Rashbam scholarship in perpetual motion.
Cohen, Mordechai Z.
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Over the past quarter century, Elazar Touitou has substantially enhanced our understanding of the hermeneutics of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam; c. 1080–1160), one of the greatest proponents of the peshat method in the Jewish tradition of biblical interpretation. Touitou’s writing have opened bold new directions in evaluating Rashbam within the context of Jewish learning and his surrounding Christian intellectual milieu. His many studies, augmented by new ones, have been brought together here by the author in an integrated and updated form that reflects the changing landscape of modern research of the northern French peshat school founded by Rashbam’s grandfather, Rashi (1040–1105). While the form and substance of the original essays dominate this book, Touitou also addresses new matters raised by scholars of biblical interpretation such as G. Dahan, S. Japhet, M. Lockshin, A. Mondschein, R. Salters, and M. Sokolow, as well as historians such as A. Grossman and I. M. Ta-Shma, thereby creating an academic dialogue that paints a multi-faceted intellectual portrait of Rashbam enriched by a variety of perspectives. The result is an insightful analysis of this great French exegete and his role in developing the peshat method, making Exegesis in Perpetual Motion required reading for anyone interested in Jewish biblical interpretation in its cultural context. (from Introduction)
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