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Re: orion-list Re: self-definition

There is an interesting text titled Ma'asei Torah -  Acts/Deeds of Torah -
in Jellinek's BET HA-MIDRASH: MIDRASHIM KETANIM. It is a late medieval
text, with no apparent connection with the Qumran community. I once did a
rough translation of parts, together with a summary, that may be in the
electronic files of the ioudaios-l list, available at the following URL:


I share your skeptical curiosity about how particular phrases of the
pesharim, for example, were chosen as significant ones designating coded
references to particular persons. Are they marked by frequency, by
positioning, by similarity to Greek phrases, TaNaKh phrases, what?

Why is it clear that "teacher of righteousness" is not a reference to
Moses but to a more recent specific person known to the community?

Thanks for your persistent questions.

Sigrid Peterson  University of Pennsylvania  petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu

According to Ann Kraemer:
> >I'm not sure I understand your requests for statistics.
> I gather my idea regarding a statistical analysis of usage of the "doers" 
> terminology in the scrolls is not seen as useful.
> Is your "doers" used more than other self-references? eg "elect", "poor", 
> "righteous", and various more complex formulae.
> How do you consider that "doers" developed to be the one and not one of the 
> others?
> What in the usage of the term 'osey hatorah makes you think that it had 
> special significance?
> >There are some doers of His will (including Oni the Circle-drawer)
> >and one could look again at anshe ma'ase, men of deed. Or note the
> >approximate parallel texts bSota 22 (I think), Avot de R. Natan 37 A
> >(ayin-sin-aleph-nun-yod) etc. against separatists who ask what is my duty
> >that I may do it, and the like, and look for echoes. Or look at the debate
> >whether study of torah or doing of torah is more important. And ask why
> >orthodox Jews would not generally credit Essenes doing torah and how many
> >orthodox patristic Christian texts lost interest, though Apostolic
> >Constitutions says Essenes did torah.
> This last, though late, is nice.
> Is anyone else said to have done torah?
> >One could note the apologetic texts
> >of Philo (which do not name Pharisees nor Sadducees) sometimes presenting 
> >Essenes as if Jews par excellence
> This in itself is quite notable, ie that Philo would acknowledge the Essenes 
> and not either the Pharisees or the Sadducees. It would be worthwhile 
> contemplating why this is so.
> Thank you again.
> shalom
> Ann L. Kraemer

For private reply, e-mail to petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu (Sigrid Peterson)
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