondson and Alison Keith (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008), 73. 131 at once individual and institutional.”51 The fashion for Romans to be clean-shaven lasted at least until Hadrian—sporting a beard—came to power, in 117 CE.52 At this point, it is important to summarize the findings of Seth Schwartz in his monograph Imperialism and Jewish Society, 200 B.C.E. To 640 C.E., as some of his conclusions inform my analysis relating to the significance of beards and the term “destroyers” within the context of this narrative. In particular, I focus on Schwartz’s conclusions relating to the similar aspects of rabbinic and Roman culture. The broad strokes of this narrative are the following. Schwartz determines that the Jewish centres in Palestine participated in the urban culture of the Roman East in the second and third centuries CE. 53  Palestinian cities, which scholars conclude were generally home to rabbinic sages, 54  were subject to the legal and administrative realities of direct Roman rule, which did not recognize the autonomy of the local population. 55  Only the Roman governor and his agents had real authority. Between 150 and 350 CE, rabbis were not institutionalized: they remained marginal in significant ways. No one was compelled to accept rabbinic judgment. According to Schwartz, “the rabbis could threaten, plead and cajole but could not subpoena and impose a sentence.”56 The hyperbolic statements relating to the observance of prayer rituals in the stories analyzed in this dissertation appear to support this conclusion. This approach has now been accepted by many scholars and is referred to as the “minimalist” view of Jewish  51  Ibid. 52  Hadrian wore a beard, apparently, to conceal a facial deformity. On the arch of Beneventum, Hadrian is depicted as bearded in the court of the beardless Trajan. Dio Cassius implies that Hadrian set the fashion for subsequent rulers who wore beards. Anderson, "Juvenal: Evidence on the Years A. D. 117-28," 255, 256, 257 note 258. See also Zanker, The Mask of Socrates, 202. 53  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 158-163. 54  Lapin, " Rabbis and Cities," 51-80. Hezser, The Social Structure of the Rabbinic Movement in Roman Palestine, 157-171. 55  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 111. See also Belayche, Iudaea-Palaestina: The Pagan Cults in Roman Palestine (Second to Fourth Century), 3, 11. 56  Schwartz, Imperialism and Jewish Society, 120. 132 historiography. 57  The “minimalist” position has largely replaced the “maximalist” approach, which holds that the rabbinic sages were authoritative religious leaders, and their laws governed the behaviour of Jews from the end of the Second Temple period onward. 58  I demonstrate that two claims asserted by Schwartz are highlighted in this aggadah. One is that the sages did not refrain from imitating attractive or effective features of philosophical rhetorical schools. 59  The other is that pagan religiosity constituted a serious problem for the rabbis. 60  I demonstrate the possibility of the sages having imitated an element of Stoic philosophy, while at the same time critiquing an aspect of pagan religiosity. For this approach, I draw on John Barclay’s conception of the signification of the terms “acculturation” and “assimilation.”61 “Assimilation” may be taken to refer to social integration (becoming “similar” to one’s neighbours): it concerns social contacts, social interaction and social practices. By contrast “accultu