Commentary on Midrash Rabba in the Sixteenth Century: The Or ha-Sekhel of Abraham ben Asher

Hardcover | January 19, 2017

byBenjamin Williams

not yet rated|write a review
Printed editions of midrashim, rabbinic expositions of the Bible, flooded the market for Hebrew books in the sixteenth century. First published by Iberian immigrants to the Ottoman Empire, they were later reprinted in large numbers at the famous Hebrew presses of Venice. This study seeks toshed light on who read these new books and how they did so by turning to the many commentaries on midrash written during the sixteenth century. These innovative works reveal how their authors studied rabbinic Bible interpretation and how they anticipated their readers would do so. Benjamin WIlliamsfocuses particularly on the work of Abraham ben Asher of Safed, the Or ha-Sekhel (Venice, 1567), an elucidation of midrash Genesis Rabba which contains both the author's own interpretations and also the commentary he mistakenly attributed to the most celebrated medieval commentator Rashi. Williams examines what is known of Abraham ben Asher's life, his place among the Jewish scholars of Safed, and the publication of his book in Venice. By analysing selected passages of his commentary, this study assesses how he shed light on rabbinic interpretation of Genesis and guided readers tocorrect interpretations of the words of the sages. A consideration of why Abraham ben Asher published a commentary attributed to Rashi shows that he sought to lend authority to his programme of studying midrash by including interpretations ascribed to the most famous commentator alongside his own.By analysing the production and reception of the Or ha-Sekhel, therefore, this work illuminates the popularity of midrash in the early modern period and the origins of a practice which is now well-established-the study of rabbinic Bible interpretation with the guidance of commentaries.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$125.94 online
$126.00 list price
Pre-order online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Printed editions of midrashim, rabbinic expositions of the Bible, flooded the market for Hebrew books in the sixteenth century. First published by Iberian immigrants to the Ottoman Empire, they were later reprinted in large numbers at the famous Hebrew presses of Venice. This study seeks toshed light on who read these new books and how...

Benjamin Williams is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College London.

other books by Benjamin Williams

The Literature of the Kymry: Being a Critical Essay On the History of the Language and Literature…
The Literature of the Kymry: Being a Critical Essay On ...

Paperback|Mar 10 2010

$32.00 online$33.95list price(save 5%)
see all books by Benjamin Williams
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 0.98 inPublished:January 19, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198759231

ISBN - 13:9780198759232

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Commentary on Midrash Rabba in the Sixteenth Century: The Or ha-Sekhel of Abraham ben Asher

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. Midrash in the Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Empire2. Midrash Rabba and its Commentaries3. From Safed to Venice - Abraham ben Asher and the Publication of the and#702;Or ha-Sekhel4. Abraham ben Asher's Commentary - An Examination of Selected Texts5. 'Pseudo-Rashi's' Commentary on Genesis Rabba6. Conclusion: The and#702;Or ha-Sekhel and its Reception