Jaffee, Martin S. "Oral Tradition and Rabbinic Studies." Oral Tradition 18:1 (2003), 37-39.
Rabbinic literature compiled in the Middle Ages is normally assumed ot have developed and been transmitted orally for multiple generations before its redaction and condification in writing (Jaffee 2003, 37). The oral style is evident throughout. Jaffee observes that scholarly work has recently been focused on the relationship between oral tradition, written sources, and written outcomes. One critical issue Jaffee mentions is the way rabbinic narrative can rearrange historical details as moral or philosophical narrative. An understanding of the purpose of the actual narrative is key to this area of scholarship.