Page 181 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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Sadducean books, indicating that these were different from the
“R. Akiba said: Also he who reads uncanonical books [has no
share in the world to come]. A Tanna taught: [This means] the
books o f the Sadducees.”
“The blank spaces and the books o f the
we may not save
them from a fire. R. Jose said: On weekdays one must cut out
the Divine Names that they contain, hide them, and burn the
rest. R. Tarfon said: May I bury my son if I would not burn
them together with their Divine Names if they came to my hand
.. . for the latter know [o f God ] yet deny [Him ], whereas the
former are ignorant and deny [H im ].”
The negative attitude to the Sadducean books obtained as
long as the Sadducean sect existed, i.e., until the generation
o f the destruction. When reference is made to the Sadducean
books o f the generation following the destruction and especially
after the Bar Kokhba rebellion, what is meant is the books o f
the Judeo-Christian sectarians. In later times, because
o f fear o f the Christian censors, the printers substituted the
for the word
But this does not affect
our thesis, since the attitude o f the Sages to the Sadducean
books was no different from their attitude to the books o f the
Is there any chance that we shall yet discover any o f the
Sadducean books? I am following the assumption that the Dead
Sea sect, which is usually identified with the Essenes, is the ex­
treme and inflexible branch o f the Sadducean sect. Because
it did not agree to what was taking place in Jerusalem, it went
o f f to the desert. We can therefore hope that among the frag­
ments o f the scrolls which have yet to be deciphered and pub­
lished there may be found some remnant o f the Sadducean
The book o f Psalms consists o f 150 chapters. In recent times
there have been added seven psalms which were found at
Qumran. But they are different in style and it appears that
9. See my commentary on this mishnah in my
Megillath Ta ’anith
1964), p. 130ff.