By Daniel Boyarin
A be aware conventionally imbued with depression meanings, "diaspora" has been used variously to explain the cataclysmic ancient occasion of displacement, the next 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 could be extra constructively construed as a sort of cultural hybridity or a method of research. In A touring Homeland, he makes the case shared place of origin or previous and stressful dissociation aren't valuable stipulations for diaspora and that Jews hold their native land 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 id. Boyarin examines the methods the Babylonian Talmud imagines its personal group and experience of place of origin, and he exhibits how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early smooth classes additionally produce a doubled cultural id. He hyperlinks the continued productiveness of this bifocal cultural imaginative and prescient to the character of the e-book: because the actual textual content moved among assorted instances and locations, the tools of its examine constructed via touch with surrounding cultures. finally, A touring Homeland envisions talmudic research because the heart of a shared Jewish identification and a particular characteristic of the Jewish diaspora that defines it as a specific thing except different cultural migrations.
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Additional info for A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora
The boys drew an a fortiori argument and said: These for whom being penetrated is their “way” did so; we for whom being penetrated is not our way, even more so and even more! They also jumped into the sea. On these [boys and girls,] the Scripture says: For you we are killed all the day, we have been as sheep to the slaughter. (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.
32 Indeed, the same passages of the Talmud that tell us of the synagogue that had literally slid from the Holy Land to Babylonia, bringing the Shekhina with it, also informs us that all the synagogues of Babylonia will return (this time, for sure, miraculously) to Palestine when the Messiah comes. 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.
Rabbi Elʿazar is made to draw an analogy on these grounds and no other, going against the plain meaning of the verse. The redemption from Babylonia is thus simply compared to Sheol as another low-lying territory. ’” Even the Jews of Palestine will be redeemed owing to the virtue of the Babylonians. ’ Rabbi Yoƒanan says, ‘Because he sent them to the house of their mother. Its exemplum is of a man who becomes angry at his wife, to where does he send her? ’” The first speaker in this sequence remarks on the great advantage of Babylonia: their Semitic speech, which, since it is close to the Hebrew of Torah, promotes the study of Torah.