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By Robert (editor) Chazan

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Extra info for AJS REVIEW The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies Vol. IX, No. 1 Spring 1984

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114-123, esp. p. 119. For an explicit exegetical application to these passages of the conceptual framework posited here, see the sixteenth-century commentary Torat Mosheh to Deut. 18:1 by Moses Alshekh of Safed, especially par. " 10. '" The purpose of this particular epigram is manifestly ethical - and that is how it has quite properly been interpreted in the standard commentaries. Nevertheless, the need to acknowledge the heuristic intentions of R. Simeon cannot be transposed into an excuse for ignoring the political realities upon which his statement was based - and which probably rendered it all the more intelligible to his contemporaries.

From it, the historian can delve back for earlier origins and manifestationsand reach forwardfor later derivativesand echoes. Such has been the methodology employed here. No claim is made that during the talmudicera the three ketarimhad reachedtheirapogee,nor that the balancebetweenthemwasfrom a constitutionalperspective- ideal (in many respects,in fact, quite the oppositewas the case). Nevertheless,it was duringthatperiodof recurrentconstitutionalcrisisthat somethingof an apotheosiswas attained,with the claimsof each keterand its respectiveinstrumentalities beingarticulated in a particularlypungentform.

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