In this book Jacob Neusner analyzes the text of Sifra, a commentary on the book of Leviticus, arguing that Sifra should be understood as successfully relating the Mishnah, the authoritative writing down of the Oral Torah, to Jewish Scripture, or the written Torah. Neusner shows how Sifra's authors adopted a mediating position between the written Torah and the Mishnah, reconstructing large tracts of the Mishnah according to the logic and program of the written Torah of Leviticus.
Preface; Prologue; 1. The problem of the Mishnah; 2. Torah as a common noun: the solution of the Talmuds; 3. A sample of Sifra; 4. From common noun to proper noun: Sifra's re-presentation of the two Torahs as one; 5. Sifra's alternative to the Mishnah's topical program and its order; 6. Sifra's alternative to Mishnah's logic of cogent discourse; 7. Sifra's alternative to the Mishnah's proof of prepositions through taxonomic classification and hierarchization; 8. Re-presenting the Torah: Sifra's rehabilitation of taxonomic logic; 9. Torah as proper noun and the structure of the logic of creation; Appendix. The distinctive character of Sifra among Midrash compilations; Bibliography; Index.