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The Zohar on Jonah: Radical Retelling or Tradition?

The Zohar on Jonah: Radical Retelling or Tradition? THE ZOHAR ON JONAH: RADICAL RETELLING OR TRADITION?Aryeh Wineman I The Zohar's midrashic exegesis relates generally to specific words or verses of a biblical text, and rarely to an entire episode or narrative. It is partly for this reason that one particular passage of zoharic exegesis stands out: a running, extended commentary on the first two chapters of Jonah. This commentary, found toward the end of the second part of the Zohar (II, 199ab), is also an example of homiletical exegesis of a narrative text which appears to create a new story. In this passage, the zoharic author understands the story of Jonah to be a parable of the totality of a person's career in this world and of what follows one's death, a parable of human experience from the soul's entering the body until God's awakening the dead when death will be no more. Jonah himself, representing the soul, enters the body, which is symbolized by the ship endangered by the storm-a body weak by nature and incapable in the long run of maintaining itself in the face both of the hostile elements and of man's own sins. The storm is the demand of judgment which threatens http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hebrew Studies National Association of Professors of Hebrew

The Zohar on Jonah: Radical Retelling or Tradition?

Hebrew Studies , Volume 31 (1) – Oct 5, 1990

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Publisher
National Association of Professors of Hebrew
Copyright
Copyright © National Association of Professors of Hebrew
ISSN
2158-1681
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Abstract

THE ZOHAR ON JONAH: RADICAL RETELLING OR TRADITION?Aryeh Wineman I The Zohar's midrashic exegesis relates generally to specific words or verses of a biblical text, and rarely to an entire episode or narrative. It is partly for this reason that one particular passage of zoharic exegesis stands out: a running, extended commentary on the first two chapters of Jonah. This commentary, found toward the end of the second part of the Zohar (II, 199ab), is also an example of homiletical exegesis of a narrative text which appears to create a new story. In this passage, the zoharic author understands the story of Jonah to be a parable of the totality of a person's career in this world and of what follows one's death, a parable of human experience from the soul's entering the body until God's awakening the dead when death will be no more. Jonah himself, representing the soul, enters the body, which is symbolized by the ship endangered by the storm-a body weak by nature and incapable in the long run of maintaining itself in the face both of the hostile elements and of man's own sins. The storm is the demand of judgment which threatens

Journal

Hebrew StudiesNational Association of Professors of Hebrew

Published: Oct 5, 1990

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