Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Oren Stier

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Tudor Parfitt

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Keywords

Prophecy, voice from heaven, Haggadah, Rabbinic writings, Rabbinic authority, martyrdom, World to Come, destruction of the Temple, Haggai Zechariah and Malachi.

Date of Defense

3-30-2016

Abstract

There is an ancient rabbinic apothegm which asserts that prophecy “ceased” after the last Biblical prophets, Haggai, Zachariah, and Malachi. After their deaths, a new phase of divine revelation was believed to have emerged through manifestations of a bat kol (lit. “Daughter of a voice”). This thesis examines the bat kol’s function within the contours of the Babylonian Talmud, primarily, employing philological, literary, and historical analyses. Moreover, it includes a review of parallels with Biblical and Second-Temple era, Apocalyptic works, so as to suggest possible origins. In addition, a sample of about ten stories are presented as representative of larger categories I consider best exhibit the bat kol’s purpose. The categories include: announcing an individual’s entry into the world to come, encomium and disdain towards individuals, matters related to Halacha (Jewish Law), and miscellaneous. As a result we discover how the rabbis employed the bat kol to address contemporary concerns.

Identifier

FIDC000239

ORCID

0501198621

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