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orion dwr$y xlqwt (dorshei halaqot) (fwd)

	As I prepare to teach a course on the DSS this winter, I have
revisited a number of long-standing issues in Qumranic scholarship. I am
particularly interested in probing the consensual view that the references
to dorshei halaqot in pNah, pIsaiah, Hodayot (and maybe one or to other
places: Charlesworth, GC) refer to the pharisaic opponents of the writers 
of these texts. The idea, expressed by a number of scholars, is that this
is a punning reference to the pharisaic legal tradition, "halakah." My
reason for raising the question is my own disposition to seeing "halakah"
as a much later rabbinic technical term. But I'm prepared to revise this
view if someone can help me past a few problems.

1. Proponents of the halaqot=halakah view ignore that 4QpIsaiah, fragment
23 refers to dorshei hahalaqot in connection with the very pericope in
which Is.30:10 has rebellious Israelites begging its prophets "dibru lanu
halaqot", i.e., "speak nice to us!" It seems to me that this is the
"original" setting of the phrase, a contemporizing exegesis that paints a
current opponent in the colors of false prophecy. There is, in other
words, no need for the pun with "halakah" as an explanation. Other
pesharists simply used the same phrase to refer to the same (or
interchangeable) exegetical enemies.

2. pNahum refers to a persecution of the dorshei halaqot under the regine
of the Lion of Anger, and specifically points out that they were crucified
in an unprecedented way. Many scholars connect this text to the account in
Josephus, War 13 (380) to Alexander Jannaeus' crucifixion of 800 people 
(he does not refer to the victims as Pharisees) in the wake of the
Pharisees' defection to Demetrius III. On this view, Jannaeus is the Lion
of Anger and the dorshei halaqot are the Pharisees. The text usually
adduced to seal this case is a rabbinic parallel to Josephus' account of
Pharisaic conflict with Jannaeus (bQid 66a). That text does refer to
Yannai and perushim (pharisees), but there is no mention of crucifixion as
the method of execution, and the victims, in the narrator's view are not
"Pharisees" but "Sages," althought I grant that the narrator draws an
equivalence between the two.
	I agree that there are good reasons to see a common event (or
source) behind Josephus and bQid, and to see pNah as an independent
witness. But the pharisaic connection strikes me as cirumstantial rather
than definitive. In which case the connection dorshei halaqot=pharisees
remains an assumption rather than a demonstration.

	So may I ask those who have thought about this to convince me to
overcome my reservations and to acknowledge that the phrase dorshei
halaqot MUST refer to Pharisees and MUST suggest that, well before the
formal crystalization of rabbinism, Pharisees referred to their legal
tradition as "halakhah." I am not, please note, doubting the possible
pre-70 origins of numerous traditions that became rabbinic (cf. 4QMMT).
Only the presence of a formal jurisprudential concept, halakhah, bearing
all the rhetorical weight placed upon it in later Rabbinic Judaism.
	Any takers? Thanks. Marty Jaffee

Martin S. Jaffee                      University of Washington
Prof. & Chair, Comparative Religion   Box 353650
Prof., Jewish Studies                 Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-9846                   FAX: 206-685-0668
Rabbi Eleazar Hakappar used to say: You were conceived without being 
consulted, you were born without being consulted, you live without being 
consulted, and you'll die without being consulted. And without being 
consulted, you are going to account for yourself before the King of Kings 
of Kings, The Blessed Holy One. (Avot 4:29)

He did NOT say: "Have a nice day!"