By Yehudah B. Cohn
This booklet locates the Jewish tefillin ritual in the cultural matrix that engendered its origins and improvement, with specific concentrate on the reception background of appropriate biblical passages, the archaeological facts of the lifeless Sea Scrolls, and unique research of rabbinic literature to the 3rd century C.E. a majority of these resources are evaluated opposed to the backdrop of comparative information for using magical amulets within the ambient Greco-Roman global, within the gentle of which the writer demonstrates that tefillin originated and continued as renowned protecting amulets, and have been an invented culture of the Hellenistic period. His conclusions are used to provide an explanation for why the perform built because it did, to elucidate its designated beneficial properties and to research its that means within the early rabbinic interval.
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Additional info for Tangled Up in Text: Tefillin and the Ancient World
35 The most widely accepted views are that the word refers specifically to a headband, or, more generally, to something that encircles (a body part such as the head) or, alternatively, to a pendant. In Jeﬀrey Tigay’s view, totafot might have its origins in the characteristic head-straps of Syria/Israel, as depicted in Egyptian and Assyrian drawings of people from that region. , if not earlier. ” The English word will continue to be used here for brevity and convenience, but the sign, if such it is, would have no signified object in the Deuteronomy verses (the lack of a signified object was already noted, in so many words, by Philo40).
See also Graf, Magic in the Ancient World, 211. ” 115. Versnel, “Some Reflections on the Relationship Magic-Religion,” 180 and n. 7. Cliﬀord Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 13. Cf. “No definition of magic can be universally applicable. . Its meaning changes 24 Tangled Up in Text is appropriately used in a study of tefillin because of the “family resemblance” that tefillin share with magical amulets; the latter were worn on the body, frequently had inscribed contents—that might additionally be connected to recited verses—and were often designated as phylakteria.
The word used to describe rabbinic law/s will be written “halakah” (plural “halakot”). 4. ” Individual derivations will be referred to as “derashot” (singular “derashah”). See H. L. Strack and Günter Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, trans. Marcus Bockmühl (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996), 150–58. By and large, the Tosefta looks as though it is commenting or otherwise relating to the Mishnah, suggesting that its traditions are relatively late, although it has also been argued that many Toseftan traditions are actually older than their Mishnaic counterparts.