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Evidence of Earlier Strata in the Talmud Yerushalmi Diametrically opposed views regarding the composition of the Talmud Bavli can be found between Rabbi Sherira Gaon and Rabbi Shelomo Yitzchaki. According to the former, the Talmud Bavli was accumulated generation after generation. According to the latter, it was mostly composed at a later period, before which nothing was compiled. An examination of citations of Gemara made by Amoraim in the Talmud Yerushalmi itself provides clear evidence that it does indeed have earlier strata.
Textual Borrowings in the Talmud Yerushalmi. Many sugyoth are repeated through out the Talmud Yerushalmi, but a handful of them seem forced and read artificially in their new contexts. These appear to be the work of later redactors who still held license to modify the Talmud, yet were reluctant to tamper with it. Following this distinguishing feature through the Talmud Yerushalmi, and isolating the characteristics of this later redactive hand allows us to date other passages in the Talmud Yerushalmi
Connective Tissue in the Redactional Process (הריקמה המקשרת בעריכת התלמוד הירושלמי). The redactors of the Talmud Yerushalmi employed various devices in weaving together sources. One such device, “connective tissue” was used to smooth out the transition between divergent texts. A close look at the redative activity around connective tissue allows us to discern different redactive hands as well as to shed light on a number of difficult passages.
Gemara not in Final Redaction. It is not uncommon in the Talmud Yerushalmi to find citations of Gemara that do not actually appear in their expected places or differ quite radically from each other. These are indicative of divergent sources and versions in the Talmud Yerushalmi. An inquiry into these citations discloses details about the shaping of the Talmud Yerushalmi through out its history.
Citations from within the Sugya (מובאות מתוך הסוגיה). Frequently, a teaching mentioned in a sugya is mentioned later in that sugya using terminology of citation. At least in the Talmud Yerushalmi, much of the time the latter mention is not a citation from within the sugya itself, but part of another independent source that was brought into the sugya. It is possible that such sugyoth were brought together on the very basis of sharing this common teaching.
Indications of Layering in the Talmud Yerushalmi. The stratification of the Talmud Yerushalmi is not always apparent, but can be detected by means of numerous signs
Source Differences in the Talmud Yerushalmi. (שינויי מקורות בתלמוד הירושלמי). The Talmud Yerushalmi is known for contradictions and discrepencies on all levels even within the sugya itself. These come in many different forms and are primary indicators of source and version differences within the Talmud Yerushalmi.
Dangling Phrases. Explores phrases and texts which “Dangle” within the context of a sugya. These are usually phrased in short-hand form and their positioning within the context suggests that thy are the work of a latter hand.
The Types of Anonymous Material (Stam) in the Talmud Yerushalmi. The Talmud Yerushalmi, like its Babylonian counterpart has much anonymous material known as Stam. A classification of the different types of Stam according to their structure – and more importantly – purpose, should shed light on the process by which the Talmud Yerushalmi was redacted. (In progress . . .)
The Talmud Yerushalmi and the Early Amoraic Midrashim. Numerous parallels exist between the Talmud Yerushalmi and the Early Amoraic Midrashim; Yet these parallels are not without significant stylistic and structural differences. A close study of the parallels and the differences between them should allow us to discern the characteristics of different “streams” of transmission. The distinguishing features of these “streams” which can be used to identify different sources in the Talmud Yerushalmi. (In progress . . .)
Maimonides and the redaction of the Talmud Yerushalmi. Maimonides, perhaps more than any other of the Rishonim showed favor for the Talmud Yerushalmi. An examination of Maimonides’ rulings and their respective derivations from the Talmud Yerushalmi will not only shed light on Maimonides’ reconstruction of the Talmud Yerushalmi’s redaction, but will also provide us with an authoritative redactional theory which can be applied to the interpretation of almost every line of the Talmud Yerushalmi (Moshe Baredes) (In progress. . .)
Versions of the Talmud Yerushalmi. The Talmud Yerushalmi was transmitted through various schools and at some point later in history was finalized in the form that we have before us. Manuscripts of the Talmud Yerushalmi may show textual differences, but some are significant enough to be considered differences in the actual transmission of the Talmud. (In Progress . . .)
The Line between Amoraic and Talmudic discourse on the Tosefta.The Tosefta cited by the Talmud Yerushalmi is often accompanied by Amoraic discourse and commentary. Sometimes, it originates with the Talmud itself while other times it was already attached to the Tosefta before it was incorporated into the Talmud.
Unresolved Inqueries Unlike the Talmud Bavli, the Talmud Yerushalmi is replete with unresolved inquiries. A close examination of such cases and the context around them will shed light on the source documents
Citations of discourse from other Tractates. The Talmud Yerushalmi in one Tractate tends to cite sugyoth from other tractates in order to fill in a gap in the original discussion. An examination of the original sugya and the sugyoth cited in it may shed light on the approach to the law of each sugya.
Resumptive Repetition. Discourse often goes off on a tangent to the point that the reader is no longer on track of the original discussion. The Talmud Yerushalmi often repeats a key phrase from before the digression so as to re-orient the reader when resuming the main thread. Repetition comes in different forms each one of which potentially points to a different redactive hand.