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Tales of the NeighborhoodJewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity$
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Galit Hasan-Rokem

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520234536

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520234536.001.0001

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Building the Gate, or Neighbors Make Good Fences

Building the Gate, or Neighbors Make Good Fences

(p.55) THREE Building the Gate, or Neighbors Make Good Fences
Tales of the Neighborhood

Galit Hasan-Rokem

University of California Press

Rabbinic creativity is distinguished, not just by its openness to ideas engendered outside the academy and synagogue. The Rabbinical establishment can be viewed both as a territory in and as a metonymy for the Jewish societies within which it performed. The massive presence of folk narratives thus does not point at a permissiveness or oversight of the patriarchal Rabbinal authority resulting in the inclusion of “lower” registers of creativity that are the supposedly highbrow interests of the Rabbis. The dynamic between a more or less canonized textual center and a dialectically gyrating text emergence through dialogue with various partners seems to be the process that engendered Rabbinic culture. The dialogue among multiple centers and the inherent mobility of those centers, as well as the layering of diachronic authority, are imprinted in every single Rabbinic document.

Keywords:   synagogue, academy, patriarchal, Rabbinic culture, narratives

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