The rhetorical self in Tannaitic halakha

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The halakhic practice does more than regulating the inner world; it takes part in forming it, generating a unique legal subject. But is there a unique halakhic Self? This article examines this question in the context of Tannaitic halakha, both Mishnaic and Midrashic. More specifically I ask whether one can speak of subjectivity in Tannaitic halakha. I study the relationship between anonymous halakhic rulings and specific positions presented in the name of individual sages or argued with the force of personal commitment. Through analyzing the “I” language in Tannaitic literature, in comparison with the rhetoric of prerabbinic halakha, I wish to advance the ongoing search for the rabbinic Self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-366
Number of pages26
JournalDead Sea Discoveries
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Individuality
  • Midrash
  • Mishnah
  • Rabbinic
  • Reflectivity
  • Self
  • Subjectivity
  • Tannaim


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