The Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaism

By Niditch, Susan | Shofar, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

The Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaism


Niditch, Susan, Shofar


by David Kraemer. New York: Routledge, 2000. 170pp. $29.99.

David Kraemer has written an original, intelligent, and thought-provoking study of the meanings of death in Rabbinic Judaism. Methodologically sophisticated, Kraemer is sensitive to the oral world context of his sources, asking how preserved literary traditions relate to the sociological realities in which they developed. He asks perceptively how the views of Rabbinic élites concerning death may or may not reflect the attitudes of common people, and brings to bear on his study evidence from material culture, in particular the catacombs of Beth Shearim, exploring how such archaeological data relate to written sources. Kraemer works beautifully with the classical texts of Judaism, moving deftly from one source to another, chronologically tracing a path from the Mishnah to Tosephta, from Talmud Jerushalmi to Bavli, concluding with examples from medieval material. He introduces each source simply and elegantly, placing it in historical and cultural context and thus making his study accessible to non-experts. An astute exegete, Kraemer presents the fine details of Rabbinic argument with clarity, but this attention to detail is balanced by a probing engagement with the big questions surrounding significance, meaning, and message.

Kraemer observes that the processes of dying and mourning are parallel rites of passage, and is attuned to the polysemous meanings of ritual symbols. He explores, for example, how the mourner symbolically identifies with the dead and shares his/her experience of separation from society. Perhaps his most interesting suggestion is that the Rabbis regarded the dead as sentient. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Meanings of Death in Rabbinic Judaism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.