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Development of Rabbinic Thought. Josephus, Antiquities XIII, 171-3 At this time there were three schools of thought among the Jews, each of which had.

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Presentation on theme: "Development of Rabbinic Thought. Josephus, Antiquities XIII, 171-3 At this time there were three schools of thought among the Jews, each of which had."— Presentation transcript:

1 Development of Rabbinic Thought

2 Josephus, Antiquities XIII, At this time there were three schools of thought among the Jews, each of which had different opinions concerning human actions. One was called the Pharisees, another the Sadducees, and the other the Essenes. Now for the Pharisees, they say that some actions, but not all, are the work of fate (Josephus means providence, but he uses a term familiar to his Greek readers), and some of them are in our own power and that they are liable to fate but are not caused by fate. But the sect of the Essenes affirms that fate governs all things, and that nothing befalls men except that which is according to its determination. And as for the Sadducees, they exclude fate and say that there is no such thing, and that the events of human affairs are not at its disposal. But they suppose that all our actions are in our own power, so that we are ourselves the cause of what is good, and we suffer what is evil as a result of our own folly.

3 Comparing the Sects Freewill/FateAfterlifeOral LawPopulation PhariseesSome things are fate some freewill Yes, resurrection Yes6000 SadduceesNo Providence No Priestly/ aristocratic EssenesFateYes, soul No4000

4 תלמוד בבלי נדה טז ע " ב דדריש ר ' חנינא בר פפא : אותו מלאך הממונה על ההריון לילה שמו, ונוטל טפה ומעמידה לפני הקב " ה, ואומר לפניו : רבש " ע, טפה זו מה תהא עליה ? גבור או חלש, חכם או טיפש, עשיר או עני ? ואילו רשע או צדיק - לא קאמר, כדר ' חנינא ; דא " ר חנינא : הכל בידי שמים - חוץ מיראת שמים, שנאמר ( דברים י ') ועתה ישראל מה ה ' אלהיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה וגו '. R. Hanina b. Papa made the following exposition: The name of the angel who is in charge of conception is ‘Night’, and he takes up a drop and places it in the presence of the Holy One, blessed be He, saying, ‘Sovereign of the universe, what shall be the fate of this drop? Shall it produce a strong man or a weak man, a wise man or a fool, a rich man or a poor man?’ Whereas ‘wicked man’ or ‘righteous one’ he does not mention, in agreement with the view of R. Hanina. For R. Hanina stated: Everything is in the hands of heaven except the fear of God, as it is said, And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear etc.

5 Life of Josephus, When I was about sixteen years old, I chose to gain expertise in the philosophical schools among us. There are three of these: the first, Pharisees; the second, Sadducees; and the third, Essenes, as we have often said. In this way I intended to choose the best [school]—if I might examine them all. So I toughened myself and, after considerable effort, passed through the three of them. Yet I did not regard even the resulting expertise sufficient for me. When I discovered that a certain man by the name of Bannus made his life in the desert, I became his devotee: wearing clothes [made] from trees, scavenging food that grew by itself, and washing frequently for purification—with frigid water, day and night! When I had lived with him three years and so satisfied my longing, I returned to the city. Being now in my nineteenth year I began to involve myself in public life, deferring to the philosophical school of the Pharisees, which is rather like the one called Stoic among the Greeks.

6 Josephus, Antiquities The Essenes also, as we call a sect of ours, were excused from this imposition [persecutions by Herod]. These men live the same kind of life as do those whom the Greeks call Pythagoreans, concerning whom I shall discourse more fully elsewhere.

7 Josephus, Antiquities Epicureans are in an error, who cast Providence out of human life, and do not believe that God takes care of the affairs of the world, nor that the universe is governed and continued in being by that blessed and immortal nature, but say that the world is carried along of its own accord, without a ruler and a curator; which, were it destitute of a guide to conduct it, as they imagine, it would be like ships without pilots, which we see drowned by the winds, or like chariots without drivers, which are overturned; so would the world be dashed to pieces by its being carried without a Providence, and so perish, and come to nought.

8 Josephus’ Schools Greek School of Philosophy Jewish Sect StoicsPharisees EpicureansSadducees PythagoreansEssenes

9 משנה סנהדרין פרק י משנה א כל ישראל יש להם חלק לעולם הבא שנאמר ( ישעיה ס ') ועמך כולם צדיקים לעולם יירשו ארץ נצר מטעי מעשי ידי להתפאר ואלו שאין להם חלק לעולם הבא האומר אין תחיית המתים מן התורה ואין תורה מן השמים ואפיקורס All Israel have a portion in the world to come, for it is written, “Thy people are all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” But the following have no portion therein: he who maintains that resurrection is not a biblical doctrine, the Torah was not divinely revealed, and an Epikoros.

10 Reward vs Fate Rava said: [Length of] life, children, and sustenance depend not on merit but rather on mazzal. For take Rabbah and R. Hisda as examples. Both were absolutely righteous rabbis, for each master prayed for rain and rain came. Yet, R. Hisda lived to the age of 92; Rabbah only lived to age 40. In R. Hisda’s house there were 60 marriage feasts, in Rabbah’s there were 60 bereavements. At R. Hista’s house there were purest what bread for dogs and ti went to waste. At Rabbah’s house there was barely bread for humans and even that could not be found. (Bavli Moed Katan 28b) The sages have said that there are some things through allotment and some things through deeds. They have judged as follows: being born, wife, child,authority and property are through allotment. Priesthood, warriorhood, husbandry, righteousness, and wickedness are through deeds. (Dedastan I Denig, passox 70)

11 Ben Zoma, Pirke Avot 4:1 בן זומא אומר איזהו חכם הלומד מכל אדם שנאמר ( תהלים קי " ט ) מכל מלמדי השכלתי איזהו גבור הכובש את יצרו שנאמר ( משלי טו : טז ) טוב ארך אפים מגבור ומושל ברוחו מלוכד עיר איזהו עשיר השמח בחלקו שנאמר ( תהלים קכח ) יגיע כפיך כי תאכל אשריך וטוב לך אשריך בעולם הזה וטוב לך לעולם הבא איזהו מכובד המכבד את הבריות שנאמר ( שמואל א ' ב ') כי מכבדי אכבד ובוזי יקלו :

12 Quotes from Roman Writers Who then is free? The Sage who masters himself. (Horace, Satires II.vii.83) To be content with one’s things are riches. (Cicero, Paradoxa Stiocorum, 51) A noble thing is joyful poverty. (Seneca, Epistle II.5) Honoring the Sage is a great bonus to the honorers. (Gnomologium Vaticanum, 32) Only the Sage is sane. Only the Sage is free. Only the Sage is rich. (Cicero, pro Murena )

13 Aesop’s Fables A hungry fox spied some bread and meat left in a hollow tree by some shepherds. He crawled in and ate it, but his belly swelled so that he could not get out again. As he moaned and groaned, another fox passing by came up and asked what was the matter. When he heard what had happened, he said to the first fox: “I guess you’ll just have to wait until you get back to the size you were when you went in, and then you won’t have any trouble getting out.” The story shows that time overcomes difficulties.

14 Kohelet Rabbah 5:14 AS HE CAME FORTH OF HIS MOTHER’ S WOMB [naked shall he go back as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor] (5:14). Genibah said: It is like a fox who found a vineyard which was fenced in on all sides. There was one hole through which he wanted to enter, but he was unable to do so. What did he do? He fasted for three days until he became lean and frail, and so got through the hole. Then he ate [of the grapes] and became fat again, so that when he wished to go out he could not pass through at all. He again fasted another three days until he became lean and frail, returning to his former condition, and went out. When he was outside, he turned his face and gazing at the vineyard, said, ' O vineyard, O vineyard, how good are you and the fruits inside! All that is inside is beautiful and commendable, but what enjoyment has one from you? As one enters you so he comes out.’ Such is this world.

15 Evil Inclination Beresheet Rabbah, 9 נחמן בשם ר ' שמואל הנה טוב מאד זה יצר טוב, והנה טוב מאד זה יצר הרע, וכי יצר הרע טוב מאד הוא אתמהא, אלא שאלולי יצר הרע לא בנה אדם בית ולא נשא אשה ולא הוליד בנים. Nahman in the name of Shmuel [said]: Behold it was good (Gen 1:31). This is the Good Desire. Behold it was very good (Gen 1:31). This is the Evil Desire. Is the Evil Desire indeed good? Incredible! Rather, without the Evil Desire a man would not build a house or marry a woman or beget children.

16 Mishnah Shabbat 6:4 A man must not go out [of the house on Shabbat] bearing a sword, nor a bow, nor a shield, nor a lance nor a spear. And if he did go out [with one of these] he is liable for a sin offering [because he has violated the final Shabbat labor, carrying]. Rabbi Eliezer says, “these are his ornaments” [like clothing or jewelry, and therefore he should be allowed to wear them]. But the Sages say [he is liable, because these are not ornaments. Rather,] these [weapons] are shameful; as it says, (Isaiah 2:4), “they shall beat their swords into plough shares and their spears into pruning-hooks, and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and they will not learn war any more.”

17 Rhetoric and Truth Pesikta de-Rav Kahana, Parah ‘adumah, pis. 4:2, to Numbers 19:2 R. Yose from Mamleh, R. Yehoshua of Sikhnin in the name of R. Levi: Children during the time of David, even before they tasted sin, knew how to interpret the Torah [by adducing] forty-nine [arguments that something is] impure and forty-nine [arguments that the same thing is] pure. Cicero, Orator, (trans. H. M. Hubbell) xiv.46 Aristotle trained young men…that they might be able to uphold either side of the question in copious and elegant language. He also taught the Topics…a kind of sign or indication of the arguments from which a whole speech can be formed on either side of the question. Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 4,1 (22a) Said R. Yoḥanan: One who does not know how to derive that a reptile is pure and impure in one hundred ways, may not offer arguments in merit [of the defendant].

18 Marriage vs. Torah בבלי מסכת כתובות דף סא עמוד ב חכמים אומרים : התלמידיםיוצאין לת " ת ב ' וג ' שנים שלא ברשות. אמר רבא ( אמורא בבל 4): סמכו רבנן אדרב אדא בר אהבה ועבדי עובדא בנפשייהו. כי הא דרב רחומי הוה שכיח קמיה דרבא במחוזא, הוה רגיל דהוה אתי לביתיה כל מעלי יומא דכיפורי. יומא חד משכתיה שמעתא, הוה מסכיא דביתהו השתא אתי השתא אתי, לא אתא, חלש דעתה אחית דמעתא מעינה, הוה יתיב באיגרא, אפחית איגרא מתותיה ונח נפשיה.

19 Rabbinic Thought Tanakh and Oral Traditions Greco-Roman Philosophy/ Persian Religions Jewish Sectarians Strengthen Faith, Commitment and Continuity


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