Rejection of Rabbinic Legal Statements

Naomi Grunhaus

in The Challenge of Received Tradition

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858408
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979899 | DOI:
Rejection of Rabbinic Legal Statements

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It is in his questioning of rabbinic legal interpretations of Scriptures that Radak is differentiated from most other exegetes. On this matter, there seems to be an affinity between his thinking and that of Rashbam and other twelfth-century northern-French exegetes, who also do not differentiate between halakhic and aggadic traditions in their treatment of rabbinic teachings, but rather consider peshat interpretations valid even when interpreting legal biblical texts. Moreover, by maintaining that biblical figures acted in accordance with the plain meaning of a legal verse rather than following the rabbinic halakhah, Radak is even slightly bolder than Rashbam, who insists that rabbinic interpretation takes precedence over peshat. On occasion, Radak even evinces a readiness to apply his reading of the biblical narrative to support a legal ruling with practical implications that differ from those of the accepted rabbinic law.

Keywords: questioning; legal biblical texts; halakhic; Rashbam; peshat; differ from accepted rabbinic law; plain meaning of a legal verse; halakhic and aggadic

Chapter.  8290 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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