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Avraham Grossman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113898

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113898.001.0001

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Commentary on the Torah

Commentary on the Torah

(p.73) Chapter Four Commentary on the Torah

Avraham Grossman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter evaluates Rashi's commentary on the Torah. Rashi saw significance and purpose in every name, time, place, and event—indeed, in every detail—mentioned in the Torah. The essence of Rashi's commentary on the Bible—especially on the Torah—and his extensive use of rabbinic Midrash cannot be understood without appreciating the full significance of this idea, which effectively serves as the basis for the entire commentary. As he sees it, the Torah is not merely a historical or literary work. It is, rather, a holy text conferred on human beings by God to guide them in the way of truth, and it must be read and interpreted in that light. Every detail, large or small, has its own unique value. It is therefore hardly surprising that in seeking out its meaning, Rashi would have frequent recourse to rabbinic Midrash or that he would often suggest more than one meaning.

Keywords:   Rashi, Torah, rabbinic Midrash, holy text, literary work, commentary

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