- 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.202) A Response to David Berger
- Collected Essays: v. 2
- Liverpool University Press
This chapter presents a response to Professor David Berger's queries and questions regarding the author's argument both for the existence of a Third Yeshivah in Bavel and its role in the founding of the halakhic culture of Ashkenaz. The response is divided into three sections: interpretation, language and curriculum, and finally, the founders' attitude towards the Geonim. What struck the author most in the so-called Perush Rabbenu Gershom was both its unique curriculum and the radical, new, and sweeping conception of what talmudic interpretation entails. Professor Berger and the author are in agreement that the Talmud is far too abrupt and telegraphic a text to be comprehended by simply grasping the words alone. Professor Berger also suggests that the founding fathers need not have been native Babylonians; they could well have come from elsewhere and attained the necessary knowledge of Aramaic both from studying the Targum of the Tanakh and from studying Talmud with some oral tradition.
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