A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop
A closer look at Rashi’s commentary both methodologically and historically. Why is Rashi the most studied and famous Bible Commentator? In this series with Dr. Lisa Fredman will discuss the Jewish-Christian Debate as well as important values in Rashi’s Bible Commentary. How much did Rashi really write and what, if anything, was added?
A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop: Lesson 1
RASHI: In our opening class we will investigate the uniqueness of Rashi’s two tiered Bible Commentary: Peshat and Midrashic interpretation. We will closely analyze what are the components of his Peshat Commentary and will differentiate between two important concepts: פשוטו/peshuto and משמעו/mashmao. We will address the question why did Rashi introduce this new concept of peshat into the study of Torah.
A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop: Lesson 2
RASHI’S USE OF MIDRASH AND HIS DUAL COMMENTARY: Our second class with focus on Rashi’s use of Midrash. What type of midrashim did Rashi include in his commentary and what type did he not? What books did Rashi have in his library? How did Rashi adapt his sources to create a flowing, concise commentary? After understanding Rashi’s use of Midrash and Peshat (last week’s class), we will be ready to investigate Rashi’s “dual commentary”. The “dual commentary” is the backbone of his Commentary to the Bible. What is it composed of? Why is it so popular? How does it differ from Rashi comments connected by the phrase: דבר אחר, an alternate explanation? The archives have 2 parts this week
A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop: Lesson 3
THE JEWISH-CHRISTIAN DEBATE IN RASHI’S BIBLE COMMENTARY: Class number 3 will focus on the fascinating topic of the Jewish-Christian debate in Rashi’s Bible Commentary. To what extent did Rashi utilize his commentary to refute Christian interpretation? We will uncover explicit as well as implicit polemical comments. We will look at and decipher medieval manuscripts of Rashi’s Bible Commentary in order to understand the impact that medieval censorship had on these comments, . We will raise the questions: from where did Rashi glean his knowledge of how the Christians interpreted the Bible? Are there any differences between Rashi’s Torah Commentary and his Commentary to Prophets and Writings with regards to polemical comments? And if yes, why?
A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop: Lesson 4
HOW MUCH DID RASHI REALLY WRITE?: How much did Rashi really write? This week we will focus upon the well known phenomenon of additions to Rashi’s Bible Commentary. Who added to Rashi’s commentary and why? Did Rashi add to his own commentary? What are the signs of later additions or interpolations? Is there a difference between Rashi’s Torah Commentary and his Commentary to Niviim and Ketuvim? Why does it make a difference? In order to truly understand the phenomenon & search for answers, we will compare Medieval manuscripts of Rashi’s Commentary.
A Visit to Rashi’s Workshop: Lesson 5
RASHI’S WORLD OF VALUES: In our fifth and final class we will investigate to what extent Rashi’s Bible Commentaries shed light upon his inner world of values and ideas. What does his world of values consist of? Do only pure exegetical considerations motivate him to comment or are some interpretations motivated by other concerns? What methodologies can we adopt in order to detect Rashi’s ideology? At the end of the class- we will see how all of the five Rashi sessions fit into one cohesive picture, and I will be happy to answer any questions.
Dr. Lisa Fredman has a BA from Stern College, and an MA and PhD in Bible from Bar Ilan University. She has recently published "A Critical Edition of Rashi's Commentary to Proverbs" and is currently working on "A Critical Edition of Rashi's Commentary to the Book of Daniel". Dr. Fredman was the founding Principal of the YTA Girls' School in Jerusalem and is currently a lecturer of Bible at Efrata College, Jerusalem and the Women's Beit Midrash in Efrat.