Literature and Liturgy in Times of Transition: The Piska "and It Happened at Midnight" from Pesikta de-Rav Kahana

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Abstract

This article examines the development and sources of the passage, "And it happened at midnight" in Pesikta de-Rav Kahana. Literary analysis of this passage decisively refutes the conjecture that the passage was copied from either Pesikta Rabbati or a lost homiletical midrash on the book of Exodus, and supports the contention that it was formulated by the redactor of the Pesikta itself. Nonetheless, the passage does deviate from certain characteristic trademarks of other piska'ot. The article proposes a general theory as to the dating, nature, and literary creation of the entire Pesikta. While the Pesikta is a unified work, it does include piska'ot that exhibit different literary patterns. These variations reflect changes in Torah reading practices that occurred in the period in which the Pesikta's editor operated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-259
Number of pages19
JournalAJS Review
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Association for Jewish Studies.

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