Projecting Commitment Through Scripture. The Midrashic Unit

Alexander Samely

in Rabbinic Interpretation of Scripture in the Mishnah

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780198270317
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683978 | DOI:
Projecting Commitment Through Scripture. The Midrashic Unit

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This chapter argues that the format of reduplication or the midrashic unit as found in the Mishnah involves a commitment which is not restricted to the validity of the interpretation, but embraces simultaneously the validity of biblical Lemma and rabbinic Dictum. It further examines the emphasis of the rabbinic interpretation and links it with the question of how one can best understand the type of speech act with which interpretations of Scripture are typically tied up in the Mishnah. The separation of Scripture as a text from the Mishnah's own voice is not to be interpreted as implying ‘historical’ attitude to Scriptural meaning. Instead the hermeneutics of appropriation amount to a direct commitment to Scripture's validity and relevance. This commitment is projected onto the biblical text though the Mishnaic reformulation and through the expressive use of biblical words.

Keywords: midrashic unit; projection of commitment; Mishnaic reformulation; biblical Lemma; rabbinic Dictum; commitment to Scripture's validity

Chapter.  12371 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Biblical Studies

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