This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1 (Winter 2005) 163–181
The Rashbam Authorship Controversy Redux
On Sara Japhet’s The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam) on the Book of Job (Hebrew)*
ROBERT A. HARRIS
F O R OV E R A Q UAR T ER C E NT U RY, Sara Japhet has investigated the exegetical works of the northern French rabbinic masters. Her publications have advanced our understanding of the history of their exegesis and have illuminated the development of their version of peshat methodology.1 Japhet has devoted particular attention to the exegesis of arguably the French school’s greatest representative, Rabbi Samuel ben Meir, or Rashbam. Her initial studies were devoted primarily to Rashbam’s commentary on Koheleth,2 which she eventually published together with Robert Salters, while in more recent ventures she focused on Rashbam’s commentary on Job.3 These latter efforts have culminated in the volume herein reviewed, Japhet’s edition of Rashbam’s commentary on Job. Her
*Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 2000. Pp. 487. 1. Sara Japhet, ‘‘Directions in Scholarship and Trends in the Research of Medieval Exegesis in Northern France’’ (Hebrew), Studies in Bible and Talmud, ed. S. Japhet (Jerusalem, 1987), 17–39; Japhet, ‘‘Major Trends in the Study of Medieval Jewish Exegesis in Northern France,’’ Trumah 9 (2000): 43–61. 2. See below, nn. 21–22; additionally, see Japhet’s ‘‘ ‘Goes to the South and Turns to the North’ (Ecclesiastes 1:6): The Sources and History of the Exegetical Traditions,’’ Jewish Studies Quarterly 1.4 (1993/94): 289–322. 3. In addition to the volume under review, and the articles discussed below, see Sara Japhet, ‘‘Tradition and Innovation in the Commentary of Rabbi Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam) on Job: The Hymn to Wisdom (Job 28)’’ (Hebrew), Tehillah Le-Moshe: Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg, ed. M. Cogan, B. Eichler and J. Tigay (Winona Lake, Ind., 1997), 115*-42*. Koheleth and Job were not her exclusive concerns in Rashbam’s exegesis; see, e.g., ‘‘Rashbam’s Commentary on Genesis 22: ‘Peshat’ or ‘Derash’?’’ (Hebrew), The Bible in the Light of Its Interpreters: Sarah Kamin Memorial Volume, ed. S. Japhet (Jerusalem, 1994), 349–66.
The Jewish Quarterly Review (Winter 2005) Copyright ᭧ 2005 Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. All rights reserved.
She offers copious examples of Rashbam’s attention to order and structure. Japhet’s brilliant scholarship is particularly evident in her nearly 350 pages of introduction! A glance at the table of contents reveals the comprehensive nature of the introduction. and to Rashbam’s commentary on Job 40. . G. Japhet has argued powerfully in support of Rashbam’s authorship. I will refer primarily to the English version. as found in other manuscripts (and subsequently in printed editions). Let us ﬁrst direct our attention to the fruit of Japhet’s labor.4 While the commentary is. of course.26ff.’’ Rashi et la culture juive ˆ ge. the centerpiece of the volume. she has devoted chapters to: a description of the character of the commentary. Nahon. will appeal in particular to readers interested in synchronic studies of biblical composition. 163–75. 2752. and Rashbam’s understanding of literary dimensions in Job.164 JQR 95:1 (2005) signal achievement has enabled contemporary readers to open a commentary from the northern French school that had lain dormant for over eight hundred years. and has responded with great erudition to the skepticism of critics who ﬁnd the commentary to be other than pure Rashbam. G.1 (1997): 5–39. For the purposes of this essay. 1997).5 included in this chapter is Japhet’s discussion of the relationship between the Job commentary of Rashbam and the one attributed to R. Nicolas (Parisen France du Nord au moyen a Louvain. Japhet supplements this source through references also to Cazanata MS. ‘‘the commentary attributed to Rashbam’’) itself runs ninety-seven pages and is accompanied by Japhet’s erudite annotations. Japhet had treated this subject in two previous publications. The attribution of this commentary to Rashbam (alone) has been fraught with contention almost since the discovery of the manuscript that underlies this edition. one in Hebrew and one in English. Japhet begins her analysis with a history of the discovery of the commentary. ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam) on the Book of Job. Dahan. Below I will consider the alternative positions staked out by the various parties involved in the debate. Following this. Lutzki MS 778 (hereafter L778). which appears in several manuscripts and in Mikra’ot Gedolot at the end of Rashi’s commentary. Tarbiz 66. The joy attending this publication should not be overshadowed by any measure of scholarly controversy. Yosef Kara. These are: ‘‘The Commentary of Rashbam on Job: On the History of its Discovery’’ (Hebrew). and E. Rashbam’s commentary (or. including its understanding of peshat and its relationship to Rashi’s commentary. ed. theological considerations that emerge from Rashbam’s reading of Job. 4. 5. This chapter. in which Japhet demonstrates how ﬁnely attuned Rashbam was to literary forms and techniques. more neutrally. It is based primarily on a manuscript in the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
literary and philological determinations based on context (pitrono leﬁ ‘inyano). University of London. see Samuel Poznanski. afterwards he recapitulates and elaborates his curse with regard to each of them (i. Japhet explains the sources and method of her edition and tops it off with an apparatus of variant readings and an analysis of the dissertation on L778 by Michael Rosen..6 The commentary itself is a delight. the attentive reader will now understand verses 6–9 as an ampliﬁcation of Job’s curse of the night of his conception. offering many insights into the literary dimensions of the Book of Job. see Japhet. L778 Attributed by Some to R’ Samuel Ben Meir—An Analysis of Its Sources and Consideration of Its Authorship’’ (Ph. Commentary on Ezekiel and the Twelve Minor Prophets by Eliezer of Beaugency (Hebrew. anticipatory information (hakdamah). 1913). The verse begins Job’s initial lament with the resounding cry.’’ Menahem Banitt has contributed a chapter on the Old French glosses contained in the commentary. 328–34. his awareness of this yields additional exegetical insights. An example is Rashbam’s comment on Job 3.3 (p.8 Occasionally. Japhet discusses this dissertation at great length. cliii–cliv. day and night) separately. see Eliezer’s commentary on Is 7. For examples. 1997). 1994). 6. Discerning Parallelism: A Study in Northern French Medieval Jewish Biblical Exegesis.7 Attention to biblical parallelism is a distinctive characteristic of Rashbam’s exegetical works. ‘‘The Hebrew Commentary on Job in Manuscript Jewish Theological Seminary N.e. 157– 64. Warsaw. ed. ‘‘Perish the day on which I was born. I have discussed this terminology in my dissertation. It is likely that Rashbam developed his understanding of this aspect of biblical composition from his consideration of the thirteenth rule of the ‘‘32 Rules for Aggadic Exegesis’’.’’ Rashbam’s astute comment guides the reader to consider verses 4–5 as an elaboration of Job’s imprecation against his birth day in 3. likewise. 7. Rosen.D.2 and Bekhor Shor on Gn 28. See my forthcoming monograph. Eliezer of Beaugency’’ (Jewish Theological Seminary.3. Following a chapter on ‘‘Rashbam’s linguistic theory as reﬂected in his commentary on Job. and other subjects. R.Y. . ‘‘The Literary Hermeneutic of R.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 165 various types of biblical parallelism. ‘A male has been conceived’!’’ Rashbam glosses the words ‘‘and the night that said’’ with the following observation: ‘‘with a brief expression does he curse here the day of his birth and the night of his conception. Michael S. 351).10. To complete the introduction. and the night that said. dissertation. and the commentary to Job abounds in observations about the presence and signiﬁcance of parallelistic structure. 170–96. Eliezer of Beaugency and R. Yosef Bekhor Shor. Japhet discusses this thoroughly on pp. 8. to be published by Brown Judaic Studies. Rashbam on Job. This ‘‘summary-elaboration pattern’’ is characteristic of scriptural composition and was a feature noted both by Rashbam and his disciples.
so that his prayer will be acceptable and heard before Him? And if he calls upon God at all times (will the prayer about) his trouble be answered? Thus it will be the case that his prayer will not be heard nor received.166 JQR 95:1 (2005) The text of Job 27. while not pertaining to parallelism. When trouble comes upon him?! When of Shaddai he seeks favor. in which Rashbam notes the compositional structure of a verse as well as its rhetorical signiﬁcance in a broader literary context. ’im. to the more easily recognizable (and biblically attested) ’im . 12. Rabbinic exegetes had long known the ambiguities of the former (see. is most typical of Rashbam’s oeuvre. The continuation of Rashbam’s comment. ha-. 8: ‘‘For what hope has the impious man when he is cut down. bRosh 3a). . and all crime and wickedness you turn away from your hand. ‘‘When he seeks the favor of Shaddai’’ (Job 27.14. Calls upon God at all times?’’ In the ﬁrst part of the comment..12 9. You will pray to Him and He will listen to you [and you will pay your vows].g. The reference here is back to v. 25.4. is nonetheless a brilliant intertextual insight: Both of these passages are interrogative (µyhwmt wllh twarqm ynç). 40. e. . Rashbam paraphrases much of the biblical language: Will God hear (yishma‘ ’el) his cry: This is interrogative language (˜wçl hwmt): Will9 the Holy One hear the cry of the impious10 when11 trouble comes upon him. . . Rashbam recasts the Bible’s ki with ka’asher. ’im . Rashbam changes the biblical interrogative pattern. and they are predicated (µybswm) upon the very two verses related in the response of Eliphaz above (Job 22.10) is predicated upon ‘‘When you seek the favor of Shaddai’’ (Job 22. then will your prayer be received. 10. as well as the double-duty nature of the verb yishma‘.5–6. 29. Rashbam initially notes the interrogative parallelism present in the structure of the verses. This comment. . and Rashbam moves here to clarify which meaning of ki is intended by the biblical writer.9–10 provides one such example: ‘‘Will his cry God hear.. See Rashbam’s commentary.26–27): ‘‘When you seek the favor of Shaddai [and lift up your face to God]. on Job 6. When God takes away his life?’’ 11. the commentary is replete with many such other exegetical treasures.g.2.26).14).’’ For if you place falsehood far from your tent (see Job 11. when of Shaddai he seeks favor. e.’’ ‘‘Will God hear his cry’’ is predicated upon ‘‘you will pray to Him and He will listen to you. nor will his calling out be effective. 21. 27.
Jerusalem. On the freedom felt by European scribes to add and detract from the books they were copying. Hazzekuni: The Commentary on the Torah of R. Shemaiah and the Text of Rashi’s Biblical Commentary’’ (Hebrew). ‘‘The Nature and Distribution of Medieval Compilatory Commentaries in the Light of Rabbi Joseph Kara’s Commentary on the Book of Job’’ (Hebrew). We will not address here Chavel’s claim to the contrary. 1981).15 Compilatory works ‘‘gather passages from existing 13. see Avraham Grossman. Japhet. Japhet’s attribution of this commentary to Rashbam has been attended by considerable scholarly dissension. see Israel Ta-Shma. While no one has argued that none of the commentary belongs to Rashbam. Leadership and Works (Hebrew.’’ and to what extent ‘‘compilatory’’? A related question is. one would not confuse them with the essentially compilatory commentaries produced mainly in the thirteenth century. it becomes clearer that later exegetes and copyists have inﬂuenced the form in which these works have been preserved. Garsiel. Bar-Asher. For an investigation of early marginalia and the process of scribal additions to the commentary of Rashi.13 Moreover. even while recognizing the inﬂuence of ‘‘other hands’’ in the transmission of the individually authored. 1993). 195–216. 186.Y. 98–130.’’ trans. 84.14 However.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 167 As hinted above.1 (1990): 67–98. N. Cf. . Thought and History. Volume 3: Moshe Goshen-Gottstein— In Memoriam. Dimant. Maori (Ramat Gan. J. the central question in this debate is to what extent this and virtually any other medieval commentaries can be considered ‘‘authorial. 15. certain scholars have suggested that the work includes commentary by more than one exegete. M. ‘‘The Nature and Distribution of Medieval Compilatory Commentaries in the Light of Rabbi Joseph Kara’s Commentary on the Book of Job. 14. Haim Dov Chavel. Studies in Bible and Exegesis. at best. all known manuscript copies of their commentaries are separated from their authors (genuine or putative) by a few generations. Jerusalem. ed. and Y. and frequently even a greater interval intercedes between the exegete and the earliest extant copy of his work. M. Fishbane (Albany.. The latter.. Sara Japhet. there. Early Franco-German Ritual and Custom (Hebrew. as scholarship continues to investigate the nature of the transmission of these commentaries. 1993). Hezekiah Ben Manoah (Hebrew. as Japhet has argued most persuasively. 38. 1994). and Avraham Grossman. and n. ‘‘Marginal Notes and the Addenda of R. M. The Early Sages of France: Their Lives. 12. M. Tarbiz 60. betray distinct characteristics of their own. ed. Jerusalem. ed. northern French peshat commentaries which were originally composed in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries. 1995). Green. how does one adduce evidence to assign any anonymous manuscript commentary to any one of the known exegetes? None of the northern French exegetes is represented by an autograph. The Midrashic Imagination: Jewish Exegesis. D. Indeed.
See Hazzekuni’s introduction.168 JQR 95:1 (2005) works.’’16 Thus. and accepts the attribution of both the Job and the Koheleth commentary (and others) to . See also his previous scholarship on the subject of this commentary: ´ ph Qara’ (Hildesheim. and see the volume under review. 36–48. Goshen-Gottstein (Ramat Gan. Arie Toeg in Memoriam. Le commentaire sur Job de Rabbi Yose ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Joseph Kara on Job and Its Relationship to Rashi’s Commentary’’ (Hebrew). to take but one example. 19. Meir (Rashbam)’’ (Hebrew). 91–111.’’ 111–12. 20. See his essay ‘‘The School of Literal Exegesis in Northern France. 17. to be itself a compilation. 358– 59). it would appear that Elazar Touitou has weighed in on Japhet’s side. Part 2: The Middle Ages.. 213. remove them from their original context. M. Jubilee Volume for Rabbi Mordecai Breuer. There is. 1978). Ahrend believes the commentary contained in L778 (i. ‘‘Nature and Distribution. ed.’’ Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation. Yosef Bekhor Shor and the compilatory effort assembled by R. at what point do any later additions turn an organic. Ahrend’s attribution of this commentary to Kara is accepted by Gershon Brin. I have changed the verb tense in the citation.19 On the other hand.17 The crucial question is. the very work published by Japhet as the commentary on Job by Rashbam). in addition. 2000). Hazzekuni. and reassemble them around another subject. Moshe Ahrend. thus creating a new text. For additional reﬂections of Japhet on this work. Moshe Ahrend published what he claimed to be the commentary of R. See also the Hebrew article. 59. it is easy to distinguish between the idiosyncratic nature of the Torah commentary of R. Japhet.’’ 98. Studies in Bible and Exegesis. Joseph Kara (Hebrew. ‘‘Nature and Distribution. 1980). the dissertation by Rosen. Volume 1: From the Beginnings to the Middle Ages (Until 1300). M. 321–71 (esp. On the other hand. Grossman joins Ahrend in doubting the authenticity of the attribution to Rashbam. Saebo (Gottingen. for clarity. Bar-Asher (Jerusalem. whereas the latter freely admits his indebtedness to many previous authors and his intention to present their interpretations as a kind of running exegetical anthology. Tel Aviv. U. 183–208. ed. see his Studies in the Exegesis of R.’’ 98–130.20 The fact that I do not consider 16. 1990). 17–18. 1988). which is entirely dedicated to the proposition that Rashbam is not the author of L778.e. 18. ed. Rabbi Joseph Kara’s Commentary on Job (Hebrew. 1992). essentially single-authored work into a compilatory composition? To note that this is a gray area is to understate the case! Thus. ‘‘Nature and Distribution. Hezekiah ben Manoah (Hazzekuni): the former demonstrates a variety of identifying characteristics of an individually authored commentary. The passage is translated into English in Japhet. see her ‘‘The Commentary of Hazzekuni on the Torah: The Nature of the Composition and Its Purpose’’ (Hebrew). Jerusalem. Simon and M. ‘‘The Alleged Commentary on Job by Samuel B. Alei Sefer 5 (1978): 25–48. Japhet. Chavel. Yosef Kara on Job:18 Sara Japhet considered this work to be compilatory. Moshe Ahrend. of course. Moshe Ahrend.
S. The Commentary of R. ‘‘The Commentary to Ecclesiastes Attributed to R. 13–16. Japhet. Japhet published this Koheleth manuscript and attributed it to Rashbam. see Yaakov Thompson. dissertation.3–4 (1979): 243–46. 518–71 (but esp. Jewish Theological Seminary. It is Japhet’s intention to publish Rashbam’s commentary on Song of Songs. April 2003). utilizing all available manuscript evidence (private communication. the task of attributing manuscript commentaries is manifestly difﬁcult and fraught with controversy.g. 16.21 The publication was preceded by an extended dispute between her and Avraham Grossman regarding the substance of her claim. Sara Japhet and Robert Salters. The Bible in the Light of Its Interpreters: Sarah Kamin Memorial Volume. In the case of the Job commentary contained in L778.23 Moreover. uniﬁed work—merely carries this dispute to a new generation of scholars. 7. 25. and Barry Walﬁsh. Avraham Grossman. Rashbam on Job. including the Seminary library’s ﬁne manuscript cataloguer. Tarbiz 47.’’ 26. 541). Samuel Ben Meir’’ (Hebrew). ‘‘An Annotated Bibliography of Medieval Jewish Commentaries on the Song of Songs’’ (Hebrew).1–4 (1974): 72–94.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 169 these two works to be comparable in character at all—the commentary attributed to Kara is manifestly a compilatory work. See Elazar Touitou. 9. 22.22 Moreover.L. 223–25. Tarbiz 44. ed. On this. 23. ‘‘The Commentary of Samuel Ben Meir on the Song of Songs’’ (D. 12–13.. together with Robert Salters. ‘‘The Commentary of R.3–4 (1976): 336–40. See. 27. Morris Lutzki. these twentieth-century academic debates were themselves preceded by Wissenschaft-era scholarly disputes. the work as a whole may be essentially attributed to Rashbam. Jerusalem and Leiden.24 In short. e.H. in my estimation. Tarbiz 45. See also Ahrend. Samuel Ben Meir to Ecclesiastes’’ (Hebrew). whereas the commentary published by Japhet is far closer to an organic. Japhet’s earlier presentation of the evidence and her subsequent treatment: Sara Japhet. In 1985. . n. Rashbam on Job. 21. ‘‘The Commentary of R. See Japhet. 23–24. 1994). Ramat Gan. Samuel Ben Meir (Rashbam) on Qoheleth (Hebrew and English. In this she follows a number of previous scholars. 24. Cf. see below). 1988). ‘‘The Alleged Commentary on Job. Samuel Ben Meir to Ecclesiastes’’ (Hebrew). First. 1985). The present dispute seems to recapitulate an earlier controversy regarding the feasibility of attributing a certain manuscript commentary on Koheleth to Rashbam. 41. Exegesis in Perpetual Motion: Studies in the Pentateuchal Commentary of Rabbi Samuel Ben Meir (Hebrew. it seems likely that the same types of argument that have attended Japhet’s conclusions regarding the commentaries on Koheleth and Job will be rehearsed concerning the authorship of a Song of Songs commentary attributed to Rashbam. nn. Japhet (Jerusalem. Japhet argues that while several interpretations seem to have been added by a later hand (on this. 2003). nn. Japhet Rashbam.25 Several considerations inform her conclusion.
who was librarian at the time the Seminary acquired the manuscript. Rashbam on Job. 1977). . 26. This is not a point to be underestimated: In addition to the virtual identity of L778 with the end of the printed editions of Rashi’s commentary (long known to be Rashbam) and Cazanata MS. 28. 27. Japhet points to the glosses’ likely origin in Rashbam’s own time and provenance. 2–6. See the references in Japhet. She deduces ﬁrst that a single author has produced essentially the entire commentary: The commentary is a uniﬁed and coherent work. 167. .170 JQR 95:1 (2005) observes that L778 contains all of the material previously known as emanating from Rashbam’s commentary on Job. and ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’ (1997). Alexander Marx. relying on the learned study of the manuscript’s Old French glosses by Menahem Banitt (long regarded as the preeminent scholar in the ﬁeld of Old French contained in rabbinic manuscripts). wrote: ‘‘Besides Rashi’s work the MS includes . a consistent style. although the orthography tends to be rather conservative. all found in L778. and—in view of some speciﬁc phenomena—the dialect should be identiﬁed as Norman. It reﬂects a linguistic stratum that is prior to the end of the twelfth century. 2752. see the chapter contributed by Banitt in the volume under review. 165. ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’ (1997). Japhet considers the strongest evidence for attributing the commentary to Rashbam to be the nature of the work itself. the language reﬂected in the French glosses is a uniﬁed dialect in terms of time and place. the hitherto lost commentary on Job by the greatest Northern-French exegete Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’. a series of internal references .28 However. Rashbam on Job. 4. For a more complete assessment.27 Second. see Alexander Marx. 163–64. 293–94 and Japhet. stating: According to Banitt. H. 277–92. n. It demonstrates a uniform terminology. Schmelzer (New York. See above. M. nn. . the evidence of the manuscript tradition and from the Old French glosses is but a prelude to a more comprehensive argument. 21–22. and a consistent exegetical method which dictates the structure and tech20. Japhet. its cohesiveness expressed in every aspect of the composition. . ed. ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’ (1997). Japhet. 186. . Bibliographical Studies and Notes on Rare Books and Manuscripts in the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.26 there are a number of quotations from Rashbam’s Job commentary in medieval compilatory commentaries on Job and such medieval works as ‘Arugat ha-bosem.
the treatment of language and grammatical issues. 81. and its singular devotion to peshat methodology to the virtual exclusion of any rabbinic midrashic explanation. 30. Japhet includes the following as examples of this type: 24. These features are also characteristic of the exegesis of R. Examples of this type of marginalia may be found in the commentary at 1. many of these notes engage the commentary in a kind of polemical discourse. there are longer comments Japhet terms ‘‘exegetical. and 41. 33. its recognition of parallelism as the principal marker of biblical poetry and its use of a speciﬁc exegetical terminology to describe it. but are not limited to.15. these are introduced by catch phrases such as ‘‘but one should explain . ‘‘corrective’’ notes of various types (including scribal emendations). Japhet. 29. 32.9.30 These arguments notwithstanding.18. ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’ (1997). 168–69. 41. apparently preferred by the scribe over the explanations offered by Rashbam. Japhet reproduces the full marginal continuation of the writer’s objection to Rashbam’s comment (on 9.33 In the main. see Japhet.32 In addition. Japhet elaborates at great length on all these points in her introduction to the volume under review. some may actually begin in the commentary itself and ‘‘continue. 170. In all exegetical matters. 26. noting the characteristics which are distinctive of other examples of Rashbam’s oeuvre—and of almost no other representative of the northern French school of biblical exegesis. Japhet. These include. these indicate competing interpretations.126.96.36.199 (˜ak d[ ytqdx µa rçam rqy[ harn wnya). there are brief. 15.5. . see the addition to the commentary at 9.14–18) at the end of the commentary on chapter 9. 18).’’ (çrpl çyw) or ‘‘but one should say . 171–74. ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’ (1997). its contents are homogeneous as well. its consideration of Rashi’s commentary as the sole competing exegetical work. Japhet indicates two types of supplementary material found in the margins of the manuscript. 49–276. 365–66. 3. This evidence may be found both in marginalia and in the body of the work. Examples of this type may be found in the commentary at 12.’’ as it were. . For an example of a comment that has worked its way into the commentary. also 36. Japhet recognizes that the manuscript underlying her edition does contain some evidence of voices other than that of Rashbam. 32.29 Japhet goes on to elaborate the distinctive features of the Job commentary that are indicative of Rashbam’s authorship. .31 Second. First.’’ Indeed. n. . 31.16. See Japhet. in the margins. 29. ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir’’ (1997). Additionally. she recognizes that there are comments by later hands that have worked their way into the body of the work. 41. Rashbam on Job.7. Of course. Eliezer of Beaugency. Rashbam on Job.’’ (rmwl çyw).5.18. . n. Japhet. 305–7.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 171 niques of the work. See 296–98 (and 297.
.34 The verse reads: aby-la µyjry rpsmb hnç ymyb djy-la lpa whjqy awhh hlylh It is reasonably translated by the King James Version as ‘‘As for that night. let darkness seize upon it. See 40–41. Let us consider what might be one of the more problematic attributions. contradict the essential picture she has painted. ataf. but this was not understood by Rashbam or the other medieval exegetes. the meaning of which. 40. Rashbam may be referring either to: ‘‘. It is parallel to [the second stich of the verse]: in the number of the months let it not come. ad (d]jæyI) as do many if not most commentators today. . in fact.g. which renders the Hebrew words in question. in my estimation. And thus is the rule with regard to the begadkefat letters37 when they come at the end of a word.172 JQR 95:1 (2005) One may argue here and there with some of Japhet’s conclusions. 1:203–4. The commentary provides two explanations for the phrase: Let it not be joined (al-yih . T.’’35 The exegete turns his attention to the Hebrew phrase ‘‘let it not be joined’’ (al-yih .38) [whose root 34. at any rate. but doing so would not. may appear to be ambigu36 ous. 35. ad (djæy´) for MT yih . Contrast RSV. Muraoka.27). [Let it not] rejoice (yih .6 as emanating entirely from Rashbam’s hand. al-yih . trans. 1991).27).10). let it not come into the number of the months.1) or ‘‘[Then Ishmael] took captive [all the rest of the people]’’ (Jer 41. See Paul Jou ¨ on.41 and he cried (e. ad): From the verb h .1 (Rome. and not ‘‘entice. . let it not be joined (al-yih . has my heart been] (Job 31. 41. 36. The KJV translators apparently read yeh . The so-called l’’h verbs are. this is a strange citation. 39. 38.’’ 45–46. The so-called spirantes. ad) unto the days of the year. Japhet goes to great lengths to defend the comment on Job 3. -d-h. and took some of them captive’’ (Nm 21. Cf. ‘‘The Alleged Commentary on Job.39 It is likewise the case of then he took captive. Ahrend. At ﬁrst blush.40 whose root letters are sh-b-h. ad). as ‘‘let it not rejoice. it has been enticed [in secret. ad): Let it not be conjoined among them (yhy la µhynyb djwym). ad. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. (meaning ‘‘rejoice’’).’’ Menahem ibn Saruk had already clariﬁed the distinction. May God enlarge Japheth [whose root letters are p-t-h] (Gn 9.’’ 37. Subsidia Biblica 14. Gn 27. as Rashbam was surely aware that the root p-t-h [p-t-y] means ‘‘enlarge’’ in this context. at ﬁrst blush. The writer calls this vowel a h . originally l’’y verbs. in the form of a l’’h verb38 that receives a dagesh and that is vocalized with a sheva. see Herschell Filipow- .
ataf. 45. 2001). So. and so cannot be vocalized with a sheva. em (London and Edinburgh. See n. However. ed. 34. there can be no doubt that the two etymologies are mutually exclusive. New Translation and Special Studies (New York.’’ . in fact. it is interpreted (as it should be) as properly belonging to the root y-h . 87–89. and that it represents in the main Rashbam’s long-lost commentary on the Book of Job.42 whose root letters are r-d-h. . 1957). h . 44. First. 46.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 173 letters are b-k-h]. Greenstein (private communication.’’ as it is parallel to the word ‘‘come’’ in the following expression (let it not come into the number of the months). -d-y (traditionally: h -d-h ). Consider the parallel in Gn 49. -d. see also N. Rashbam may be referring to Ps 72. 54–56. a deliberate technique of the author to indicate two meanings simultaneously. Edward L. one rules [from Jacob] (Nm 24. 42. which yields another interpretation entirely: ‘‘may it not rejoice. Alternatively. it seems preferable to see the compound interpretation offered by the commentary in L778 as two comments of separate origin. 1854). This conclusion is conﬁrmed by my teacher.19).8: ‘‘Let him rule from sea to sea.43 The comment appears to contradict itself.47 Reski. 20. by assigning two different roots to the MT y-h . too. this example seems but a quibble when seen in the context of Japhet’s broader argument.’’ 43. Robert Gordis. at least one modern interpreter takes a similar tack: Robert Gordis sees an instance of talh . Japhet has marshalled considerable evidence to support her claim that the commentary found in the manuscript is essentially a single composition. Once again.. it is the case with [let it not] rejoice (sic!). see Jou ¨ on. -d-h. August 13. that is. The Book of Job: Commentary.44 In the continuation of the comment the verb is interpreted (according to its MT vocalization?) as belonging to h . -d. Persuasive as her evidence may be.45 However. while it is in the realm of possibility to see a double entendre here. et cannot be vocalized with a sheva. The Book of Job: A New Commentary (Jerusalem. 1978). the rule still holds: the verb tpyw does derive. Japhet prefers to understand this as Rashbam’s way of expressing awareness of two meanings from one root. However. [the letter] h . In other words. I have already noted the objections of Moshe Ahrend and others. whose root letters are h . Tur-Sinai. from the root p-t-h [p-t-y].6 (and Ibn Ezra’s comment there). H. beret Menah . A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Therefore. in here. ‘‘be joined with. Indeed.46 Still. Mah . 147. it has not convinced all parties. the writer refers to this vowel as a h . 47. above. on account of the difﬁculty in its reading. et is a guttural letter.
Rabbi Samuel Ben Meir’s Commentary on Genesis: An Annotated Translation.52 Lockshin observes that ‘‘four main arguments have been used to dis48. ‘‘Rashbam as a ‘Literary’ Exegete. 51. Rashbam’s Commentary on Exodus: An Annotated Translation (Atlanta. His translations of Rashbam’s commentary on the Torah (and his accompanying notes that amount to a long-sought second supercommentary) have made him one of the world’s leading experts on the subject. but doubts remain. ed.’’ Jewish Studies Quarterly 8 (2001): 80–104. let us consider his challenge to Japhet’s conclusions in some detail. Lockshin.49 Lockshin acknowledges at the outset the difﬁculties attending the effort to assign an anonymous commentary to some known commentator.’’50 Thus. 1997). R. idem.’’ 81. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. 2001). when considering Japhet’s objections to evidence suggesting contradictions between Rashbam’s Torah commentary and the Job commentary: ‘‘If one dismisses the counter-evidence from texts that do not conform with Rashbam. Lockshin makes frequent reference to Michael Rosen’s dissertation. ‘‘The Hebrew Commentary on Job in Manuscript Jewish Theological Seminary N. 1989)..’’ 82).’’ 49. then the evidence from comments in L778 that do conform with Rashbam’s exegesis is also of little value. Jewish Studies 5 (Lewiston. D. ‘‘In its discussion of grammatical issues. Lockshin prefers not to rely on the grammatical evidence.48 Since his is the most recent contrary examination of the evidence. 2003). particularly with regard to exegetes of the northern French school: ‘‘When dealing with peshat exegetes it is sometimes difﬁcult to prove a connection between two works. Lockshin.. In this review article. He writes (‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration.’’ . N.. L778. even when certain comments in L778 mirror interpretations offered in Rashbam’s Torah commentary. Lockshin inclines toward discounting that type of evidence in determining authorship of the Job commentary. Ga.’’ 52. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. (Oxford. See also his recent publication. Rashbam’s Commentary on Leviticus and Numbers: An Annotated Translation (Providence.Y.51 Similarly.Y. Martin Lockshin has presented a comprehensive argument against the attribution of this commentary to Rashbam.’’ 97.’’ Lockshin evidently ﬁnds Rosen’s questioning of the evidence more compelling: ‘‘Rosen shows that the grammatical terminology used by AL778 [‘‘ סthe author of L778’’] is not consistently the same as Rashbam’s standard grammatical terminology. Lockshin.’’ With Reverence for the Word: Medieval Scriptural Exegesis in Judaism. Christianity and Islam. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. after all.. if one considers L778 to be compilatory. See Martin I. McAuliffe et al. ed. 50. since in his estimation it is not conclusive. L778 looks very much likes Rashbam’s work. J. then its author just as easily could be citing Rashbam’s ‘‘lost’’ Job commentary.I. Lockshin has devoted a considerable part of his career to shedding light on the nature of Rashbam’s exegesis.174 JQR 95:1 (2005) cently. It ultimately fails the falsiﬁability test. makes an additional point as well.
Kara’s. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. The ‘‘argument from citations’’ has been the chief point of departure among scholars who have discussed the problem. since they can legitimately be adduced as evidence in favor of two opposing conclusions. principally composed of Rashi’s.’’ it is the heart of his consideration of the matter. indeed. Lockshin faithfully represents Japhet’s response to Rosen’s objections. the sum total of these arguments suggests strongly that citations by other contemporaneous scholars can rarely prove a commentary to be Rashbam’s or Rashi’s or anyone else’s. he echoes Rosen in considering that it is of greater signiﬁcance that many sources contain attributions of Rashbam’s interpretations of verses in Job that are not found in L778. see Japhet. and the ‘‘Kara commentary’’ is the compilation. Lockshin. Japhet. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. Lockshin observes that Rosen’s dissertation was completed around the same time that Japhet’s articles—in which she opposed Ahrend’s attribution of the commentary he published . Rosen considers L778 to be a compilation.56 and concludes that ‘‘every one of the individual points that Japhet makes is reasonable .RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 175 cuss the identity of AL778 [‘‘סthe author of L778’’]. of course. However.’’ 87. additionally. (2) the argument that L778 may be subjected to documentary analysis and that the ‘‘author’’ was actually a redactor. and 23–36 in general. Lockshin.’’ 85.54 Lockshin acknowledges that ‘‘Japhet shows very well that many of the citations of Rashbam’s Job commentary in medieval manuscripts and books may be found in L778. These center on the unreliability of many medieval citations and the need. 23–24 in particular. In the present case. 58.’’ 83. authored by Kara. Lockshin would ultimately discount the consideration of medieval citations in attributing authorship. in adducing evidence from them. Rashbam on Job.’’55 However. Lockshin agrees that Rosen’s explanation of the relationship between these two commentaries rests on ‘‘very thin ice. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. (3) the argument from material in L778 that is inappropriate to Rashbam. to consider a great number of mitigating factors. and (4) the argument from the ‘‘silences’’ of L778. . Lockshin. 57. 55. . namely. Indeed. that different scholars approach one and the same commentary as compilatory or individually authored. thinks precisely the opposite: Rashbam on Job is accurately ascribed.’’58 53.’’57 Thus.’’ 83 56. Lockshin. 54. for Ahrend. The second argument observed by Lockshin is essentially the same as the one we have identiﬁed above. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. ‘‘The Alleged Commentary on Job. Rosen is of the opinion that the edition of ‘‘Kara’s commentary on Job’’ published by Ahrend was.’’53 These are: (1) the argument from citations of Rashbam’s Job commentary outside of L778. and Rashbam’s (lost) commentaries on Job.
cites the earlier published versions of Touitou’s articles. 60. Yosef Kara—appeared. See Lockshin. As Lockshin himself indicates. as opposed to biblical Hebrew (‘‘to tremble’’ or ‘‘to be agitated’’).’’ 88–103.26 the commentary in L778 would appear to understand the word zgr according to its meaning in rabbinic Hebrew (‘‘to become angry’’). 28. Now. this type of proof is conclusive: ‘‘When AL778 paraphrases zgr abyw as zgr ytalmtn he is showing that he does not distinguish the meanings of zgr in biblical and rabbinic Hebrew. Touitou) have advanced our understanding of the state of the textus receptus of all of the northern French commentaries.’’ 87. and regarding what he terms the ‘‘silences’’ of L778. Lockshin acknowledges that Japhet (and.’’63 to R. In my forthcoming Discerning Parallelism. n. 31. n. I consider additional evidence of this phenomenon.176 JQR 95:1 (2005) In any event.24) Rashbam clearly differentiates between these two different layers of meaning. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. We will return to this point below. In other words. n. and were copied from those by scribes into Rashi’s works. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. some of the discussion in these pages emanates from Rosen’s dissertation (see. 89.61 He cites interpretations from the commentary that appear to contradict what would otherwise be expected of Rashbam. 88. 61. Exegesis in Perpetual Motion. 37–38). 59. at Job 3. see Touitou. 29. in fact. nn. Lockshin. Since elsewhere (in his commentary on Gn 45. Lockshin makes his most important contributions to the discussion in his presentation of evidence regarding the ‘‘unexpected elements in L778’’ that he considers to be ‘‘inappropriate’’ when considering the possibility of Rashbam’s authorship of that work. the product of composite authorship. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration.59 Both Touitou and Japhet suggest that in many cases. For Lockshin.g. e. 62. all acknowledge that both medieval compositions have made generous use of Rashi’s Job commentary. he is demonstrating that he is not Rashbam. See the bibliography cited by Lockshin on 88.’’ 89. At Gn 45.24 Rashbam prefers there the explanation that Joseph instructed his brothers not to ‘‘(be agitated by) fear’’ while they journeyed back to Canaan.. earlier. . in that it enables us to consider the extent to which even such well-known medieval commentaries as Rashi’s are. Indeed. Lockshin.60 This point is signiﬁcant. For example.62 the explanation of Job 3. and therefore Rosen ought not be blamed for accepting that attribution.26 would appear to cast doubt on Rashbam’s authorship of the commentary on that verse. interpretations that appear in various manuscript versions of Rashi’s biblical commentaries in fact originated in Rashbam’s commentaries. 63.
. often writes in rabbinic Hebrew.e.26: ‘‘In their piety the early scholars devoted all their time (twfnl wqs[tn) to the midrashic explanations. Rashi]. there is no question that the phrase zgwr ytalmtn is written in rabbinic Hebrew—the nitpa‘el verb if nothing else attests to that. again employing verbs in the nitpa‘el conjugation as he does in the commentary on Job 3. and who wrote commentaries on the Torah.24–26 conclude Job’s initial complaint and state that even before God brought calamity upon him.2. in his celebrated methodological comment on Gn 37. who illumined the eyes of all those in exile. the biblical writer changes forms and uses a preﬁxed verb with a vav-consecutive (zgr abyw). . Thus. as a result. the main teachings of the Torah. argued with him (privately) and before him (in the study hall) (wynplw wm[ ytjkwwtn). they were unaccustomed (wlgrwh al) with the deeper aspects of the text’s contextual meaning (arqm lç wfwçp qmw[).’’ . in this particular case of Job 3. . our Master. is not focused on the noun zgwr per se but rather on the verbal phrase zgr abyw. also set himself the task of elucidating the contextual meaning of Scripture. It seems apparent that the exegete. of course. my mother’s father [i. Now. It is only that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with understanding the comment zgwr ytalmtnw as meaning ‘‘I was ﬁlled with agitation’’ or ‘‘I was ﬁlled with dread. and Rashi’s methodology—yet writes in rabbinic Hebrew. Job had no repose. And I. Let us look more closely at this example.26 Lockshin may be overstating the evidence.’’ Rashbam. Moreover. Rashbam contrasts his approach to rabbinic derash.64 64. he glosses the biblical verb abyw as the rabbinic sufﬁxed-form verb ytalmtn and retains the biblical noun zgwr in his comment. which contain. . in looking to understand that phrase in a fashion analogous to the ﬁrst three verbs.’’ On this verse. on account of his fear that bad times would come. Prophets and the Writings. Job 3. nor was I at peace. Following these verbs.26 contains three sufﬁxed-form verbs in the ﬁrst person. Rabbi Solomon. even as he espouses a rigorously peshat-oriented strategy of interpretation. all relating Job’s experience of the lack of tranquility even in his former life (I was [not] at ease/I was [not] at peace/I was [not] at rest סytjn/ytfqç/ytwlç [al]). Indeed.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 177 While some of his examples present a more serious challenge to the notion of Rashbam’s authorship than others. Job states: ‘‘I was not at ease. and I was ﬁlled with rogez (zgwr) for the inﬂammation with which I was afﬂicted. whoever he be. . Moreover there came and arrived afﬂiction after afﬂiction. L778 gives the following comment: I was not at ease on account of the fear that I feared (see 3. speaking about the ‘‘good times’’ described in 1. and then came rogez (zgwr). nor was I at rest. But. . Job 3.25).1–3. indeed. Samuel .
However. Japhet has already yielded that point in principle. if Rashi’s commentaries on the Prophets and Writings do not look the same as his commentaries on the Torah.’’ 92. Were we to consider for a moment the distinct differences between Rashi’s Torah commentary. See Japhet. and the ‘‘lack of vituperative and self-aggrandizing language. Lockshin.’’ 97. In addressing the issue of comments beginning ‘‘but one should say/but one should interpret’’ (çrpl çyw/rmwl çyw). Lockshin has amassed some impressive evidence indicating at least some degree of composite authorship in the commentary in L778. as we 65. with its profound reliance on rabbinic midrash. too. Let us consider one ﬁnal example. 68. Rashbam on Job. but that she draws different conclusions from the evidence. See Lockshin. However. here. 66. These include the lack of self-referential texts in the Job commentary. be incorrect. or whether it will come to be seen as the sine qua non of virtually any attribution of authorship concerning medieval commentaries. 305–7.178 JQR 95:1 (2005) Lockshin observes several general features of the commentary in L778 that do not conform to what we know about Rashbam’s exegesis from his undisputed Torah commentary. The argument centers on the degree to which such composite composition constitutes compilation. nor do I have any vested interest in defending the authorship of Rashbam for every comment in L778 (a position neither Lockshin nor Japhet maintains). ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. Even in the Torah commentary a number of passages are most reasonably seen as interpolations. indeed. one should not necessarily expect that Rashbam on Job (or Koheleth) would look the same as Rashbam on the Torah. 67. of course.66 Lockshin argues that a similar conclusion obtains with Rashbam’s Torah commentary: ‘‘My research leads me to believe that Japhet is right about this issue and the argument might be made even more forcefully. what Lockshin considers an irreverent or ‘‘impersonal’’ attitude toward Rashi. he acknowledges that Japhet is aware of these features. both Japhet and Lockshin acknowledge them as interpolations into the text of L778.’’65 One cannot help but recognize the salient differences between Rashbam’s Torah commentary and the Job commentary in L778 that Lockshin points out. Lockshin. one must be careful not to rush to judgment.’’67 Later. . ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. Thus.’’ 98–103. on the one hand. ‘‘ ‘Rashbam’ on Job: A Reconsideration. It is not my purpose to reexamine every point of Lockshin’s (or Rosen’s) argument. and Lockshin.’’ 92. and his commentaries on the Prophets and Writings that hardly feature midrash at all. we might appeal to those differences to argue for different authorship! Our conclusion would.68 he writes: ‘‘if. on the other.
the value of this (medieval) composition ought not be determined according to . then the weight of ‘inappropriate’ passages . the Job commentary attributed to R. and interpolations) done by the scribes. For example. and. as Japhet herself concludes. and about the nature of the transmission of the exegetical tradition. 71. . perhaps even in their earliest stages. .71 69. AL778 could still be Rashbam and passages such as these . also in mine). 334): ‘‘it seems to me that the question of the writer’s identity has received. L778 is among the elite of surviving manuscripts. Japhet. and more than possible’’! My point is that what is good for the goose is good for the gander: as scholars understand more and more about the state of the manuscript tradition for all of the northern French medieval biblical commentaries. . She writes in conclusion to the Job commentary (p. but it seems clear to me that. It is clear that certain manuscripts present more authentically authorial voices than others. . . However. putative or actual. then whether one is speaking about the authorship of Rashi’s Torah commentary or of Rashbam’s Job commentary.69 By all accounts. is lessened. through the preparation of early µysrfnwq both by the exegetes themselves as well as by their students. Japhet has brought the reader as close to Rashbam’s original work as current scholarly means can enable. unlabeled interpolations.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 179 have seen.’’ 42. 70. emendations. in that it represents an apparently faithful rendering of the work being copied (few scribal corrections being present) and was produced relatively close to the time of the original author. and ‘‘The Commentary of Rabbi Samuel ben Meir. but not impossible.’’ 165. also appears to acknowledge the pedigree of the manuscript even as he disputes its attribution to Rashbam. no amount of discussion regarding the author. Rashbam on Job. Ahrend. 294. as complex transmissions underlie all of the northern French commentaries. Moreover. of L778 should blind the scholarly community to the importance of the commentary on Job contained in it.70 In carefully editing this manuscript and comparing it with all other known exempla. both in Rosen’s and Ahrend’s studies (and. to the various stages of transmission (including faithful copying. . commentaries of Rashbam have been tampered with. ‘‘The Alleged Commentary on Job. one needs to acknowledge the complex process that has led from the earliest teaching of these scholars in their respective academies. Yosef Kara and published by Moshe Ahrend is almost certainly more eclectic than the commentary Japhet considers to be an authentic composition by Rashbam. too much attention . ﬁnally.’’ One might just as well say ‘‘not unlikely. at a certain point further speculations about authorial voice yield fewer ﬁrm dividends. This seems unlikely. Other scholars may disagree to some degree or another with Japhet’s conclusions. as a result.
to this may be added Avraham Shoshana’s volume containing Rashi’s commentary as well as two other northern French exegetical works. Yosef Bekhor Shor were printed only in Wissenschaft-era publications. Meir (Rashbam). R.. visitors to his bedside recite the prayer. Joseph Bekhor Shor—survive in a precious few manuscripts that were hardly consulted until the Wissenschaft period. Avraham Shoshana. Moshe Ahrend published the commentary attributed to R. ed. ed. Additionally. Until quite recently (see the following footnote). Rashbam’s Torah commentary was ﬁrst published in Berlin. particularly Rashbam’s.73 Recent scholarship has seen the publication of many northern French rabbinic commentaries on the book of Job. Rabbenu Jacob b. As is all too well known. she is repeating what she had written earlier about the disputed attribution of the Koheleth commentary. 73. with a few exceptions. whose commentaries have been preserved in hundreds of manuscripts and printed editions and have received the greatest amount of scholarly attention over the generations. A Commentary on the Book of Job: From . Yosef Kara. 1881). Indeed. the commentary was reedited and published by David Rosin (Breslau. it is to be hoped that much of this scholarship will be included in that edition. 1705. (Ramat Gan. R. This is an important work on its own merits’’ (author’s translation). the ravages of the Middle Ages were not kind to much of the scholarly achievement of the great northern French biblical exegetes. R. Yosef Kara’s commentary on Prophets was ﬁrst published in the Lublin edition. Meir Tam.’’ The publication of Sara Japhet’s edition of Rashbam’s commentary on Job is an appropriate occasion for lovers of Bible and medieval exegesis to recite this prayer. Joseph Kara. see Japhet and Salters. and R. the eclectic work edited by Wright should be included in this list. . Samuel b. 1897–99. 74.180 JQR 95:1 (2005) In bBer 54b. 9 volumes to date. 2000). ‘‘Praise the merciful One who gave you to us and did not give you to the dust. even though it needs to be republished with more careful attention paid to the manuscript readings: William Aldis Wright. Mikra’ot Gedolot ‘Haketer’: A Revised and Augmented Scientiﬁc Edition of ’Mikraot Gedolot’ Based on the Aleppo Codex and Early Medieval MSS [Hebrew]. . Eliezer of Beaugency and R. Eliezer of Beaugency. 28. Other than Rashi. and a Disciple of Rashi (Hebrew. 72. the exegetical works of the other outstanding representatives of the northern French school—R.74 The present volume its attribution to any speciﬁc author .72 it is only with the recent publication of the Bar Ilan Mikra’ot Gedolot ‘‘Haketer’’ that the works of these great commentators have ‘‘made it onto the page’’ of a rabbinic Bible. Jerusalem. While the Mikra’ot Gedolot ‘‘Haketer’’ on Job has not yet been released. Various later editions of rabbinic Bibles incorporated these commentaries. the commentaries of R. The Commentary of Rashbam on Koheleth. 1992–2003). The Book of Job with the Commentaries of Rashi. when Rav Yehudah recovers following a near-death experience. As Japhet herself acknowledges. Menachem Cohen.
B. Cambridge (Hebrew and English. can to afford to ignore the fruits of her research. Walﬁsh (Haifa. 129. 1993). Cf. 75. ‘‘Rabbeinu Tam’s ‘Lost’ Commentary on Job. 71. 21–265) and then the ‘‘variant version’’ (pp. Following a brief introduction. consult the excellent bibliographic essay by Benjamin Richler. Accompanying each of these versions is a textual apparatus that fully engages the manuscript tradition. With regard to the manuscript tradition of these different commentaries. and a comprehensive discourse presented in the form of a supercommentary. Volume One: Hosea. 1989). Commentary Eines Anonymous zu Buche Hiob (Hebrew and German. 1911). ‘‘The Nature and Distribution of Medieval Compilatory Commentaries’’ (English). 1905). Simon presents sequentially ﬁrst the ‘‘traditional version’’ of Ibn Ezra’s commentary (pp. 269–313). ed. on this publication. Frankfurt. Amos (Hebrew. Joel. and no scholarly inquiry.’’ Frank Talmage Memorial Volume 1. . 191–202.75 Sara Japhet has placed in our hands a wonderful commentary. see Japhet. ed.RASHBAM AUTHORSHIP CONTROVERSY REDUX—HARRIS 181 should be considered a capstone to these previous efforts. n. either of the book of Job or of the history of its exegesis. London. See also Abraham Sulzbach. Uriel Simon chose a different method to reach a similarly high benchmark. a Hebrew Manuscript in the University Library. and others. Future publications of medieval commentaries will need to look to the standards set in this edition. Ramat Gan.. his Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Two Commentaries on the Minor Prophets: An Annotated Critical Edition.