THE DENIALS OF RABBINIC TEACHING
The Talmud is an arena of controversy, or to describe it perhaps more appropriately, a great academic lecture hall in which a debate is in progress. Yet spanning the differences of views and bridging the centuries during which the discussion continued, is a consensus. An organic unity underlies and indeed provides the sustaining foundation for the clash of views and interpretations. We have here a universe of thought, not simply a chaos of disagreement.
The individual sage is part of a group and his opinions are related to a cultural background which he shared with his opponents. All live within a tradition; their views, for all their specific deviations, have a basic unity. We have attempted to describe this basic unity in our exposition of Talmudic teaching on some of the fundamental themes with which it concerns itself. However, every significant affirmation involves denial. Every definition must exclude as well as embrace. In this chapter we shall seek to highlight a number of Rabbinic views by contrasting them with various concepts found in other cultures and faiths. Some of the elements in the Rabbinic consensus will thus be more vividly illustrated. Occasionally, a voice can be found in the Rabbinic tradition which con
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Publication information: Book title: The World of the Talmud. Edition: 2nd. Contributors: Morris Adler - Author. Publisher: Schocken Books. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1963. Page number: 124.
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