By Daniel Boyarin
A observe conventionally imbued with depression meanings, "diaspora" has been used variously to explain the cataclysmic ancient occasion of displacement, the next geographical scattering of peoples, or the stipulations of alienation out of the country and craving for an ancestral domestic. yet as Daniel Boyarin writes, diaspora can be extra constructively construed as a sort of cultural hybridity or a method of research. In A touring Homeland, he makes the case shared place of origin or previous and stressful dissociation aren't precious stipulations for diaspora and that Jews hold their fatherland with them in diaspora, within the type of textual, interpretive groups outfitted round talmudic study.
For Boyarin, the Babylonian Talmud is a diasporist manifesto, a textual content that produces and defines the practices that represent Jewish diasporic identification. Boyarin examines the methods the Babylonian Talmud imagines its personal group and experience of place of birth, and he exhibits how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early sleek sessions additionally produce a doubled cultural identification. He hyperlinks the continuing productiveness of this bifocal cultural imaginative and prescient to the character of the e-book: because the actual textual content moved among diversified occasions and locations, the tools of its research constructed via touch with surrounding cultures. finally, A touring Homeland envisions talmudic learn because the heart of a shared Jewish identification and a particular function of the Jewish diaspora that defines it as a specific thing except different cultural migrations.
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Additional info for A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora
Even though Babylonia is pictured repeatedly as a place of refuge, there is nonetheless a sense of exile from the Holy Land that is encoded. A bride being sent to her mother’s house is, of course, the sign of at least a temporary dissolution of a marriage. This does not mean that the Jews abandoned the ancient hope to be restored to the Holy Land but—as so poignantly evoked, especially by Jewish liturgy—this was an apocalyptic hope, for the end of times, for the whole world and not even a structuring principle for life in the here and now.
There is someone whom we might seem to be forgetting. As remarked above, one protagonist of Ibn Daud’s story does suffer trauma. I mean, of course, Rabbi Moses’ wife, who drowned herself to avoid sexual violation. What is the meaning of Ibn Daud’s inclusion of this seemingly otiose and certainly odious detail in his story? This raises the question of whether, on the grounds of the notion of diaspora toward which I am working, Jewish women (or underclass Jews) have ever had a diaspora. There is a sense in which the current interrogation and reconfiguring of accounts of Jewish diaspora focuses this question even more intensely than more traditional accounts.
In other words, he implies, ¥ananiah’s calendar rebels against the calendar of the Lord and replaces it with a human one. ” Once again, the people are tricked into supplying the correct reading and receive the same comeuppance.
A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora by Daniel Boyarin