Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hell

A sign of the times, I guess. I attended two lectures this morning, delivered as part of the Scholion Marathon. The first by Dr. Shai Secunda, visiting from Yale University. The second by Dr. Micha Peri, whose doctorate on transmission of knowledge in medieval Ashkenaz I saw when I returned to Hebrew University a few months ago.

Shai spoke about hell in the Babylonian Talmud, giving two examples of Iranian themes that creep into Tannaitic or EY sources when quoted in the Talmud. The first related to Jesus being described as spending his time in the Other World steeped in boiling feces. The second was the idea of people who sinned sexually being led into the Other World by a dog.

Micha Peri claimed that in the 12th century, Ashkenazic Jews began imagining Heaven as being composed exclusively of Jews, and Hell populated only by non-Jews (with the exception of Absalom, who still received special treatment in Hell because he was Jewish).

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mar G. said...

The second was the idea of people who sinned sexually being led into the Other World by a dog.

Cerberus?

5:18 PM  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der ┼íteg) said...

growing up in Boropark, there was a big scary and loud dog in the back yard of the apartment building next door who would always try to bash down the fence and get at us when we took the back way around into our building. we called it "Cerbie The Three-Headed Hound of Hell", even though Cerbie only had 1 head.

6:05 AM  

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