Exegesis, homily, and historical reflection in the Arabic commentary on lamentations by Salmon ben Yeruh&dotbelow;im, tenth-century Karaite of Jerusalem /

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Author / Creator:Andruss, Jessica Hope, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (376 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/10773403
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: James T. Robinson Committee members: Michael Fishbane; Meira Polliack; Tahera Qutbuddin.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-05(E), Section: A.
Summary:The expansion of Islam, which brought the majority of the world's Jews into contact with the Arabic and Islamic cultural spheres, transformed medieval Jewish culture and religion. Jews adopted and contributed to the development of Arabic literature, shifting away from the thematic and formal elements of the rabbinic tradition. It was within this milieu that the first Jewish commentaries on the Bible emerged. The leaders in this dynamic cultural reorientation were the Karaites, a Jewish movement that coalesced around the principles of biblical scholarship, asceticism, and eschatology. Intent on hastening the redemption, the Karaites established a spiritual center in Jerusalem at the end of the ninth century C.E. There, they undertook a rigorous program of asceticism and devoted themselves to studying the Bible. The Jerusalem Karaites, known as the "Mourners for Zion," considered the biblical book of Lamentations to be an important source of pious and ritual instruction for their community.
The earliest Karaite commentary on Lamentations was written in Arabic, in tenth-century Jerusalem, by Salmon ben Yeruh&dotbelow;im. In this dissertation, I treat Salmon in his historical and cultural context in order to explore his innovative work at the crossroads of rabbinic hermeneutics, Arabic intellectual culture, and emerging Jewish conceptions of piety and salvation history. As Salmon reads Lamentations, he engages with rabbinic interpretive traditions as well as contemporary Arabic models of exegesis, homily, and historiography. Salmon molds these sources to his own aims, thereby articulating a distinctively Karaite religious perspective through biblical commentary. Central to the dissertation is an analysis of Salmon's commentary, focusing on examples of homily, liturgy, polemic, historical reflection, exegetical method, and translation technique. I have translated and annotated key passages of the commentary, which appear here for the first time in English.