Amoraim


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Amoraim

(ä`mōrä`ĭm) [Heb. amar=to interpret], in Judaism, term referring to those scholars, predominantly at Caesarea and Tiberias in Palestine (c.A.D. 220–c.A.D. 375) and in Babylonia (c.A.D. 200–c.A.D. 500), who interpreted the MishnaMishna
, in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. Together with the Gemara, or Amoraic commentary on the Mishna, it comprises the Talmud.
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 and other Tannaitic collections (see TalmudTalmud
[Aramaic from Heb.,=learning], in Judaism, vast compilation of the Oral Law with rabbinical elucidations, elaborations, and commentaries, in contradistinction to the Scriptures or Written Laws. The Talmud is the accepted authority for Orthodox Jews everywhere.
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). Serving as judges, communal administrators, teachers, and collectors of charity, they were responsive to contemporary problems. Working to supersede the Temple cult, they helped establish the ideal that all Jews should devote themselves to study of the Torah. Their discussions constitute the section of the Talmud known as the Gemara. In addition, they were responsible for much of the nonlegal or aggadic material that appears in the Talmud and in the Midrashim (see MidrashMidrash
[Heb.,=to examine, to investigate], verse by verse interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures, consisting of homily and exegesis, by Jewish teachers since about 400 B.C.
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).

Bibliography

See J. Neusner, There We Sat Down (1972); H. L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (1931, rev. ed. 1991).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Of these, three sugyot are based on three questions or three difficulties; two sugyot are based on three premises; two sugyot are based on three proofs; and one sugya is based on three controversies between two sages (Amoraim).
The Aramaic Dialect of the Early Amoraim. Lekmenu 60: 95-156.
Amoraim (those who "say") derive legal principles and concepts from the earlier tannaitic sources (never, however, contesting the authority oft hose sources); indeed, the articulation of such principles almost always depends upon both the acknowledgement and incorporation of those earlier texts.
By the early Tannaitic period at the latest, the concept of the two torot was so firmly established that it could be applied to the differences between Hillel and Shammai detached from its original context.(67) The early Amoraim then had no further reservations about increasingly placing the oral Torah over the written Torah in status.
While the Amoraic period is said to have lasted until 500 C.E., in truth the Amoraim in the land of Israel were only active until approximately 370 C.E.
200 C.E., and that is the watershed between the Tannaic and the Amoraic periods, so named after the Tannaim (sages whose teachings appear in the Mishnah) and the Amoraim (sages whose teachings appear in the Talmud but not in the Mishnah).
Similarly, we find that even though the Amoraim did not have the right to disagree with Tannaim in halakhic matters, still we find that they offered alternative explanations to verses (Or ha-Hayyim, Gen.
(5) Tannaitic literature is too scanty to allow any conclusions at all, but it seems the Amoraim could not dispense with eschatology.
Even though the Amoraim living in the land of Israel longed for the Temple and enacted several laws and ordinances "in memory of the Temple" (zekher l'mikdash), it is noteworthy that the Palestinian sources do not include the kind of statement that we find in the Babylonian Talmud (for example in Betsah 5b): "The Temple may soon be rebuilt, and people would say, did we do so last year or not....?
Can one seriously claim that disputes among the Amoraim mean that the Jews did not have a closed canon in the age of the Talmud?
He noted that Kabbalat Shabbat is generally discussed in the classical literature (see Shulhan Arukh 261 and 263 as well as Ishei Yisrael 36:14-15) in the context of a minhag and nothing more, and generations of tanaim, amoraim, and rishonim did not say otherwise.
He remarkably wrote, "If one does not find their [earlier] statements correct and sustains his own views with evidence that is acceptable to his contemporaries, he may contradict the earlier statements, since all matters that are not clarified in the Babylonian Talmud may be questioned and restated by any person, and even the statements of the Geonim may differ from his, just as the statements of the Amoraim [rabbis living from 200 to 500 CE] differed from the earlier ones."