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Tradition and the Formation of the Talmud Hardcover – 4 May 2014


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"Vidas's book exemplifies the best possibilities of contemporary Talmud scholarship--a foretaste, in just those moments when it upsets received wisdom about the Talmud, of the next step in the ancient dance of new and old."--Raphael Magarik, MAKE Literary Productions

From the Back Cover

"In recent years, scholars have come to see the Talmud as the product of much more than editorial effort in late antiquity--that its building blocks were constructed into an edifice only toward the end of the document's production. Vidas moves beyond this to argue that even the distinction between building blocks and the text's construction is a result of the editors, thus entirely upsetting the applecart of possible chronological differences between layers of the text. Vidas's work is stimulating, troubling, and thrilling."--Daniel Boyarin, University of California, Berkeley

"One of the most important trends in Talmud scholarship of the past half century is the recognition of the anonymous editorial hand. It is difficult to overestimate the significance of Vidas's argument: that this editorial hand knowingly puts forth an active, innovative voice for itself, rather than one that is passive and muted. A wonderful piece of scholarship."--Azzan Yadin-Israel, Rutgers University

"This book is an original and valuable contribution to the understanding of the Talmud and its making. Presenting an excellent combination of solid philology with a larger cultural and historical context, it will be of great interest to scholars of the Talmud, as well as to scholars in other fields grappling with the complexities of tradition and innovation."--Moshe Halbertal, New York University School of Law and Hebrew University


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