Biblical Scholarship in Late Medieval Ashkenaz: the Turn to Rashi Supercommentary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]. This article provides orientation in the mostly terra incognita that is Ashkenazic biblical exegesis from 1350 through 1500. In particular, it focuses on interpretive activities involving Rashi's Commentary on the Torah. The study moves between the two poles of fluctuating but gener-ally increasing Ashkenazic ambivalence toward Bible study, on one hand, and a growing exegetical engagement with Rashi on the other. This new impulse to supercommentarial activity arose in part from an intensified study of Rashi that accompanied the role assigned to his Commentary in fulfilling the talmudically mandated review of the weekly Torah lectionary. The developments explored here bridge the less formal engagement with the Commentary characteristic of high medieval Franco-German exegesis and the systematic supercommentaries on Rashi that proliferated in early modern times. In the latter period, remarkably, this genre became the dominant form of exegetical expression in central and eastern European seats of Jewish learning.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)265-303
JournalHebrew Union College Annual
StatePublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Biblical Scholarship in Late Medieval Ashkenaz: the Turn to Rashi Supercommentary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this