The characterization of MISWOT and conception of halakhah in rabbinic non-halakhic literature

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Scholarly discussion concerning rabbinic conceptions of the nature of halakhah-realist vs. nominalist-has for the most part focused on halakhic content and discourse. However, as Schremer has shown, non-halakhic passages may present conceptions that differ from those found in halakhic sources. Following Schremer's suggested distinction, in this study I examine non-halakhic texts which use various metaphors or linguistic styles to characterize the miswot. In the cases I examine, I will demonstrate that the authors could have formulated their content in more than one way, and thus their choice of a particular linguistic style reflects their particular conception of the nature of the miswot. My suggestion is that non-halakhic sources that display both modes of thought, realist and nominalist views of Jewish law, offer more accurate reflections of the multifaceted conceptual world of the rabbis than do halakhic texts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-200
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Jewish Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Brill Academic Publishers. All rights reserved.


  • Characterization of miswot
  • Conception of halakhah
  • Nominalism
  • Non-halakhic sources
  • Realism


Dive into the research topics of 'The characterization of MISWOT and conception of halakhah in rabbinic non-halakhic literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this