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Rabbinic Texts and the History of Late-Roman Palestine$
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Martin Goodman and Philip Alexander

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264744

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264744.001.0001

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Halakhic Midrashim as Historical Sources

Halakhic Midrashim as Historical Sources

(p.129) 8 Halakhic Midrashim as Historical Sources
Rabbinic Texts and the History of Late-Roman Palestine


British Academy

This chapter evaluates the usefulness and reliability of the halakhic midrashim as a historical resource. It explains that the halakhic midrashim as commentaries on the biblical books of Exodus through Deuteronomy with a special emphasis on their importance for the halakhah or the religious law. It describes the manuscripts, printed editions, and translations of the halakhic midrashim. It concludes that the halakhic midrashim do not offer information on political history, they offer lot of details regarding daily life in Palestine in the second and third centuries and the way the rabbis understood it.

Keywords:   halakhic midrashim, historical resource, biblical commentaries, Exodus, Deuteronomy, halakhah, political history, daily life, Palestine, rabbis

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