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date: 03 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Early Rabbinic Judaism (70–500 ce) was a period of intense intellectual and pastoral creativity that crafted an enduring cultural identity for Jews. The Tannaim were teachers during this period whose theological explanations and pastoral applications preserved in the Sifre Devarim bring Deuteronomy into a conversation with a complex of nonbiblical traditions. The Tannaim treat Deuteronomy only as part of their overall interpretation of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. There are scholarly analyses of the Sifre Devarim; however, there is no systematic examination of the overall influence of Deuteronomy on writings in Early Rabbinic Judaism. Instead, scholars have focused on the history and range of views on specific legal issues in Deuteronomy. I will focus on how Tosefta, Mishnah, and Sifre Devarim handle Deuteronomy in general, rather than how they treat specific legal issues like tithes (14:22–29), holy days (16:1–17), household discipline (21:18–21), divorce (24:1–4), or the levirate (25:5–10).

Keywords: Mishnah, Tosefta, Halakhic Midrash, Sifre Devarim, Early Rabbinic Judaism, Deuteronomy

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