Further Observations on Radak's Use of Rabbinic Interpretations

Naomi Grunhaus

in The Challenge of Received Tradition

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858408
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979899 | DOI:
Further Observations on Radak's Use of Rabbinic Interpretations

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In addition to the ubiquitous polarized construct, Radak uses several other “dual interpretation” formats to offer peshat alongside derash. At times he appends a rabbinic tradition to a peshat comment as a supplement, apparently only to satisfy “devotees of derash.” On other occasions, the rabbinic tradition supports his peshat interpretation or strengthens it. This chapter also examines and explains general issues relevant to all types of Radak's quotation: 1) Radak's generally literal view of rabbinic traditions is evaluated in light of his defense of Maimonides during the Maimonidean controversy, when Maimonides’ non-literal interpretation of rabbinic traditions was debated. 2) For certain biblical sections and regarding certain biblical themes and lemmas, Radak quotes many rabbinic interpretations, while in other sections he quotes few rabbinic interpretations. 3) When Radak registers his approval of a rabbinic comment, he usually bases this approval on the efficacy of its rendering of the biblical text.

Keywords: dual interpretation; Maimonides; Maimonidean controversy; non-literal interpretation; approval of rabbinic traditions; biblical text

Chapter.  8892 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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