Explore new theoretical tools and lines of analysis of rabbinic stories
Rabbinic literature includes hundreds of stories and brief narrative traditions. These narrative traditions often take the form of biographical anecdotes that recount a deed or event in the life of a rabbi. Modern scholars consider these narratives as didactic fictions—stories used to teach lessons, promote rabbinic values, and grapple with the tensions and conflicts of rabbinic life. Using methods drawn from literary and cultural theory, including feminist, structuralist, Marxist, and psychoanalytic methods, contributors analyze narratives from the Babylonian Talmud, midrash, Mishnah, and other rabbinic compilations to shed light on their meanings, functions, and narrative art. Contributors include Julia Watts Belser, Beth Berkowitz, Dov Kahane, Jane L. Kanarek, Tzvi Novick, James Adam Redfield, Jay Rovner, Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, Zvi Septimus, Dov Weiss, and Barry Scott Wimpfheimer.
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein is the Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature in the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies of New York University. His books include The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods (1995), Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition, and Culture (1999), Rabbinic Stories (2002), The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (2003), and Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (2010).
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