Is the Term Palestinian Talmud Offensive
Samuel Lebens writes the following at Haaretz:
Recently, I helped establish the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism. Last month, we held an online discussion. The scholars we invited to lead the discussion provided the public with a source-sheet of Jewish texts. They had recorded their own three-way video-conference, in which they engaged in a philosophical discussion of those texts. They posted their video on Youtube and a wonderful discussion ensued. However, something about the way we advertised our discussion provoked an angry/sarcastic e-mail. These are the sources that we publicized as background material for the discussion:
• Mishna Sanhedrin 9:6
• Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 81b-82b
• Palestinian Talmud Sanhedrin 27b
Can you spot the offensive phrase? Yes, we used the P-word. We spoke of the “Palestinian Talmud.”
Talking of the Palestinian Talmud neither endorses nor denies the modern phenomenon of an Arab Palestinian National consciousness. It neither endorses nor rejects the territorial compromises that Israel would have to make to allow for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside itself. To talk of the Palestinian Talmud is merely to use the name that academia generally uses. Academia has been using that name continuously, long before the P-word became politically charged.
I am not sure when the term “Palestinian Talmud” was first used, but here are some things that I found on Google Books.
I did find a use of “Palestinian Talmud” in the Encyclopedia Americana from 1829.
Not surprisingly, sometimes the Jerusalem/Palestinian Talmud is also referred to as the “Talmud of the Land of Israel.”