By Watts Belser, Julia

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Extra resources for Between the human and the holy: The construction of Talmudic theology in Massekhet Ta anit

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See also: Victor Turner, Tie Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. (Chicago: Aldine, 1969). " Peter Struck, "Symbol and Symbolism," in Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 13, 2nd edition, ed. Lindsay Jones, 8906-8915. (Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2005), 8906. 78 Massekhet Tacanit links rain to creation through the Stam's inquiry about the meaning of the phrase "gevurotgeshamim," the powers of rain. In response, the sages bring a series of prooftexts to indicate the linkage between rain and gevurah that emphasize God's creative power.

In his astute consideration of historical and emerging trends in genre scholarship, Ben Amos articulates a distinction between analytic and ethnic genres, a distinction that provides a platform for formulating the interrelationship between these two modes of approaching genre. The analytic approach, which consists of scholarly efforts to define genre beyond the confines of a particular folk group, concerns itself with classification and provides essential resources for cross-cultural comparison.

The talmudic conception of rain as a manifestation of divine bounty and a visible expression of the relationship between God and Israel rests upon the biblical motif of rain as gift and drought as punishment, a motif that the massekhet refracts through rabbinic exegesis into a polysemous symbol of divine bounty and danger, a symbol that encodes and expresses the intricacies of relationship between God and Israel. 76 Turner understands the symbol as a means of representation that relies upon a complex set of associations that allow for many meanings (signata).

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