Rashi /
Avraham Grossman ; translated by Joel Linsider.
Oxford [England] ; Portland, Or. : Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2012.
xi, 327 p.
1904113893, 9781904113898
personal subject
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Oxford [England] ; Portland, Or. : Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2012.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [299]-307) and indexes.
A Look Inside
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, December 2012
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Main Description
To this day, the commentaries on the Bible and Talmud written by the 11th-century scholar known as Rashi remain unsurpassed. Rashi's influence on Jewish thinking was, and still is, significant. His commentary on the Pentateuch was the first Hebrew book to be printed, giving rise to hundreds of super-commentaries. Christian scholars, too, have relied heavily on his explanations of biblical texts. In this volume, author Avraham Grossman presents a masterly survey of the social and cultural background to Rashi's work and pulls together the strands of information available on his life, his personality, his reputation during his lifetime, and his influence as a teacher. Grossman discusses each of Rashi's main commentaries in turn, including such aspects as Rashi's sources, his interpretative method, his innovations, and his style and language. Attention is also given to his halakhic monographs, responsa, and liturgical poems. Despite Rashi's importance as a scholar and the vast literature published about him, two central questions remain essentially unanswered: what was Rashi's world-view, and was he a conservative or a revolutionary? Professor Grossman considers these points at length, and his in-depth analysis of Rashi's world-view - particularly his understanding of Jewish uniqueness, Jewish values, and Jewish society - leads to conclusions that are likely to stimulate much debate.
Main Description
Sa'adyah Gaon was an outstanding tenth-century Jewish thinker who was a pioneer in die fields in which he toiled and an inspiration for later Jewish writers. This study brings out the revolutionary aspects of his writing and its characteristic features while setting it in the context of his times, with each aspect of his work being considered in turn. An Epilogue sums up Iris importance in medieval Jewish culture.
Table of Contents
TranslatorÆs Notep. xii
Note on Transliterationp. xv
Rashi and His World
The Social and Cultural Background of Rashi's Workp. 3
The Jews' Political, Economic, and Social Statusp. 3
The Troyes Community and the Jewish Centre in Champagnep. 4
The Twelfth-Century Renaissancep. 7
The Jews' Social Ties to their Surroundingsp. 9
Jewish-Christian Religious Polemicsp. 10
A Biographical Sketchp. 12
Rashi's Lifep. 12
Character Traitsp. 23
Standing and Famep. 42
Rashi's Beit Midrashp. 52
Growth of the Beit Midrashp. 52
'The Great Rabbi'p. 53
Library and Sourcesp. 68
The Writings of Rashi
Commentary on the Torahp. 73
The Text of Rashi's Commentary on the Torahp. 75
Rashi's Interpretative Methodp. 78
Rashi's Profound Affection for Midrashp. 82
General Characteristics of the Commentaryp. 95
Commentaries on the Later Books of the Hebrew Biblep. 111
Language, Grammar, and References to Daily Lifep. 111
Style of the Commentariesp. 117
General Characteristics of the Commentariesp. 126
Commentary on the Talmudp. 133
For Whom Did Rashi Write his Commentary on the Talmud?p. 133
Extent of the Commentaryp. 135
Interpretative Characteristicsp. 137
Connections with Other Interpretative Traditionsp. 140
Versions and Editions of the Commentaryp. 141
Changes and Contradictionsp. 145
Halakhic Rulings in Rashi's Commentary on the Talmudp. 147
Rulings, Responsa, Liturgical Poems, and Commentaries on Liturgical Poemsp. 149
Rulingsp. 149
Responsap. 152
Liturgical Poemsp. 159
Commentaries on Liturgical Poemsp. 160
Rashi's World-View
The Uniqueness of the Jewish Peoplep. 165
Methodological Introductionp. 165
The Election of Israelp. 169
The Land of Israelp. 174
Miraclesp. 183
Exile and Redemptionp. 189
The Nations of the Worldp. 198
Valuesp. 208
Torah and Torah Studyp. 208
Reasons for the Commandmentsp. 221
Prayerp. 224
Truth and Humilityp. 228
Human Dignityp. 240
Peace and Factionalismp. 245
Societyp. 252
Scholarsp. 252
Community Leadersp. 259
Forced and Voluntary Converts from Judaismp. 263
The Status of Women and their Place in Society and the Familyp. 267
Between Innovation and Conservatismp. 289
Innovation and Missionp. 294
How Did Rashi Attain his Historic Status?p. 296
Bibliographyp. 299
Index of Scriptural Referencesp. 309
Index of Rabbinic Referencesp. 314
General Indexp. 317
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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