Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tistayem: An Investigation into the Scholastic Culture of the Bavli
by Bickart, Noah Banjamin, Ph.D., The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2015, 236; 3738081
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates the meaning and usage of a particular set of linguistically related Talmudic terms in order to show how and in what cultural context the Talmud began to take shape in the emerging scholastic centers of rabbinic learning in late Sassanian Babylonia. The term tistayem is here defined as meaning, "let it be promulgated" and is thus shown to be inherently redactional in nature. By its very meaning and the way it is employed it speaks to the ordering of extant traditions in new literary frameworks. This term has analogs both in early sources dating from Amoraic disciple circles, in which an analogous term was used to indicate the process by which different reports of statements could be combined to achieve a more authoritative version of a tradition, and in later texts from Geonic times in which the term comes to denote a specific kind of scholastic practice in which traditions were ordered for easy memorization and promulgation. Additionally, parallels to these terms are found in the literatures of Syriac speaking Christians providing avenues for comparisons between these scholastic cultures which shared scripture, language and similar modes of study as worship. Finally, this study demonstrates the ways in which increasing sophistication in usage of these terms mirrors increasing academization during the Talmudic period. As such, evidence is marshalled in support of a more gradual model of the redaction of the Talmud.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kalmin, Richard
Commitee: Danzig, Neil, Gray, Alyssa M., Hauptman, Judith, Marcus, David
School: The Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Department: Talmud and Rabbinics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 77/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Ancient history, Comparative, Judaic studies
Keywords: Judaism, Scholasticism, Syriac, Talmud, Terminology
Publication Number: 3738081
ISBN: 9781339282794
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