Jane L. Kanarek. Biblical Narrative and the Formation of Rabbinic Law. New York, NY: 2014, 212 pp., $62.99 (hardback on Amazon).
Jane L. Kanarek (Assistant Professor of Rabbinics at Hebrew College) argues that “biblical narrative is embedded in th heart of rabbinic lawmaking enterprise and is, in fact, inseparable from it” (1). Drawing on classical rabbinic sources, such as the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmuds, the Mishnah, Midrash Halakhah and Midrash Aggadah, Kanarek explores how rabbinic literature integrates rabbinic law and biblical narrative. The integration is distinct from Jubilees in that rabbinic integration utilizes different exegetical methods. Rather than law and narrative operating as two autonomous realms, Kanarek argues that, in rabbinic literature, they exist dialectically (13).
Following her introduction, she explores the exegetical tradition of Isaac’s binding. She focuses on the Akedah as a legal source for rabbinic literature, namely the the type of knife that should be used…
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