By Daniel Boyarin
A notice conventionally imbued with depression meanings, "diaspora" has been used variously to explain the cataclysmic old occasion of displacement, the following geographical scattering of peoples, or the stipulations of alienation in a foreign country and craving for an ancestral domestic. yet as Daniel Boyarin writes, diaspora should be extra constructively construed as a kind of cultural hybridity or a style of study. In A touring Homeland, he makes the case shared place of origin or prior and hectic dissociation will not be worthwhile stipulations for diaspora and that Jews hold their place of origin with them in diaspora, within the type of textual, interpretive groups equipped round talmudic study.
For Boyarin, the Babylonian Talmud is a diasporist manifesto, a textual content that produces and defines the practices that represent Jewish diasporic identification. Boyarin examines the methods the Babylonian Talmud imagines its personal group and experience of fatherland, and he indicates how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early glossy sessions additionally produce a doubled cultural identification. He hyperlinks the continuing productiveness of this bifocal cultural imaginative and prescient to the character of the e-book: because the actual textual content moved among varied instances and areas, the equipment of its learn built via touch with surrounding cultures. eventually, A touring Homeland envisions talmudic learn because the middle of a shared Jewish identification and a particular function of the Jewish diaspora that defines it as something except different cultural migrations.
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Extra info for A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora
In terms of linguistic formation, of their heteroglossia, then, the two great literary texts of Jewish late antiquity, the one from the East and the one from the West (according to their terminology: Palestine is marked geographically and not theologically in this phrase), are very closely related (although, of course, the dialectal differences in the Aramaic render each immediately recognizable to the cognoscenti). It is the interplay between the closeness and the foreignness that constitutes these two texts as diasporic with respect to each other.
Ps. 44:23) (Gittin 57b)44 There may be little question but that Ibn Daud is using this story, as proven by use of the same verse from Psalms 68. Indeed, for the learned readers of his narrative, this notorious passage from the Talmud would be called to mind as an intertext. 45 The argument is certainly compelling but does not go nearly far enough. 47 Let me emphasize this point once more. Since Ibn Daud has clearly composed his narrative of the four captive rabbis out of a bricolage from various earlier rabbinic narratives, his choice of details is especially significant; since this is not quite fiction in our sense of prose literature for pleasure but a composed founding legend fraught with purport, one can’t say that the detail is there only to provide narrative interest (such as this might be).
Pirkoi’s supersessionist claim, like supersession in general, is descriptively extreme, for the Babylonian Talmud would have no existence were it not for the Torah of Palestine that is embedded in it as its soil and its seed, this soil and seed having been transplanted like that legendary synagogue from the Land of Israel and planted in a new place. 46 Chapter 2 On the other hand, as my late teacher Prof. H. Z. Dimitrovsky has pointed out: “It was doubtless not Pirkoi who created the ideological background of this propaganda and not he who initiated it.