Guardianship of Orphans in Talmudic Law

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The article reviews the Talmudic institution of guardianship for orphans, as it appears in sources from Palestine and Babylon, mostly from the second to the fifth centuries CE. It is likely that the foundations of this institution are found in foreign law, but after it was absorbed in Jewish law, it began to build an independent life, and was not necessarily affected by its legal system of origin. The design of the institution was mainly conducted by the Jewish sages of the second-century (Tannaim). The Mishnah and Tosefta are already showing a fairly well-developed system of guardianship laws. This system was not changed substantially afterward, and the later Talmudic sages (Amoraim) continued to develop the institution upon the foundation created by their predecessors. The Talmudic sources present a fairly well-developed institution, from its creation through the duties of the guardian during his tenure to the end of the guardianship term.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationLegal Documents in Ancient Societies VI:
Subtitle of host publicationAncient Guardianship: Legal Incapacities in the Ancient World
EditorsMichele Faraguna, Uri Yiftach
Place of PublicationTrieste
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-8303-814-3
ISBN (Print)978-88-8303-813-6
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Proceedings of a Colloquium held at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities


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