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From Tradition to Commentary
Torah and Its Interpretation in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy
From Tradition to Commentary
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Steven D. Fraade - Author
SUNY series in Judaica: Hermeneutics, Mysticism, and Religion
N/A
Hardcover - 365 pages
Release Date: February 1991
ISBN10: 0-7914-0495-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0495-9

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 365 pages
Release Date: January 1991
ISBN10: 0-7914-0496-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-0496-6

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Summary

This book examines Torah and its interpretation both as a recurring theme in the early rabbinic commentary and as the very practice of the commentary. It studies the phenomenon of ancient rabbinic scriptural commentary in relation to the perspectives of literary and historical criticisms and their complex intersection. The author discusses extensively the nature of ancient commentary, comparing and contrasting it with the antecedents in the pesharim of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the allegorical commentaries of Philo of Alexandria. He develops a model for a dynamic understanding of the literary structure and sociohistorical function of early rabbinic commentary, and then applies this model to the Sifre -- to the oldest extant running commentary to Deuteronomy and one of the oldest rabbinic collections of exegesis.

Fraade examines the commentary's representation of revelation and its reception at Mt. Sinai, with particular attention to its fractured refiguration and interrelation of Scripture, tradition, and history. He discusses the commentary's discursive empowering of the class of sages in their collective self-understanding as Israel's authorized teachers, leaders, legislators, and judges. The author also probes the tension between Torah and nature as witnesses to Israel's covenant with God.

Steven D. Fraade is Mark Taper Professor of the History of Judaism at Yale University.


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Table of Contents

Preface
Transliterations
Note on the Textual Basis of the Translations

1. Introduction: The Turn to Commentary

2. Re-Presenting Revelation

Introduction
Sifre Texts and Commentary

The Lord Came from Sinai (§343)
Lover, Indeed, of the People(s) (§344)
The Heritage of the Congregation of Jacob (§345)
He Encompassed Him and Instructed Him (§313)

Conclusions

3. The Early Rabbinic Sage and His Torah in the Text of the Sifre

Introduction
Sifre Texts and Commentary

Ask Your Elders and They Will Tell You (§310)
That I Command You Today (§41)
Or the Magistrate in Charge at the Time (§§152-153)
They Shall Teach Your Statutes to Jacob (§351)
Serving Him with All Your Heart (§41)
Holding Fast to Him (§49)
You Shall Hold a Day of Assembly (§135)
May My Discourse Come Down as Rain (§306)
When the Heads of the People Are Gathered (§346)
I Will Appoint Them as Your Heads (§13)
If, Then, You Carefully Keep (§48)
Take to Heart All the Words (§335)

Conclusions

4. Polyphony and Plot: Torah as Song as Covenantal Witness

Introduction
The Song of Moses (Deut. 32)
Sifre Text (§306) and Commentary

Beginning
Middle
End
Beginning-Middle-End

Countertexts

Fragmentary Targum
1 Enoch
2 Baruch

Conclusions

Afterword

Abbreviations

Notes

Bibliographic References

Primary Sources
Secondary Sources

Index of Primary Sources

Index of Names and Subjects



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22329/23630(WDE/MS/)

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