Category Archives: Bava Metzia

The Colossal Statue of Shapur I, (239–270 CE ), the second king of the Sasanian Empire, stands in a cave located about 6 km from the ancient city of Bishapur in the south of Iran. Its height of about 6.7 m and breadth across the shoulders of more than 2 m make it one of the most impressive sculptures from the Sasanian period. Wikimedia

Concluding a Tractate with King Shapur’s Praise and Practice of Rabbinic Law

The Bavli’s editors noted the conclusion of some tractates with an edifying message. For tractates Bava Metzia and Avodah Zarah, they placed stories about Sasanian king Shapur I. In this way, they connected their rabbinic milieu to the Sasanian world in which they operated, and imagined Sasanian authority and approval of rabbinic law.

Dr. Jason Mokhtarian Continue reading Concluding a Tractate with King Shapur’s Praise and Practice of Rabbinic Law

Innovating, Adapting, and Historicizing the Rules for Returning Lost Objects

The rabbinic rules of restoring lost property (השבת אבידה) include a requirement to announce the finds that possess identifying marks – סימנים. This post-biblical innovation is described in a variety of ways that highlight the manner in which the rabbis reworked and reinterpreted their traditions.

Dr. Shai Secunda Continue reading Innovating, Adapting, and Historicizing the Rules for Returning Lost Objects