Association for Jewish studies 1999- 24(1) by Nelson, M

By Nelson, M

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S0The youthsdid not perceivetheirnoble act as the ultimate fast pass to the afterlife. Voluntarydeath does not emerge as a good deed, a misvah,that could guaranteea place in the word to come. This is also truein the accountsof the martyredrabbis,which equivocallymention rewardonly in regardto R. Akiva and R. Accordingto this divine system,good deeds bringthe individual 79. Eusebiusreassuredhis readersthateven drowning in largebodies of watercould not preventthe martyrs'physicalresurrection. "Historyof the Church5:1, 60-63.

8 The initial canon of the Councilof Clermontmay have spokenonly of the remissionof penance,not of forgivenessof sins. But for the majority, C. Erdmannwrites, "The First Crusadebroughtforth the notion that the forgivenessof sins was the specialportionof thosewho diedon the campaign. ""9 Relyingon the Chronicleof Montecassino,H. E. "120 The followingcrusadersong well demonstratesthis popularmisinterpretation of crusadepropaganda: Whoeverproceedsthither, 114. , 4:138. 115. , 4:15. 116. Fulcherof Chartres,Historia Hierosolymitana,p.

59-60 andnn. 85-88. Also, M. Ber. 9:5, T. Ber. 7:7, and Sifre to Deuteronomy6:5. Variantstatementsalso do not include "destinedto the world to come,"which appearsin Bet ha-Midrash,ed. A. Jellinek (Jerusalem,1938), 6:27. In contrast,see Bet ha-Midrash,3:34. Thusit couldbe that"destined to theworldto come"is a latemedievaladdition,a possibilitythatwill becomemorepersuasive as this articleprogresses. "Akiva'sproclamationof the Shema, despite the Romans' efforts to stop him, is the rewarditself. The divine voice consideredAkiva'slast-breathShemaa meritoriousact in its ownright.

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