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The theology of the halakhah

The theology of the halakhah by J. Neusner
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In this work Neusner argues that the law of normative Judaism, the Halakhah, viewed whole, with its category-formations read in logical sequence, tells a coherent story. He demonstrates that details of the law contribute to making a single statement, one that, moreover, complements and corresponds with that of the Aggadah, the lore and scriptural exegesis of Judaism. The theology that animates the Halakhah records the result of the Rabbinic sages systematic, generalizing, universalizing reading of the narratives, exhortations, and laws of Scripture. From their comprehensive definition of those results in the form of practical norms for the construction of holy Israel's social order, Neusner derives this account of the theological structure that sustains the Halakhic system.

He furthermore correlates the category-formations of the Halakhah with those of the Aggadah, the lore and exegesis of Judaism, already set forth in his previous study, "The Theology of the Oral Torah" (1999). Thus he has now portrayed for the first time the way in which Aggadah and Halakhah, attitude and action, belief and behavior, join together to set forth normative Judaism, the vast system for holy Israel's social order of the Mishnah, Talmud, and Midrash of late antiquity.

BRILL; January 2001
452 pages; ISBN 9789047401100
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Title: The theology of the halakhah
Author: J. Neusner