By Steven D. Fraade
This e-book examines Torah and its interpretation either as a routine topic within the early rabbinic statement and because the very perform of the observation. It reports the phenomenon of historical rabbinic scriptural statement when it comes to the views of literary and historic criticisms and their complicated intersection. the writer discusses greatly the character of historical remark, 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 observation, after which applies this version to the Sifre -- to the oldest extant operating remark to Deuteronomy and one of many oldest rabbinic collections of exegesis.
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Additional info for From Tradition to Commentary: Torah and Its Interpretation in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy
3:3),22 Deut. 33:2 poetically describes God's manifold self-disclosure to Israel in the desert. It uses four phrases to do so, each including a different place along the route of their wilderness journey: Sinai, Seir, Paran, and Ribeboth-Kodesh,23 The Sifre's commentary, by contrast, subsumes all four under the first, understanding them all as expressions of what took place at or around Mt. Sinai. But, as these four phrases cannot be simply Re-Presenting Revelation 31 repetitive (that is, redundant), they are variously understood to denote the fourfold nature of God's self-disclosure at Sinai.
26 Because the fourth phrase, "And approached from Ribeboth-Kodesh," is not taken to signify God's approach from a geographic 10cation,27 but the "holy myriads" (angels) that accompanied God at the time of revelation,28 the commentary must rhetorically ask about the missing fourth direction. This is supplied from the related verse of Hab. 3:3, where it is said that, in addition to coming from Mt. Paran, God comes from Teman (South). Thus, the Habakkuk verse is understood to supplement the Deuteronomy verse that it parallels in its language.
Water is a particularly apt image for this activity because it can be collected, and hence kept and even transported in bulk, while remaining ever ready to be dispersed in smaller, more manageable quantities. 65 Similarly, the collectivity of rabbinic teachings, some of which may directly contradict others, are compared to a mixture of flour, bran, and meal, which the disciple sorts out with a sieve. Here the disciple has the active role of sorting and weighing the incommensurate rabbinic teachings that are gathered before him.