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Sifra, Dibbura de Sinai
Rhetorical Formulae, Literary Structures, and Legal Traditions

By Howard L. Apothaker

Sifra, Dibbura de Sinai
Hardback, 464 pages £40.00
Published: 2003
ISBN: 9780878204526
Format: 228mm x 152mm
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Series: Monographs of the Hebrew Union College

Sifra is the earliest extant rabbinic commentary on the book of Leviticus. On a basic level, Sifra presents and validates rabbinic law, but this was done by creating a link between a proposition, halakhic or not, and a scriptural passage. Scholars in the last few decades-including Neusner and Stemberger-have debated Sifra's relationship to Mishnah-Tosefta. Howard Apothaker demonstrates that the set of rules in Dibbura deSinai on topics shared with Mishnah-Tosefta can be understood as an independent body of law. They share a common ancestor but represent different expressions of a similar worldview and with variant purposes. The framers of Sifra sought as their main objective to validate the essentiality, or non-superfluity, of every word of Scripture. Apothaker's analysis of the exegetical and rhetorical characteristics of Sifra in Sifra, Dibbura deSinai: Rhetorical Formulae, Literary Structures, and Legal Traditions builds on his translation of and commentary on the section of Dibbura deSinai which covers Leviticus 25-27. Analysis of Sifra's highly formalized rhetoric yields insight concerning the general purpose(s) for which the framers created the work.

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 464 pages
 228mm x 152mm

BIC Code:
  BIB000000, REL040000
 Hebrew Union College Press


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