Professor Eric Lawee in discussion with Rabba Dr Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz
"I loved him. I couldn’t make headway without him. Of course, I explored other approaches, other commentaries: those of Abrabanel, Sforno, Radak, Or ha-Hayim, Ibn Ezra, but Rashi’s are unique, different, indispensable. He radiates warmth and friendship." -- Elie Wiesel
Like Elie Wiesel, our speakers are great lovers of Rashi. Join them as they discuss the main themes of Professor Eric Lawee's
award-winning study. The book explores the reception history of the most important Jewish Bible commentary ever composed, the Commentary on the Torah of Rashi (Shlomo Yitzhaki; 1040-1105). Though the Commentary has benefited from enormous scholarly attention, analysis of diverse reactions to it has been surprisingly scant. Viewing its path to preeminence through a diverse array of religious, intellectual, literary, and sociocultural lenses, Lawee focuses on processes of the Commentary's canonization and on a hitherto unexamined―and wholly unexpected―feature of its reception: critical, and at times astonishingly harsh, resistance to it. He shows how and why, despite such resistance, Rashi's interpretation of the Torah became an exegetical classic. The book won the 2019 award (in the category of Scholarship) of the Jewish Book Council and has recently been published in paperback.
Professor Eric Lawee is a full professor in the Department of Bible at Bar-Ilan University, where he teaches the history of medieval and early modern Jewish biblical scholarship. He holds the Rabbi Asher Weiser Chair for Medieval Biblical Commentary Research and directs Bar-Ilan's Institute for Jewish Bible Interpretation. He served as Shoshana Shier Distinguished Visiting Professor for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto (2018).
Rabba Dr Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz received her doctorate from University College London, and was ordained at Yeshivat Maharat, New York. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Manchester, and is writing a history of Limmud. She has been a lecturer at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, SOAS, King’s College London, and at Vassar College, New York.
In 2005 Lindsey wrote an article for the Jewish Chronicle to mark Rashi's 900th yahrzeit, titled 'To Rashi with Love', which she still thinks is the best title she's ever come up with.
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