By Daniel Boyarin
A observe conventionally imbued with depression meanings, "diaspora" has been used variously to explain the cataclysmic old occasion of displacement, the following geographical scattering of peoples, or the stipulations of alienation in another country and craving for an ancestral domestic. yet as Daniel Boyarin writes, diaspora will 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 birth or prior and anxious dissociation will not be beneficial stipulations for diaspora and that Jews hold their place of origin with them in diaspora, within the kind of textual, interpretive groups equipped 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 id. Boyarin examines the methods the Babylonian Talmud imagines its personal neighborhood and feel of place of birth, and he exhibits how talmudic commentaries from the medieval and early glossy classes additionally produce a doubled cultural identification. He hyperlinks the continued productiveness of this bifocal cultural imaginative and prescient to the character of the e-book: because the actual textual content moved among diversified instances and areas, the tools of its learn constructed via touch with surrounding cultures. eventually, A touring Homeland envisions talmudic research because the heart of a shared Jewish id 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
While there may be, and frequently is, trauma associated with diasporic movements, it is not trauma that is constitutive of diaspora for Jews. Jewish communities in diaspora are not necessarily suffering and oppressed communities. A diaspora can be produced out of already existing communities by the production of new cultural ties and connections. It is precisely those common cultural practices that constitute the multiple collectives as a diaspora. I am going to argue that these five claims, as substantiated below, lead to a reevaluation of the meaning of diaspora in Jewish history but allow us to revise our understanding of the heuristic value of the concept “diaspora” tout court.
68:23]. “From Bashan I will return them” from between the teeth of lions [taking Bashan in a punning way as ben shinei, or between the teeth]. “From the depths of the sea,” those are the ones who drown in the sea. When the girls heard this, they all jumped and fell into the sea. The boys drew an a fortiori argument and said: These for whom being penetrated is their “way” did so; we for whom being penetrated is not our way, even more so and even more! They also jumped into the sea. On these [boys and girls,] the Scripture says: For you we are killed all the day, we have been as sheep to the slaughter.
The verse says that the redemption will be from the hands of Sheol, which is a low place. Babylonia, the plain is also a low place vis-à-vis Palestine. Rabbi Elʿazar is made to draw an analogy on these grounds and no other, going against the plain meaning of the verse. The redemption from Babylonia is thus simply compared to Sheol as another low-lying territory. ’” Even the Jews of Palestine will be redeemed owing to the virtue of the Babylonians. ’ Rabbi Yoƒanan says, ‘Because he sent them to the house of their mother.
A Traveling Homeland: The Babylonian Talmud as Diaspora by Daniel Boyarin