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The Land of Israel or Syria Palestina: Reconceptualization of Territory in Rabbinic Literature

Wednesday, March 10
1 – 2:30 p.m.

This lecture will examine the halakhic definition of the Land of Israel and its surroundings, particularly the halakhic status of the northern territory of Syria. By analyzing several rabbinic sources, it will discuss a few theoretical models with which the rabbis attempted to define Syria and its relation to the Land of Israel, including some conceptual and interpretative shifts within the Palestinian rabbinic corpus itself: from the Mishnah to the Tosefta and the Palestinian Talmud. These different models and the discourse around them provide a glimpse of how the rabbinic community in third- and fourth-century Roman Palestine reconceived their provincial space as it underwent significant political, demographic, and economic changes, and a key prism through which this community’s identity struggle under Rome is reflected.

About the Speaker
Hanan Mazeh is a Kreitman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at Ben-Gurion University. His research interrogates textual and thematic developments in rabbinic literature as a key to deepen our understanding of the rabbinic society in the first centuries CE within its cultural context. His particular interest is with the Palestinian Talmud and in questions of territory and relations between Jews and Gentiles in Roman Palestine.

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This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.