Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Review of Mandel, The Origins of Midrash

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | The Origins of Midrash (Yitz Landes).
Paul D. Mandel,The Origins of Midrash: From Teaching to Text. Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 180. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017.
And yet, Paul Mandel argues in his recent book, The Origins of Midrash: From Teaching to Text, that midrash was not always—indeed, not originally—interpretation, as such. Rather, for much of antiquity, including during the early rabbinic period, the Semitic root d.r.sh referred to teaching—textual or otherwise. Mandel thus overturns the consensus understanding that early uses of the root d.r.sh refer to textual interpretation, and that only later was the root expanded to encompass teaching more generally.

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