Shai Secunda, Apollo and Khshathrapati, the Median Nergal, at Xanthos

Students of the Babylonian Talmud and Middle Persian literature have discovered numerous links between these distinct corpora. The parallels seem to assume a good amount of interaction between Jews and Zoroastrians in Sasanian Iran. Based on a new reading of Babylonian Talmud tractate Shabbat 75a, this paper considers the possibility that some Jews were actually learning Avestan texts from Zoroastrian priests, perhaps for magical purposes. Brief analysis of Hērbedestān chapter 19 provides a corresponding picture of inter-religious study from a Zoroastrian perspective.