Tractate Temurah and the Methodology of Talmud Text Criticism

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Jonathan S. Milgram



The Babylonian Talmud has reached us in multiple versions in medieval manu- scripts, early printed editions, and in citations in the works of medieval and early modern scholars. The field of Talmud criticism has developed criteria for working with these materials and the scholar E. S. Rosenthal famously theorized about the implications of textual variants for the history of the Talmud’s redaction. Tractate Temurah of the Babylonian Talmud received special attention due to the frequency and, at times, unique usage of the term, lishana ’aḥarina, meaning “alternative textual reading,” found in it. In Temurah the term lishana ’aḥarina does not only signal a difference in formulation, as in other tractates of the Talmud, but some- times also seems to introduce a separately redacted text of the tractate that was integrated into a widespread and known base text.

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