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My Perfect OneTypology and Early Rabbinic Interpretation of Song of Songs$
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Jonathan Kaplan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199359332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199359332.001.0001

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

Domesticating the Elusive Lover of Song of Songs

Chapter:
(p.159) 5 Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?
Source:
My Perfect One
Author(s):

Jonathan Kaplan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199359332.003.0006

Chapter 5 discusses how the interpretations found in the tannaitic midrashim reread and subvert the motif of the absent lover found in Song of Songs. These interpretations sublimate and refocus the themes of absence, longing, and pursuit that characterize the descriptions of the interrelationships in Song of Songs into an ideal vision of God’s relationship with Israel marked by fidelity, presence, and surety. A crucial component of the assertion of this subversion is the intention to support the rabbinic conception that the divine presence is with Israel throughout her experiences of exile and dislocation. Like Ezekiel and in the thought of the community associated with Qumran, expressed in the Damascus Document, the tannaitic midrashim, affirm God’s presence in support of a broader effort to renew Israel’s relationship with God and to strengthen their particular conceptions of what it means to be model Israel.

Keywords:   Song of Songs, divine presence, Ezekiel, exile, Damascus Document

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