Rashi’s Glosses Belaaz : Navigating Hebrew Scripture under Feudal Lanterns

Rashi’s Glosses Belaaz : Navigating Hebrew Scripture under Feudal Lanterns Amid sporadic anti-Jewish violence whipped by a crusading frenzy, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (“Rashi”) composed a commentary on the Hebrew Bible that was destined to become a vast navigational aid for God’s scriptural plan. Many of Rashi’s glosses invited medieval Jews on a spiritual pilgrimage that would dispel their sense of subjugation to temporal Christian powers. From the advent of Christianity, Jewish communities increasingly steered a course between Jewish autonomy and welfare, on one hand, and accommodation of Christian and feudal strictures, on the other. Wondering whether the cataclysmic destruction of the Second Temple in 70 c.e. signaled God’s abandonment of his people, medieval Jews’ scriptural interpretations intensified the themes of survival and internal social cohesion. To guide medieval Jewry through a middle ground between a characteristically triumphant scriptural landscape and the dispiriting Christian counterpart, Rashi frequently incorporated into his glosses French terms he transliterated into Hebrew characters. This incorporation of French was both purposeful and well-informed. As a minority community in Rashi’s Troyes, Jews lived two distinct experiences: in one, they spoke vernacular French with Christian neighbors, while, in the other, they prayed and studied the Pentateuch and Prophets in Hebrew. In this setting, the laazim communicated to Jewish readers in a specialized language akin to a password or a special handshake. Yet the glosses, because they were enveloped in Hebrew commentaries and disguised in Hebrew letters, would have eluded French-speaking Christians who could not have identified fragments of their own language hiding in plain sight. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Rabbinic Judaism Brill

Rashi’s Glosses Belaaz : Navigating Hebrew Scripture under Feudal Lanterns

Review of Rabbinic Judaism, Volume 18 (1): 102 – Mar 5, 2015

Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/rashi-s-glosses-belaaz-navigating-hebrew-scripture-under-feudal-rlNK7NggpV
Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1568-4857
eISSN
1570-0704
D.O.I.
10.1163/15700704-12341279
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Amid sporadic anti-Jewish violence whipped by a crusading frenzy, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (“Rashi”) composed a commentary on the Hebrew Bible that was destined to become a vast navigational aid for God’s scriptural plan. Many of Rashi’s glosses invited medieval Jews on a spiritual pilgrimage that would dispel their sense of subjugation to temporal Christian powers. From the advent of Christianity, Jewish communities increasingly steered a course between Jewish autonomy and welfare, on one hand, and accommodation of Christian and feudal strictures, on the other. Wondering whether the cataclysmic destruction of the Second Temple in 70 c.e. signaled God’s abandonment of his people, medieval Jews’ scriptural interpretations intensified the themes of survival and internal social cohesion. To guide medieval Jewry through a middle ground between a characteristically triumphant scriptural landscape and the dispiriting Christian counterpart, Rashi frequently incorporated into his glosses French terms he transliterated into Hebrew characters. This incorporation of French was both purposeful and well-informed. As a minority community in Rashi’s Troyes, Jews lived two distinct experiences: in one, they spoke vernacular French with Christian neighbors, while, in the other, they prayed and studied the Pentateuch and Prophets in Hebrew. In this setting, the laazim communicated to Jewish readers in a specialized language akin to a password or a special handshake. Yet the glosses, because they were enveloped in Hebrew commentaries and disguised in Hebrew letters, would have eluded French-speaking Christians who could not have identified fragments of their own language hiding in plain sight.

Journal

Review of Rabbinic JudaismBrill

Published: Mar 5, 2015

Keywords: Solomon ben Isaac; Rashi’s French glosses; Jews in feudal society

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off