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Commentary on Midrash Rabba in the Sixteenth CenturyThe Or ha-Sekhel of Abraham ben Asher$
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Benjamin Williams

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759232

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759232.001.0001

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Conclusion: The ʾOr ha-Sekhel and Its Reception

Conclusion: The ʾOr ha-Sekhel and Its Reception

Chapter:
(p.164) 6 Conclusion: The ʾOr ha-Sekhel and Its Reception
Source:
Commentary on Midrash Rabba in the Sixteenth Century
Author(s):

Benjamin Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759232.003.0007

This chapter considers how Abraham ben Asher intended readers to use the ʾOr ha-Sekhel. Its reception is considered in the light of the criticisms of certain contemporary commentators regarding the authenticity of ‘Rashi’s’ commentary on Genesis Rabba, the growing popularity of the Matnot Kehunah of Issachar Berman, and changing approaches to the exposition of midrash in early modern Sephardi communities. Although Abraham ben Asher’s own commentary was not reprinted in later editions of Midrash Rabba, his work nevertheless repays careful study as it sheds light on the development of this collection of midrashim and on the reception of rabbinic Bible interpretation. Furthermore, commentaries on midrash, including that of Pseudo-Rashi as it was edited by Abraham ben Asher, were regularly printed on the pages of later editions of Midrash Rabba. This attests to the enduring influence of the ʾOr ha-Sekhel, the first book to supplement Genesis Rabba with such exegetical resources.

Keywords:   Naphtali Hertz, Issachar Berman, Matnot Kehunah, Pseudo-Rashi, Azulai, Jacob Emden

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