Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaismby David Kraemer
Pub. Date: 11/28/1999
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
There are many books devoted to explicating Jewish laws and customs relating to death and mourning and a wealth of studies addressing the significance of death practices around the world. However, never before has there been a study of the death and mourning practices of the founders of Judaism - the Rabbis of late antiquity. The Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaism fills that gap.
The author examines the earliest canonical texts - the Mishnah, the Tosefta, the Midrashim and the Talmud of the Land of Israel. He outlines the rituals described in these texts, from preparation for death to reburial of bones and the end of mourning. David Kraemer explores the relationships between the texts and interprets the rituals to uncover the beliefs which informed their foundation. He discusses the material evidence preserved in the largest Jewish burial complex in antiquity - the catacombs at Beth Shearim. Finally, the author offers an interpretation of the Rabbis' interpretations of death rituals - those recorded in the Babylonian Talmud.
The Meanings of
Death in Rabbinic Judaism provides a comprehensive and illuminating introduction to the formation, practice and significance of death rituals in Rabbinic Judaism.
- Taylor & Francis
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Table of ContentsI. The Presence of Death
II. Jewish Death Customs Before the Rabbis
III. Early Rabbinic Death Practices: The Evidence of the Mishnah
IV. Early Expansions and Commentaries: The Testimony of the Tosefta and Tannaitic Midrashim
V. Jewish Death Practices in Reality: The Catacombs and Beth Shearim
VI. Jewish Death Practices in Early Byzantine Palestine: The Yerushalmi and Aggadic Midrashim
VII. Law as Commentary: The Bavli on Death and Burial
VIII. The Bavli Interprets the Mourner
IX. Post-Talmudic Developments in Jewish Death Practice
X. Personal Theological Postscript
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