Prof. Shai Secunda is Jacob Neusner Professor of Judaism at Bard College. He is a founder and co-editor of the Talmud Blog, fellow at Project TABS, and editor of TheGemara.com. He is the author of The Iranian Talmud: Reading the Bavli in its Sasanian Context and Like a Hedge of Lilies: Menstruation and Difference in the Talmud and its Sasanian Context.
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Articles by the Author
Why and How a Complete Midrash on Esther was Preserved in the Babylonian Talmud
When Babylonian rabbis produced and preserve midrashic discussions, they compiled them into relatively short, oral collections, using the mishnaic structure underlying the Bavli as a bibliographic “storage system.” Why did the Babylonian rabbis compile and preserve a complete midrash on Esther if this was not their regular working method? What technique did they use to preserve and store this midrash?
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.