Monday, June 25, 2007

Zeh beith midrasho sheh-le-rabbi Eli`ezer ha-qappar

Here is a fascinating archaeological find from Dabbura in the Golan Heights.

It is the lintel from what is apparently the Beit Midrash of רבי אלעזר הקפר (unless it was named for him).

(You can click the second image to see it much larger. I scanned it from Lawrence Schiffman's From Text To Tradition pg. 230. The first is the only photo I could find online.)

The inscription says זה בית מדרשו שהלרבי אליעזר הקפר / Zeh beith midrasho sheh-le-rabbi Eli`ezer ha-qappar / This is the Study House of Rabbi Eleazar Ha-qappar.

I cannot say what the validity of the following hunch is, but here is Steven Fine in Private Households and Public Politics in 3rd–5th Century Jewish Palestine, AJS Review 31:1, pg. 180-182:

Though the discoverer (Dabbura is not yet excavated) suggested a relatively early date for this text—the mid-third century—my own hunch is that this inscription is two or three centuries later than the life of Eleazar ha-Qappar (a fifth-generation tanna) and reflects a hagiographic impulse. I wonder whether by the Byzantine period, this inscription may have served not to mark the earlier bet midrasho shel Rabbi Ele'azar ha-Kappar but to rabbanize the landscape of Byzantine Palestine (a process that quickened in subsequent centuries).

Be that as it may, it's nice to see--eagles, interesting orthography and all.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails