Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies - Respnsum/Teshuvah: Made in the Geonic...

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Respnsum/Teshuvah: Made in the Geonic Period. “The Talmud is not a legal guide and does not have the directness of the Hadith. It is not easier to live according to the Talmud than it is to live according to the Tanak. To respond to this problem, the Geonim institutionalized a new legal genre, the responsum (teshuvah, “answer” the same word used for “ turning back, repentance”). Earlier rabbinic literature records the practice of Jews asking local rabbis for legal rulings that were to be—at least in the eyes of the Rabbis—legally binding on the individual.” Se’adyah Geon: Most prolific of Geonim, he expanded Geonim activities. Was a great influence on instructions of prayer books. Most of his time was spent responding to halakhic guidance. Ultimately, the proportion of questions addressed to the Geonim that deal with academic or theological matters were small compared to those that ask specific and applied questions in Jewish law. Peshat - one of the four methods used by Bible scholars to interpret the Torah. Peshat literally means “simple” and means taking the Biblical laws and stories at their face value. Contextual approach to biblical interpretation and seeks to employ contemporary scientific techniques. Piyyut - Form of Jewish liturgical poetry that begins in late antiquity. al Andalus - Arabic name given to the parts of the Iberian Peninsula governed by Muslims. Since al-Andalus was very tolerant of Jews, it became the center for Jewish intellectual endeavors. Very important place where many Jewish Philosophers like Maimonides were born. Rashi - Medieval Ashkenazic Rabbi whose commentary can be found in teh Babylonian Talmud. He was a big propoent of teh peshat method of interpreting the Torah. He used early rabbinic sources to interpret Scripture. Abraham Ibn Ezra - Rabbi who was a great supporter of an interpretive approach to reading Scripture. He was born in Toledo around 1092. He wrote most of his Biblical commentaries while he wandered around Europe. Very influential because of his commentaries on the Torah, very similar to Rashi. He was influential in Jewish philosophy as well.
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Judah ha-Levy - Spanish Jewish philosopher and poet. He wrote many Religious, secular and love poems. He is best remembered for as teh author of Kuzari. The Kuzari purports to tell of a conversation between teh king of Khazars and a Christian, a Muslim, a rabbi and a philosopher. It is a broadside against Philosophy. The Christian and the Muslim fall into the background. He posed the serious question, are faith and religion compatible. He elevates faith over reason. He believed that Gentiles who converted to be Jews are still not equal to born Jews. His work has been called somewhat racist.
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2009 for the course ECON 102 taught by Professor Drozd during the Fall '08 term at Wisconsin.

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Jewish Studies - Respnsum/Teshuvah: Made in the Geonic...

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