By Robert A. Harris
Parallelism is mostly thought of the “marker” dividing prose and poetry in historical Semitic literature, together with the Bible. via their publicity to Judeo-Islamic scholarship sure Sephardic medieval thinkers got here to appreciate this precept. Harris counters the final assumption that the northern French commentators (the so-called “School of Rashi”) didn’t comprehend parallelism in biblical composition. the belief relies at the French commentators’ immersion within the midrashic literature of rabbinic Judaism, which didn't realize parallelism, as an alternative knowing each be aware of the Hebrew Bible as containing a side of the divine message in its personal correct. furthermore, in contrast to the exegetes and grammarians of the Judeo-Islamic international, the northern French students didn't compose treatises on poetics. The e-book heavily examines the extant biblical commentaries of the northern French exegetes. All citations of rabbinic literature are awarded either within the unique Hebrew and the author’s English translations. The booklet is addressed not just to these students attracted to the background of biblical interpretation, yet with its shut literary readings of biblical and rabbinic texts additionally appeals to these drawn to synchronic figuring out of the Bible.
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Extra info for Discerning Parallelism: A Study in Northern French Medieval Jewish Biblical Exegesis (Brown Judaic Studies)
He was [thus] prevented, and he did not climb on. Cited in Esra Shereshevsky, Rashi: The Man and His World (New York: Sefer Hermon Press, 1982), 30 n. 22. 41 BJS \ 140341 \ Harris \ FOR PRESS Friday, May 06, 2005 1:09:09 PM Color profile: Generic CMYK printer profile Composite Default screen 26 Discerning Parallelism escapes the hold of its context”; b. Shabb. 63a), Rashbam follows Joseph Kara in turning what is a most infrequent and unused observation in the ancient sources into the linchpin of the reading approach he advocates.
See Grossman, The Early Sages of France, 171. Grossman also describes the larger and more significant contribution of Rashi’s disciple Shemaiah in the transmission of Rashi’s commentaries; see esp. pp. 359–366, 403–405 and Grossman’s “Marginal Notes and the Addenda of R. Shemaiah and the Text of Rashi’s Biblical Commentary,” Tarbiz 60:1 (1990): 67–98 (Hebrew). 21. For a summary of the evidence for Kara’s biblical commentaries, including disputed attributions, see Grossman, The Early Sages of France, 290–318.
But anyone who does not know the contextual understanding of Scripture (peshuto shel miqra), and prefers the midrash on some matter, is like one whom the current of a river has washed away and whom the depths of water have inundated, and who grasps at anything he can to save himself. Whereas if he had set his heart on the word of the Lord, he would have searched after the meaning of the matter and its contextual explanation—and in doing so would have fulfilled that which is written: If you seek it as you do silver, and search for it as for treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and attain knowledge of God (Prov 2:4–5) .