chapter  7
22 Pages

LAW AS COMMENTARY

The Bavli on death and burial

To the east, there was another Jewry. Descended from the Judean exiles of old, these Jews found themselves scattered along the great rivers, enjoying the relative tolerance of a different empire – the Persian. We know little about the memories or traditions of this community, for we have not preserved whatever literature it may have composed. But of its commitment to the ancestral faith there can be little doubt. These Jews of Babylon were already, in the centuries of the rabbis, the world’s most ancient exiles.