Comparative Hermeneutics of Rabbinic Judaism, The, Volume One

Introduction and the Hermeneutics of Berakhot and Seder Mo'ed

By Jacob Neusner

Subjects: Jewish Studies, Hermeneutics, Jewish Religious Studies
Imprint: Distribution Partners
Paperback : 9781883058371, 647 pages, January 2000

Systematic account of the hermeneutics of comparison and contrast of Rabbinic Judaism.


A distinguished historian of religion once said, "The history of religions is the exegesis of exegesis. " In a profound sense, that judgment animates an entire field of learning. In this project in the history of religions, I undertake an inductive account, through systematic inquiry into data, of the hermeneutics of the principal documents of Rabbinic Judaism. I ask whether a theory of interpretation guides the sages in their exposition of the topics, the category-formations, of Rabbinic Judaism in the documents that expound those formations. As the title means to suggest, my answer is, a hermeneutics of comparison and contrast governs the selection of data and the interpretation thereof for the entire corpus of category-formations of the Halakhah. The rest of this project serves to spell out the meaning and effect of that sentence. Hence "comparative hermeneutics" here bears the primary meaning, "a hermeneutics of analogical-contrastive analysis. "