Freedom on the Tablets: Annotation as Media, from Talmudic Scholarship to the Digital Age

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Abstract

In his introduction to his enigmatic and category-defying treatise, Sefer ha-Yashar, Rabbenu Tam (France, twelfth century) vehemently attacks proofreaders of the Talmud who alter sayings of Tannaim (sages of the mishnahic period, pre–210 CE) and Amoraim (rabbinic sages who lived ca. third to fifth centuries CE) and correct them; in doing so, he warns, they blur the boundaries between interpretation— however brilliant—and the original version of the text, which must remain as it was. After all, as every philologist knows, the more difficult version is often the key to a correct interpretation (lectio difficilor), and therefore should not be altered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-37
JournalAJS Perspectives
VolumeSpring
StatePublished - Apr 2018

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