First, it is worth noting that Iranian literature can even illuminate rabbinic texts produced in Roman Palestine, beyond what is usually seen as the orbit of Iranian culture. In other instances, as in the second example, Middle Persian literature can help explain the development of specific Babylonian rabbinic motifs. Finally, close philological work on the protracted development of sugyot in the Babylonian Talmud can be illuminated by also looking beyond internal textual concerns to consider the Iranian context—which often can also be measured in terms of the evolution of its discourse. The complicated architecture of the texts reflects complicated and protracted cultural processes. The research involved in comparing discourses can sometimes seem overly intricate and time-consuming. Yet, there is the hope and promise that the results of this long-term endeavor will be worth the hard work.
Shai Secunda, “The Construction, Composition and Idealization of the Female Body in Rabbinic Literature and Parallel Iranian Texts: Three Excurses”, NASHIM: A Journal of Jewish Women’s Studies and Gender Studies, No. 23 (Spring-Fall 2012), 79.