- Title Pages
- Note on Transliteration and Conventions Used in the Text
Chapter OneAgobard of Lyons, Megillat Aḥima’ats, and the Babylonian Orientation of Early Ashkenaz
Chapter TwoDialectics, Scholasticism, and the Origin of the Tosafot
Chapter ThreeMinhag Ashkenaz ha-Kadmon: An Assessment
Chapter FourThe Authority of the Babylonian Talmud and the Use of Biblical Verses and Aggadah in Early Ashkenaz
Chapter FiveOn the Use of Aggadah by the Tosafists: A Response to I. M. Ta-Shma
Chapter SixCharacterizing Medieval Talmudists: A Case Study
Chapter SevenCommunications and the Palestinian Origins of Ashkenaz
Chapter EightThe Palestinian Orientation of the Ashkenazic Community and Some Suggested Ground Rules for the Writing of Halakhic History
Chapter NineThe ‘Third Yeshivah of Bavel’ and the Cultural Origins of Ashkenaz—A Proposal
- A Response to David Berger
Chapter TenBetween Cross and Crescent
Chapter ElevenHalakhah, Hermeneutics, and Martyrdom in Ashkenaz
Chapter TwelveMaimonides’ Iggeret ha-Shemad: Law and Rhetoric
Chapter ThirteenResponses to Critiques of ‘Maimonides’ Iggeret ha-Shemad: Law and Rhetoric’
Chapter FourteenClassification of Mishneh Torah: Problems Real and Imaginary
Chapter FifteenMishneh Torah: Polemic and Art
- Bibliography of Manuscripts
- Source Acknowledgments
- Index of Names
- Index of Places
- Index of Subjects
- (p.219) Introduction
- Collected Essays: v. 2
- Liverpool University Press
AS NOTED IN THE PREFACE, both my article on Iggeret ha-Shemad, which I wrote as an undergraduate, and that on martyrdom in Ashkenaz, composed a decade or so ago, employ the same criterion of ‘measurable deflection’ to discern whether something extraneous to the halakhic system is impinging upon the thought of a halakhist. That is to say, in order to avoid a simplistic sociology of law that attributes, with little ado, legal conclusions to personal inclinations or some social or economic need, one must be able to point to some uncharacteristic flaw, or, at the very least, some measurable swerve in the line of argument that would indicate the operation of a force deflecting the author’s analysis from its normal course and leading him to unexpected conclusions. Unsurprisingly, this yardstick plays a significant role in other studies of mine published in the intervening years, such as ‘Can Halakhic Texts Talk History?’ and ‘Pawnbroking: A Study in ...
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