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This volume examines the nature and sources of the unique authority accorded in Judaism to the Sages of the first five centuries CE. These teachers - often referred to reverentially as Chazal, a Hebrew acronym for ""our Sages of blessed memory"" - occupy a central and unrivalled position in traditional Judaism. Their statements, collected in the vast corpus of Rabbinic literature, serve as the basis for Halakhah (Jewish law) which developed after the Babylonian Talmud was redacted over 13 centuries ago. Berger critically examines the notion of the Sages' authority, laying bare the assumptions that undergird it and the implications that follow from it. Berger's purpose is not to justify specific normative claims about Talmudic law, but to show the deeply nuanced concept of authority in a textual and interpretive tradition.;This book is intended for students and scholars of Jewish studies and the philosophy of religion.