'Anonymous hasid' stories in halakhic sugyot in the Babylonian Talmud

Yonatan Feintuch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


One type of aggadic story that appears several times in the Babylonian Talmud (BT) begins with the formula 'Ma'asse be-hasid 'ehad' - a story about a certain anonymous hasid (pious man). This article examines the three cases in which a 'One hasid' story follows a halakhic discussion that deals with a certain law in the Mishnah. The three stories are revealed to share a common role with respect to the halakhic discussions which precede them. Source-critical and redaction-critical analyses of the stories illuminate the work and methods of the BT redactors, who by composing new stories or reworking earlier traditions, and juxtaposing them with halakhic discussions, facilitate the creation of sugyot that convey a complex halakhic message. This article attempts to add yet another tier to the study of the redaction of the BT, specifically with respect to the role of aggadic material in halakhic contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-262
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


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