Midrash Unbound

Transformations and Innovations

Edited by Michael Fishbane and Joanna Weinberg

- +

ISBN: 9781904113713

Publication: December 19, 2013

Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
Midrash is arguably the most ancient genre of Jewish literature, forming a voluminous body of scriptural exegesis over the course of centuries. There is hardly anything in the ancient rabbinic universe that was not taught through this medium. The diversity and development of that creative profusion are presented here in a new light. The contributors cover a broad range of texts, from late antiquity to the modern period and from all the centres of literary creativity, including non-rabbinic and non-Jewish literature, so that the full extent of the modes and transformations of Midrash can be fully appreciated. A comprehensive introduction situates Midrash in its historical and cultural setting, pointing to creative adaptations within the tradition and providing a sense of the variety of genres and applications discussed in the body of the book.

Bringing together an impressive array of the leading names in the field, the volume is innovative in both its scope and content, seeking to open a new period in the study of Midrash and its creative role in the formation of culture. It should be of interest to all scholars of Jewish studies, as well as to a wider readership interested in the interrelationships between hermeneutics, culture, and creativity, and especially in the afterlife of a classical genre and its ability to inspire new creativity in many forms.

Philip Alexander, Sebastian Brock, Jacob Elbaum, Michael Fishbane, Robert Hayward, William Horbury, Sara Japhet, Ephraim Kanarfogel, Naftali Loewenthal, Ivan G. Marcus, Alison Salvesen, Marc Saperstein, Chava Turniansky, Piet van Boxel, Joanna Weinberg, Benjamin Williams, Elliot Wolfson, Eli Yassif.

Joanna Weinberg is Professor of Early Modern Jewish History and Rabbinics at the University of Oxford.

Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago.

Note on Transliteration

Michael Fishbane and Joanna Weinberg

Part I Origins and Subsurface Traditions
1 Midrash and the Meaning of Scripture
Michael Fishbane
2 The Hand upon the Lord’s Throne: Targumic and Midrashic Perceptions of Exodus 17: 14--16
Robert Hayward
3 Unwashed Hands: A Midrashic Controversy in the Gospel of Matthew
Piet van Boxel
4 ‘Tradunt Hebraei . . .’ The Problem of the Function and Reception of Jewish Midrash in Jerome
Alison Salvesen
5 Midrash in Syriac
Sebastian Brock

Part II Later Midrashic Forms
6 Piyut and Midrash: Between Poetic Invention and Rabbinic Convention
Michael Fishbane
7 The Mourners of Zion and the Suffering Messiah: Pesikta rabati 34---Structure, Theology, and Content
Philip Alexander
8 The Toledot jeshu as Midrash
William Horbury
9 Storytelling as Midrashic Discourse in the Middle Ages
Eli Yassif
10 Performative Midrash in the Memory of Ashkenazi Martyrs
Ivan G. Marcus

Part III Medieval Transformations
11 Midrash in a Leixical Key: The Arukh of Nathan ben Yehiel
Joanna Weinberg
12 Rashi’s Choice: The {H.}umash Commentary as Rewritten Midrash
Ivan G. Marcus
13 The Pendulum of Exegetical Methodology: From the Peshat to the Derash and Back
Sara Japhet
14 Midrashic Texts and Methods in Tosafist Torah Commentaries
Ephraim Kanarfogel
15 Zoharic Literature and Midrashic Temporality
Elliot Wolfson

Part IV Early Modern and Modern Traditions
16 The Ingathering of Midrash Rabbah
Benjamin Williams
17 Midrash in Medieval and Early Modern Sermons
Marc Saperstein
18 Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague and his Attitude to the Aggadah
Jacob Elbaum
19 The Destruction of the Temple: A Yiddish Booklet for the Ninth of Av
Jacob Elbaum and Chava Turniansky
20 Midrash in Habad Hasidism
Naftali Loewenthal

Notes on Contributors

Format: Hardback

Size: 235 x 155 x 43 mm

480 Pages

ISBN: 9781904113713

Publication: December 19, 2013

Series: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization

Related products

Scroll to top