Stories about Heretics in the Babylonian Talmud and their Christian Background: Hullin 87a

Date: Feb 06, 2018 - Feb 06, 2018

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Location: JTS

A Discussion with Professor Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Ben Gurion University in the Negev

Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 10:30 a.m.

Kripke 306

Stories portraying minim (“heretics”) in rabbinic literature are a central site for rabbinic engagement with the “other.” These stories typically portray interactions between a rabbinic figure and a min involving a conflict surrounding the interpretation of a biblical verse. 

This lecture focuses on minim narratives in the Babylonian Talmud, concluding that the min figure is meant to be understood in a Christian context. This lecture attempts to add to our growing understanding of the complex relationship between Jews and Christians as presented in the Babylonian Talmud. As a result, it offers a new insight into the bigger question of the “parting of the ways” between Jews and Christians in the first centuries CE and the level of literary interaction between both religious groups.

About the Speaker

Michal Bar-Asher Siegal (PhD, Yale University) teaches rabbinic literature at the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought, Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, Israel. She is currently on sabbatical serving as the Horace W. Goldsmith Visiting Associate Professor in Judaic Studies at Yale University for the 2017-2018 academic year.