Journal for the Study of Judaism 40 (2009) 260-280 brill.nl/jsj © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/157006309X410671 The Rabbinic Polemic against Sanctiﬁcation of Sites Eyal Ben Eliyahu Dept. of History of the Jewish People, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel email@example.com Abstract The attribution of holiness to various sites in antiquity was conﬁned neither to a particular ethnic or religious group, nor to one particular geographical locale, but was rather practiced by a wide range of groups vis-à-vis many locations. Contrary to these views, the rabbis made a very clear and sharp statement regarding the sanctity of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and negated the idea of the exis- tence of holy places outside Jerusalem. The rabbis struggled against the sanctity of the biblical “holy mountain,” as well as against sites that could have been regarded as holy on the basis of the biblical narrative. The discovery of this polemic illuminates and oﬀers an explanation for many surprising passages in early rabbinic literature that belittle high mountains and biblical “memorial sites” in the Land of Israel. The examples, drawn from the various strata of early rabbinic literature, demonstrate surprising rabbinic consen- sus on this issue. Keywords holy mountains,
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: BIBLICALLY SANCTIFIED SITES; RABBINIC POLEMIC; EXCLUSIVE SANCTITY OF JERUSALEM AND THE TEMPLE; HOLY MOUNTAINS
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