Halakhah from Qumran to the Mishnah: Concluding Remarks

Aharon Shemesh

in Halakhah in the Making

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780520259102
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945036 | DOI:
Halakhah from Qumran to the Mishnah: Concluding Remarks

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With the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., the Sadducees, the Qumran sectarians, and other Jewish groups disappeared and only the Pharisees' tradition survived within the rabbinic movement. This chapter assesses the findings related to Halakhah and suggests a new explanation for the disappearance of the sects after the destruction of the Temple and for the hegemony of the rabbinic movement thereafter. The categories of stringency versus leniency differentiate between two groups within the Pharisaic-Rabbinic movement itself: the School of Hillel and the School of Shammai. The creation of these lists by itself testifies that in the eyes of its authors, stringency and leniency were real characteristics of the two schools' halakhic traditions. Further, the analysis makes the point that the Temple Scroll simply rewrites the Bible to include the extra prohibition. Looking into the different strategies used by the scrolls on the one hand and the Rabbis on the other to solve the contradiction between the tradition and the Bible is illuminating. The phenomenon that various groups disappeared, creating one rabbinic movement, had much to do with the fact that the Pharisees and their heirs, the Rabbis, actually adopted some basic concepts of the Sadducees' legal system.

Keywords: halakhah; Jewish groups; Sadducees; School of Hillel; School of Shammai; legal system

Chapter.  3662 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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