לפשר מחלוקות רמי בר חמא ורבא: עיון מחודש

Translated title of the contribution: The Dispute between Rami bar Hama and Rava - New Perspectives

שירה שמידמן

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Rami bar Hama was a Babylonian amora active during the third and fourth generations of Babylonian amoraim. Although he only appears 167 times in the Talmud, his perplexing statements and questions have drawn much attention, from his disputes with his colleague Rava, through the discussions of medieval commentators, to modern scholarship. To explain his unconventional positions, modern scholars have suggested that Rami bar Hama’s positions resulted from his unique approach to halakhic analysis which relies on reasoning alone to the exclusion of Tannaitic sources and traditions. Accordingly, Rami bar Hama’s methodology supposedly led him to gross errors in Halakha, which Rava had to correct time and again. However, this view is based principally on Rava’s criticism of Rami bar Hama and the depiction of Rami bar Hama in the Stammaitic layer of the Talmud, while an examination of his actual statements reveals an entirely different picture. I therefore suggest a new approach to understanding the puzzle of Rami bar Hama’s ostensibly unconvention alpositions. Although Rami bar Hama seems like a maverick with unconventional ideas and Rava appears to be the conventional one, faithful to Tannaitic sources and traditions, quite theopposite is true: Rami bar Hama is the conventional one and Rava is the innovator. Indeed,many of Rami bar Hama’s disputes with Rava involve cases in which Rava is initiating a change in the halakhic system. In these cases, Rami bar Hama’s position is in line with existing traditions and modes of thought, while Rava rejects these positions and suggests new modes of abstract thinking and proposes new global Talmudic rules. Consequently,the representation of Rami bar Hama as an innovator by the Talmud is agenda-driven,intended to persuade the reader to dismiss the traditions he represents, firmly establishingנthe innovations of Rava as the accepted norm.
Translated title of the contributionThe Dispute between Rami bar Hama and Rava - New Perspectives
Original languageHebrew
Pages (from-to)395-434
Number of pages40
Journalתרביץ: רבעון למדעי היהדות
Volume89
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

IHP Publications

  • ihp
  • Conservatism
  • Controversy (Jewish law)
  • Talmud Bavli
  • Technological innovations

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Dispute between Rami bar Hama and Rava - New Perspectives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this