Book Section
What is an exilic law? The Talmud was itself located ‘in exile’ without ever being considered ‘exilic’: the self-representation of the Talmud is consistent with the idea that Jewish law might be redacted in diaspora but is still centred on the Temple of Jerusalem. Yet the Zohar offers a unique representation of Jewish law as a central legal product and a metaphysically exiled reality. Hence, Jewish law has not only been born ‘in exile’ but also has an ‘exilic’ nature. An exilic law, then, is a tenebrous ‘path’ that inverts the ‘moral ways’ of Jewish law, as it departs from the ‘exilic centre’ of Babylon and installs a ‘non-exilic centre’ on Mount Moria, where Isaac was almost sacrificed and the Temple of Jerusalem was erected. When Scripture is brought out in an ‘exodus’, it departs from the solid terrain of an ‘exilic law’ and radicalizes the event of Abraham’s being called to sacrifice his own son by producing a notable inversion of the notion of ‘literal sense’. And yet this ‘literal sense’ that has always been there had almost been neglected, just like a ‘purloined letter’ — in every sense of the expression.
Title
‘The Exile from the Law’
Subtitle
Keeping and Transgressing the Limits in Jewish Law
Author(s)
Federico Dal Bo
Identifier
Description
What is an exilic law? The Talmud was itself located ‘in exile’ without ever being considered ‘exilic’: the self-representation of the Talmud is consistent with the idea that Jewish law might be redacted in diaspora but is still centred on the Temple of Jerusalem. Yet the Zohar offers a unique representation of Jewish law as a central legal product and a metaphysically exiled reality. Hence, Jewish law has not only been born ‘in exile’ but also has an ‘exilic’ nature. An exilic law, then, is a tenebrous ‘path’ that inverts the ‘moral ways’ of Jewish law, as it departs from the ‘exilic centre’ of Babylon and installs a ‘non-exilic centre’ on Mount Moria, where Isaac was almost sacrificed and the Temple of Jerusalem was erected. When Scripture is brought out in an ‘exodus’, it departs from the solid terrain of an ‘exilic law’ and radicalizes the event of Abraham’s being called to sacrifice his own son by producing a notable inversion of the notion of ‘literal sense’. And yet this ‘literal sense’ that has always been there had almost been neglected, just like a ‘purloined letter’ — in every sense of the expression.
Is Part Of
Place
Berlin
Publisher
ICI Berlin Press
Date
September 20, 2022
Subject
Exile
Jewish diaspora
Galut
Jewish Law
Talmud
Zohar
Exodus
Akedah
Abraham
Halakhah
Aggadah
Deconstruction
Rights
© by the author(s)
Except for images or otherwise noted, this publication is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Harvested
yes
Language
en-GB
short title
'The Exile from the Law'
page start
201
page end
231
Source
Errans: Going Astray, Being Adrift, Coming to Nothing, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey and Arnd Wedemeyer, Cultural Inquiry, 24 (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2022), pp. 201–31