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The interplay of Peshat and rabbinic traditions in the exegetical works of Rabbi David Kimhi

Author: Naomi Grunhaus
Publisher: ©2003.
Dissertation: Ph. D. New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science 2003
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The degree to which midrashic and talmudic traditions should shape one's approach to the biblical text is one of the principal questions with which the preeminent Jewish exegetes of the medieval period grappled. This dissertation examines the incorporation of rabbinic traditions in the commentaries of Rabbi David Kimhi, a renowned Jewish Bible exegete of the thirteenth century in southern France. The dissertation is
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Details

Genre/Form: Thesis (PhD)
Early works to 1800
Dissertations, Academic
Named Person: David Kimhi
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Naomi Grunhaus
OCLC Number: 83785563
Notes: UMI facsimile 3089391.
Description: x, 465 pages ; 22 cm
Responsibility: by Naomi Grunhaus.
More information:

Abstract:

The degree to which midrashic and talmudic traditions should shape one's approach to the biblical text is one of the principal questions with which the preeminent Jewish exegetes of the medieval period grappled. This dissertation examines the incorporation of rabbinic traditions in the commentaries of Rabbi David Kimhi, a renowned Jewish Bible exegete of the thirteenth century in southern France. The dissertation is written both from the point of view of the study of biblical exegesis and the point of view of cultural history.

The primary accomplishment of this dissertation lay in the illumination of Radak's method in its multiple aspects and the extensive analysis of his incorporation of rabbinic traditions in his commentaries. Radak was situated at the intellectual crossroads of the northern French achievements in the literal study of the Bible and Spanish accomplishments in the study of linguistics. Even as he synthesized the work of those who preceded him, Radak's principal contribution lay in his dedication to the biblical text. To the extent that rabbinic interpretations aided him in explaining the text, he incorporated them into his commentaries. The precise synthesis of prior methods and interpretations was Radak's greatest innovation.

Despite Radak's fundamental role in support of philosophy during the Maimonidean controversy and the well-documented influence of Maimonides on him, Maimonides' rationalist interpretation of aggadot is not evident in the vast majority of Radak's comments. By and large, Radak understood aggadot literally, just as they were understood by Rashi and the peshat exegetes of northern France in the twelfth century. The extent to which northern French exegesis influenced Radak is a fundamental result of our research.

Chapter one characterizes Radak's intellectual milieu and the views of his important predecessors. Radak's global methodological statements are examined in chapter two. Chapter three treats cases in which Radak acknowledges the necessity of rabbinic interpretation. In chapter four, the juxtaposition of peshat and rabbinic traditions in dual interpretations (perushim kefulim ) is analyzed. In chapter five, Radak's objections to rabbinic interpretations are investigated. Chapter six probes the relationship between the original rabbinic passages and Radak's record of them in his commentaries.

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