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R. ELAZAR B. ARACH: THE "OVERFLOWING SPRING", THE EMMAUS HOT SPRING, AND INTERTEXTUAL IRONY

NACHMAN LEVINE
Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Period
Vol. 33, No. 3 (2002), pp. 278-289
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24669629
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
R. ELAZAR B. ARACH: THE "OVERFLOWING SPRING", THE EMMAUS HOT SPRING, AND INTERTEXTUAL IRONY
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Abstract

The paper examines the several sources of the enigmaticly tragic story of the Mishnaic sage R. Elazar b. Arach, the "overflowing spring," who forgets his Torah when he leaves the company of his colleages, the sages, for the hot springs of Emmaus, as the story emerges from a synoptic reading of the various Mishnaic, Talmudic, and Midrashic sources. The interest here is in a literary reading of the story's motifs, structures, patterns, wordplay, intertextuality, etc. It is perhaps more understood in reading all its parts as we discern more clarifying details of the story. But there is an effect of ironic result when the sources about R. Elazar's praises and potential are read together with the narrative sources.

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