Download From Tradition to Commentary: Torah and Its Interpretation by Steven D. Fraade PDF

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By Steven D. Fraade

This booklet examines Torah and its interpretation either as a routine topic within the early rabbinic remark and because the very perform of the statement. It experiences the phenomenon of historical rabbinic scriptural observation with regards to the views of literary and old criticisms and their advanced intersection. the writer discusses greatly the character of historical observation, evaluating and contrasting it with the antecedents within the pesharim of the lifeless Sea Scrolls and the allegorical commentaries of Philo of Alexandria. He develops a version for a dynamic realizing of the literary constitution and sociohistorical functionality of early rabbinic statement, after which applies this version to the Sifre -- to the oldest extant working observation to Deuteronomy and one of many oldest rabbinic collections of exegesis.

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Additional resources for From Tradition to Commentary: Torah and Its Interpretation in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy

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Its subject is both the re-presenting of the received text of Scripture, rabbinically understood to have been divinely revealed, through the practice of rabbinic commentary to that text, and the re-presenting of the past event of God's revelation of Torah to Israel at Mt. ' In particular, I will focus on the Sifre's commentary to Deut. 33:2-4,2 which verses introduce Moses' final poetic blessing of the twelve tribes before his death and their entry into the Land of Canaan (33: I: "This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, bade the Israelites farewell before he died',): [2] He said: The Lord came from Sinai; He shone upon them form Seir; He appeared fro Mount Paran, And approached fro Ribeboth-Kodesh, Lightning flashing at them from His right.

And others would then join him in praise. Only afterwards does he turn to the needs of that man [= his client], and concludes by again praising the king. Similarly, our teacher Moses did not begin with the needs of Israel but with the praise of God, as it is said, "And he said: The Lord came from Sinai," and only afterwards did he begin with the needs of Israel: "May there be a king in leshurun" (33:5). He concluded by returning to the praise of God: "0 leshurun, there is none like God" (33:26).

To sustain this argument, Philo undertakes what amounts to a major translation project, rendering Scripture into the best cultural vernacular (as he regarded it) of his hellenistically educated or exposed public. And because his argument is not simply about the contents of Scripture, but about the status of its text as that central symbol which defines Israel and distinguishes the Jewish community from its neighbors, that translation had to take, at least in part, the form of dialogical engagement with the text-and not simply a distilled paraphrase of it-as well as with the received local traditions of its interpretation.

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