Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Image of the Non-Jew in JudaismA Historical and Constructive Study of the Noahide Laws$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Novak

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764074

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764074.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

The Law of the Torn Limb

The Law of the Torn Limb

(p.135) Chapter Eight The Law of the Torn Limb
Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism

David Novak

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses the prohibition against tearing a limb from a living animal, which is explicit in Scripture, and the only one of the seven Noahide laws to be found immediately in the Torah. According to the rabbis, tearing a limb from a living animal was part of ancient pagan religious ritual, and thus was a species of idolatry. Clearly, such a practice was to be avoided by Israelites. At first view, this law appears limited in scope, but the chapter argues that it has implications for Jewish–gentile relations extending beyond the immediate purpose of the law. The chapter then demonstrates how Noahide law has directed some innovations within rabbinic law, namely, in reducing double standards in laws that pertain to both Jews and non-Jews. The law of the torn limb also introduces the question of nature in Jewish thought.

Keywords:   law of the torn limb, Noahide laws, Torah, ancient pagan religious ritual, Jewish–gentile relations, rabbinic law, Jews, non-Jews, nature, Jewish thought

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.