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excommunication certainly hurts Rabbi Eliezer, but it also leaves its mark on the community from which he has been excluded, and the agada ends with the iminishment of the community caused by the burt to Rabbi Bliezen* “ac agada in bSan 68a powerfully sstrates the loss to both Rabbi Fiezer and the com- bees able o Jee fom bim. Oa the othor hang, te frame of the agada ea question that ases a coxfictberween the mishna (aia 711; op ‘San 11:5 an ySan 7: the embodier of wedition. The Bav's celebration ofthe ‘ogeir havin, of argumentation and of chidush, intertwined with an ackcowledgment of the loss othe comanmunity of te sina, is ‘by-product of establishing and preserving a buit midrash whose core valve is open debate. (Cp. he much shorter version of the story ofthe sages” vst to the dying Rabbi Eliezer in the Agoda Unbound 333 It's the Bavliagada, then, that introduces an¢ elaborates critical is ing to the possibility ofa beit midrash characterized by open debate.™* agada both celebrates debate in 2 way absent from the Yerushalmi parallel and acknowledges the challenges din maintaining a community in which ‘open debate is a central value, Itis here that Rabbi Eliezer is seen as threaten ing the integrity of rabbinic di and itis here thatthe exclusion of Rabbi Eliezer generates a range of hurts both to Rabbi Eliezer and to the community Which cannot contain him. The Bavii agada is suuctured around the figures of Rabbi Yehoshua and Rabban Gatnliel, and these figures, read inte highlight the core issues thatthe Bavli adds tothe tradition of Rabt excommunication: the centrality of debate to the Beit midrash and consequences to the entire community ofthe loss of one ofits members. am suggesting, then tot the Bavli's characterization of sages such as Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabban Garmliel, and Rabbi Eliezer is a vehicle for is and conflicts relating to Torah and community that are the distinctive concems of the Bavli. This characterization is constructed and conveyed through the interplay of different agadot, and these agadot should be read in relation to each, other. Attending tothe inter-agadie semiotic significance of named sages beight- ens our reading of the agada and discloses critical concems that are distinctive to the Bavii Conclusion, Many questions remain to be answered about the degree to which we should read across agadot, most of which relate to critical questions about the nature of rabbinic texts in general and of the Bavi in particular. For example, to what egroe should we take the Bavlito be a coherently redacted text with distinctive concer and values? How much consistency should we expect between diserete Do passages need to be explicitly linked with each other jon or citations in common (such 2s in the bChagiga and through sbared motifs (uch as the doubt about wen ~in order to beread together, or are we justified in reading inter-agadically even ‘when the passages in question do not share obvious links with each other? To some degree, these questions are related to larger questions about the redaction of the Bavli. If we envision a group of late redactors as responsible ‘Yersinia 2:74 i hi te prt ofthe ensmision of Rabi Eisz's Toh is not underscared; see also Avot deRa See D. Kraemer, The Mind of he mentation in he Baris 334 Devore Stinnets for most ofthe elements that [have discussed here as unique to the Bevli agadot —the thematically generative citations, juxtapositions, and contextualizations of earlier raditions as well asthe recasting and elaboration of traditional naratives = then we have a rather traditional view of autborship in which we imagine the redactors essentially as authors whose work reshapes traditional materials to generate new literary creations, We can then analyze their literary produc- tions much as we analyze any literary text, attributing echoes and resonances, wordplays, nazrative structure, and characterization, among other things, tothe literary of the Bavli redactors who produced these agadot. ‘While I think that much of the development of these agadot should be seen as the work of the Bavli redactors, I feel that the notion of late Bavii author- redactors as producers of the agadot as we have them expresses too static a view of how maay important elements of these agadot may have developed. For example, the Citation of the “Whose Shabbat was it?” tradition and of the Amonite proselyte/Yadaim tradition in the bBerakhot egeda may well be the work of late redactors of the agada. But does that necessarily mean that itis the Bavli redactors who first disclosed in the “Whose Shabbat was it?” and Yadaim traditions the themes that I have suggested these traditions express within the context of the Bavli agada ~ such as Rabban Gamliel’s tendency to take an exclusive stance or Rabbi El aia’s preaching as representing the value of a beit midrash in which multiple voices are heard? Should we see the Bavli redactors~ if may draw an anachronistic caricature ~ as sitting at a desk with pwo works-in-progress before them, the incipient bChagiga and bBerakhot passages, and as scouring traditional material that can be imported into each new ‘work, simultaneously to advance the themes of each work and to link the two ‘works with each other? Does a process such s this best explain the co-incidence of the Yadaim traditions in bChagiga and bBerakhot, or is it more reasonable to assume that within the traditional world of the Bavi’s redactors the Yadaim ‘waditions had already gradually developed significance as representing issues such as exclusiveness/inclusiveness and tradition/chidush as well as the con- ‘tasting stances of figures such as Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Eliezer, and Rabbi Yehoshua? Perhaps in the cultural world of the Bavli redactor already mean some of the things that I have argued they express through their citation and contextualization in the Bavli passages, and itis these meanings that make these sources available for incomporation into the Bavli agadot, We might stil attribute the citation ofthese source traditions tothe Bevli’s redactors," and, 28 I suggested earlier, the contextualization of taese source traditions within the Bavli agadot solidifies and adds resonances that remain as a part ofthe accruing And we most likely should atibue to them changes inthe tational material such the use of the word Johagbil to deseribe Rabbi Yose bea Durmasai’s meeting wish Rabbi Elezes, discussed inn. 12, above Ageda Unbound 335 traditional dimensions of significance of these sources. But ths is very different ‘rom attributing tothe redactors the creation ofthese ranges of meanings inthe traditional material in the rst place. ‘This more dynamic view takes into account the way sources should be ex- pected to shift and accrue meanings over the couse of time within a traditional caltare. Such a view also has the advantage of not requiring us either ‘bChagiga and bBerakhot passages as emerging from the same hands of 0 see one of them as a later echoing of the other. The later possit count forthe non-linear networking of texts and contexts ion of these passages. The former pos f unitary redaction of the Bavli or, read across agadot unless we can argue that a particular sat of agadot emerges ‘rom the s . While one or the other of these constraints might be ar to me that they are justified or that they offer the best for the networking of Bavli agadot Itis also not clear to me that we should artibute all or most of the significant tions of the traditional material in Bevii agadot to the innovation of redactors and thus as expressing their concems, this does not mean that yuld see Key elements of the Bavi agada as emerging only at the time within calle tet from the community 3 his opinion in the face of jonally associated with values dialectic and debate, to conceive of, based merely on the refusal of a sage to reli majority opposition; (2) Rabban Gamliel, who i hharsh treatment of dissenters (such as Rabbi Yeho the story about the deposition of Rabban Ganaliel linked to the now extraordinary exclusion of Rat of anyone, but particularly of a great scholar such as Rabbi Eliezer, is seen as, a devastating loss to a community that holds discourse and debate to be a core This is Gus even of rtallngs of stories that the tellers access exclusively through a single fixed text, suchas the retellings of se Bavli version of tamu shel ‘ane! mendoned atthe beginning of the section on that agada above, not mention the interpretations of the Story and ofits core mestage that shape those reelligs. How much more so should we expect transformations of traditional ores tbat we bave no reason fo assume were tansmited at xed tees. 336 Devora Sines value; (4) ifholding toa dissenting position is not what is atthe core of the dis- ‘ancing of Rabbi Eliezer from his colleagues, then Rabbi Eliezer must in some other way bave posed a threat to the rabbinic community, perhaps by tareatening ‘to undermine the very debate that the beit midrash values. Many ‘transformations, and others, could have developed, hand-in-hand or in a variety of orders over the course of time, in the traditional world to which the Bavii’s re- actors were heirs. The redactors, surely, would have bad the task of making the transformed story fully coherent asa literary unit, of accounting for loose ends in savigating between new transformations and traditional material,” and perhaps. in choosing between a variety of transformations of the story co-existing within the culture ~ and they might well have contributed in a variety of ways to the further transformation of the story. But I don’t think that, simply because we ‘cannot see the transformations that occur in traditional stories over shifts ia time and place, we sbould assume until it is proven otherwise that the innovations of the Bavli’s agadot are, as a group, the innovations of the Bavli's redactors, Itis, indeed, hardly reasonable to assume that traditional stories remain static ‘that ~to take up my caricature once more ~ Bavli redactors sit at nly the version or versions of a traditional narrative that we happen ur disposal, and work their artistry to produce, from those nearly raw ‘materials, the agada that we find in the Bavii be transformed that Ihave chosen, throughout this study, to refer to “the Bavli” or “the Bavli agada,” rather than referring toa particular group of people as the author/rédactors of these agadot. I prefer fo leave open the question of which clements that I have discussed are innovations of the Bavl's redactors and ‘which might have emerged at some earlier point in the Bavlis traditional world ‘As I conclude by summarizing my findings, I want to emphasize that my use of phrases such as “the Bavii introduces,” “the Bavli portays,” or “the Bavli shifting of attention to the Bavli as we as readers encounter it, without icing or presupposing a particular notion of exactly how the constructions ‘encounter in the Bavli came to be. ‘Biezer was wrong to insist on his owa postion, Perbaps wo should see tke shaping and place- ment of the “after the majority incline” element i the Ball agada a the rodactar’ new may ‘of accounting fora trsditional element that sno longes central to he story's pot. Agada Unbound 337 In this study, I focused on a small selection of agedot, beginning with two ~ the bChagiga and bBerakhot passages — which are linked through citation of common and related sources. Based on the network of these passages and the cited sources whose significance I suggested is transformed within this network, T argued that the Bavli constructs a system of signifcation for the cluster of sages that includes Rabbi Eliezer, Rabbi Yehoshua, and Rabban Gamliel. When ‘these sages appear in relation to each other in other Bavli passages, I suggested, our reading of these passages should be informed by the inter-a significance of these sages within the Bavli. Looking at the Bavli’s version of the tamu shel ‘akhnai story, I argued that sttention to the shift in characters supports and enhances a nuanced reading of the critical issues ofthe agada and ‘underscores concerns that are of particular significance to the Bavli ‘The scope ofthis study was intentionally these particular figures in order to enable: {in relation to others and in relation to Palest the central argument of this stdy can be appl degree to which consistency of characterization is distinctive to the Bavli, ean only be determined on the basis of the analysis of much more agadic material, Meanwhile, though, I hope that the present study makes some contribution to