Jewish Studies

Encounters by the Rivers of Babylon

Scholarly Conversations Between Jews, Iranians and Babylonians in Antiquity
Ed. by Uri Gabbay and Shai Secunda

[Begegnungen an den Strömen Babylons. Akademische Gespräche zwischen Juden, Iranern und Babyloniern in der Antike.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-153037-1
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Published in English.
This volume presents a unique collection of pioneering studies on the intersection between Jewish, Iranian, and Babylonian communities in antiquity. Apart from the results of individual studies, this unique interdisciplinary collection aims to encourage future collaboration between Iranists, Assyriologists, and Jewish studies scholars.
This volume presents a group of articles that deal with connections between ancient Babylonian, Iranian and Jewish communities in Mesopotamia under Neo-Babylonian, Achaemenid, and Sasanian rule. The studies, written by leading scholars in the fields of Assyriology, Iranian studies and Jewish studies, examine various modes of cultural connections between these societies, such as historical, social, legal, and exegetical intersections. The various Mesopotamian connections, often neglected in the study of ancient Judaism, are the focus of this truly interdisciplinary collection.
Survey of contents
Uri Gabbay/Shai Secunda: Introduction
Yaakov Elman: Contrasting Intellectual Trajectories: Iran and Israel in Mesopotamia

Society and Its Institutions Ran Zadok: Judeans in Babylonia—Updating the Dossier – Caroline Waerzeggers: Locating Contact in the Babylonian Exile: Some Reflections on Tracing Judean-Babylonian Encounters in Cuneiform Texts – Maria Macuch: Jewish Jurisdiction within the Framework of the Sasanian Legal System

The Transmission of Knowledge Abraham Winitzer: Assyriology and Jewish Studies in Tel Aviv: Ezekiel among the Babylonian literati – Jonathan Ben-Dov: Time and Culture: Mesopotamian Calendars in Jewish Sources from the Bible to the Mishnah – Nathan Wasserman: Old-Babylonian, Middle-Babylonian, Neo-Babylonian, Jewish-Babylonian? Thoughts about Transmission Modes of Mesopotamian Magic through the Ages – James Nathan Ford: The Ancient Mesopotamian Motif of kidinnu 'divine protection (of temple cities and their citizens)' in Akkadian and Aramaic Magic – Reuven Kiperwasser/Dan D. Y. Shapira: Encounters between Iranian Myth and Rabbinic Mythmakers in the Babylonian Talmud
Scholasticism and Exegesis Irving Finkel: Remarks on Cuneiform Scholarship and the Babylonian Talmud – Eckart Frahm: Traditionalism and Intellectual Innovation in a Cosmopolitan World: Reflections on Babylonian Text Commentaries from the Achaemenid Period – Uri Gabbay: Actual Sense and Scriptural Intention: Literal Meaning and Its Terminology in Akkadian and Hebrew Commentaries – Prods Oktor Skjærvø: Abar Rōdestān ī Babēl: The Zoroastrian Tradition—the dēn—in Sasanian and Early Islamic Times – Shai Secunda: Rabbinic and Zoroastrian Hermeneutics: Background and Prospects – Yishai Kiel: Shaking Impurity: Scriptural Exegesis and Legal Innovation in the Babylonian Talmud and Pahlavi Literature

Uri Gabbay Born 1975; PhD in Assyriology at Hebrew University; Senior Lecturer in Hebrew University Jerusalem.

Shai Secunda Born 1979; PhD in Talmud from Yeshiva University; Fellow at the Martin Buber Society of Fellows, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


The following reviews are known:

In: Salesianum — 77 (2015), S. 740–741 (Rafael Vicent)
In: — 9 (2016), S. 357–359 (Ephraim Nissan)
In: Journal of the Am. Oriental Society — 139.1 (2019), S. 222–225 (Laurie Pearce)
In: Biblische Notizen — 172 (2017), S. 157–159 (Karin Schöpflin)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 59 (2015), S. 580–581
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 141 (2016), S. 453–456 (Catherine Hezser)