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Rashi's Commentary on the Torah: Canonization and Resistance in the Reception of a Jewish Classic (Eric Lawee) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2019) 9780190937836
Rashi's Commentary on the Torah: Canonization and Resistance in the Reception of a Jewish Classic (Eric Lawee) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 2019) 9780190937836
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Title: Rashi's Commentary on the Torah: Canonization and Resistance in the Reception of a Jewish Classic

Author: Lawee, Eric

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 2019

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780190937836

Volumes: 1; Pages: 496

List Price in Hardcover: $99.00 Our price: $77.99

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This book explores the reception history of the most important Jewish Bible commentary ever composed, the Commentary on the Torah of Rashi (Shlomo Yitzhaki; 1040-1105). Though the Commentary has benefited from enormous scholarly attention, analysis of diverse reactions to it has been surprisingly scant. Viewing its path to preeminence through a diverse array of religious, intellectual, literary, and sociocultural lenses, Eric Lawee focuses on processes of the Commentary's canonization and on a hitherto unexamined--and wholly unexpected--feature of its reception: critical, and at times astonishingly harsh, resistance to it. Lawee shows how and why, despite such resistance, Rashi's interpretation of the Torah became an exegetical classic, a staple in the curriculum, a source of shared religious vocabulary for Jews across time and place, and a foundational text that shaped the Jewish nation's collective identity.

The book takes as its larger integrating perspective processes of canonicity as they shape how traditions flourish, disintegrate, or evolve. Rashi's scriptural magnum opus, the foremost work of Franco-German (Ashkenazic) biblical scholarship, faced stiff competition for canonical supremacy in the form of rationalist reconfigurations of Judaism as they developed in Mediterranean seats of learning. It nevertheless emerged triumphant in an intense battle for Judaism's future that unfolded in late medieval and early modern times. Investigation of the reception of the Commentary throws light on issues in Jewish scholarship and spirituality that continue to stir reflection, and even passionate debate, in the Jewish world today.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Notes on Translations and Editions

Introduction: Rashi's Commentary on the Torah: Canonical and Classic

Part 1. Toward Canonicity

Chapter 1. Conundrums of the Commentary: Contours of a Classic

Chapter 2. Rashi's Commentary: Receptions, 1105-1527

Chapter 3. Interpreting the Interpreter: Supercommentarial Receptions in Ashkenaz and Sefarad

Part 2. Resisting Readers

Chapter 4. "Ridiculousness and Risibility": Rationalist Criticism in an Eastern

Mediterranean Key

Chapter 5. Rationalism Versus the Rashi/Rabbinic Axis: Pseudo-Rabad's Book of Strictures

Chapter 6. Aaron Aboulrabi and "The Straight One": Between "Girls' Fantasies" and "Sweet

Midrash"

Part 3 Commentary Triumphant

Chapter 7. Competing Canons: Rashi's Commentary in a Late Medieval Battle for Judaism's

Soul

Afterword: Rashi's Commentary on the Torah in Modern Times

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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