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The Land of Israel or Syria Palestina: Reconceptualization of Territory in Rabbinic Literature

Hosted By: Jewish Studies at Fordham University

Hanan Mazeh examines the halakhic definition of the Land of Israel and its surroundings, particularly the halakhic status of the northern territory of Syria. By analyzing several rabbinic sources, he will discuss a few theoretical models with which the rabbis attempted to define Syria and its relation to the Land of Israel, including some conceptual and interpretative shifts within the Palestinian rabbinic corpus itself: from the Mishnah to the Tosefta and the Palestinian Talmud. These different models and the discourse around them provide a glimpse to how the rabbinic community in third- and fourth-century Roman Palestine reconceived their provincial space as it underwent significant political, demographic and economic changes, and a key prism through which this community’s identity struggle under Rome is reflected.

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