HEBREW UNION COLLEGE- JEWISH INSTITUTE OF RELIGION Fall Semester The Critical-Historical Study of Mishnah Rabbinics 154 Prof. Michael Chernick Course Goals The Mishnah course is designed to accomplish the follwoing goals: 1) to continue the student's education in Mishnah and to enhance the student's understanding of the academic approach to Mishnah study; 2) to introduce the student to the major figures who contributed to contemporary Mishnah studies; 3) to acquaint the student with their theories and methods; 4) to show how the Mishnah served as the basis for these theories and how these theories function as methodological tools for elucidating the mishnaic text; 5) to foster the use of an eclectic methodological approach to Mishnah study. Helpful Tools for Mishnah Study J. N. Epstein, Mavo' le-Nusah ha-Mishnah [the closest we have to a critical edition of Mishnah] L. Finkelstein-H. Horovitz, Sifre `al Sefer Devarim (critical edition of Sifre Deut.) Zecharias Frankel, Darkei ha-Mishnah, pp. 30-219, (short biographies of tannaim mentioned in Mishnah). Also Ch. Albeck, Mavo' la-Mishnah, pp. 216-236 (pp.234-6=index). H. Horovitz-I. Rabin, Mekhilta d' Rabbi Ishmael (critical edition of Mekhilta). H. Horovitz, Sifre de-bei Rav (includes Sifre Zuta) [critical edition of Sifre Num. and Sifre Zuta). Aaron Hyman, Toldot Tannaim ve-Amoraim (short biographies of tannaim mentioned in Mishnah and Talmud). Marcus Jastrow, A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Bavli, etc. H. J. Kasowski, 'Ozar Leshon ha-Mishnah (concordance of the Mishnah). H. J. Kasowski, 'Ozar Leshon ha-Tosefta (concordance of Tosefta). Saul Lieberman, Tosefta and Tosefta Kifeshutah (ms. Vienna) [critical edition and Heb. commentary]. Daniel Sperber, Essays in Greek and Latin in Mishnah, Talmud, and Midrashic Literature. I. H. Weiss, Sifra de-bei Rav. M. S. Zuckermandel, Tosefta (ms. Ehrfurt) [first critical edition]. Course Outline I. Study of Pesahim, ch. 1-5 and 10 A. Use of other tannaitica for the study of Mishnah (Tosefta, midreshei halakhah) B. Use of traditional commentators C. Use of mss. and critical editions (mss. Lowe, Kaufmann, Parma, Mavo le-Nusah ha-Mishnah, and various critical editions of the Talmud and individual Mishnaic orders) D. Use of critical-historical theories II. The Critics and their Theories A. The central questions 1. Was redaction a single or multi-stage process? 2. What is the history and form of the Mishnah prior to R. Judah ha-Nasi? 3. Was Mishnah published orally or in writing? 4. What was the Mishnah's purpose? 5. Why were the "baraitot" excluded from the Mishnah? B. Implications of the theories for the study of Mishnah 1. Ideological roots of the various theories 2. The interplay of ideology and "scholarship" 3. Redaction histories/theories, Mishnah's structure, and parshanut Required Readings 1. Jacob Neusner (ed.), The Modern Study of the Mishnah (complete). 2. Zecharias Frankel, Darkei ha-Mishnah, pp. 220-231. 3. David Zvi Hoffman, trans., Paul Forchheimer, The First Mishnah and the Controversies of the Tannaim (complete). 4. Chanoch Albeck, Mavo' la-Mishnah, pp. 82-85, 99-115. 5. Ezra Zion Melamed, Pirqei Mavo' le-Sifrut ha-Talmud, pp. 52-73, 116-129, 139-141 (recapitulates J. N. Epstein in short form). 6. Saul Lieberman, "The Publication of the Mishnah," in Hellenism in Jewish Palestine, pp. 83-99 7. Jacob Neusner, Judaism: The Case of Mishnah. Course Requirements 1. Class participation indicating preparation of the Mishnah texts and required readings (50%). 2. Final paper using a methodology or methodologies we learned about in the analysis of a chapter of Mishnah (50%).