Halakhah in the Making
The Development of Jewish Law from Qumran to the Rabbis
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of California Press
Title Page, Copyright,
This book is based on the Taubman Lectures in Jewish Studies I delivered at the University of California, Berkeley, in February–March 2005. I wish to thank the faculty members of the department of Near East Studies and the Jewish Studies Program for inviting me to present my thoughts ...
Introduction: In the Beginning
In a 1990 article, “The History of Halakhah and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Jacob Sussman surveyed the early attempts made by the pioneers of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement to study the history of halakhah, the body of Jewish law that supplements scriptural law, and to chart its development.1 ...
1. Writing Halakhah in Qumran
The library of Qumran contains a wide range of different compositions. Among them, not a few concentrate on legal issues. These scrolls are the prime source for our knowledge of the legal system of the Qumran community, though not the exclusive source. In some of the discussions to follow, we will employ information about legal subjects extracted from nonlegal sources, ...
2. Divine Revelation and Human Exegesis; Or, How to Recognize a False Prophet When You See One
As I noted at the conclusion of the previous chapter, one of the fundamental differences between the Qumran scrolls and rabbinic literature revolves around the theological dispute concerning the source for the authority of halakhah: divine or human. The Qumran scrolls present the exegesis of the Torah and consequently the halakhic decisions ...
3. Scripture versus Tradition
Our discussions in the previous chapters concentrated on the two available bodies of halakhic literature, the scrolls from Qumran and rabbinic literature. We examined the similarities and the differences between them, at the same time taking into consideration the fact that there is a gap of some two hundred years between them. ...
4. “The Foundation of the Creation” and the “Laws Written on the Heavenly Tablets”
In his frequently quoted and much-debated article, “Law and Truth: On Qumran-Sadducean and Rabbinic Views of Law,” Daniel R. Schwartz raises an interesting and important question. Schwartz challenges the common use of the term “priestly halakhah” to portray the non-Pharisaic legal system exhibited by the Dead Sea Scrolls ...
5. Halakhah from Qumran to the Mishnah: Concluding Remarks
In his article mentioned at the outset of this book, “The History of Halakhah and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Jacob Sussman portrayed the Sadducee halakhah as stringent, as opposed to the Pharisaic halakhah, which he saw as tending to be more lenient. Sussman was following in the footsteps of Abraham Geiger, ...
Appendix of Hebrew Texts
Index of Primary Sources