Engagement with Rabbinic Literature in Qimhi’s Sefer ha-Shorashim

Careful analysis of all entries in R. David Qimhi’s (Radak) Sefer ha-Shorashim demonstrates that he quotes rabbinic traditions differently from the way the earliest Hebrew linguists did. While his very early predecessors, such as R. Saadia Gaon (882-942) and Judah ibn Qurayish (second half of ninth century), quoted rabbinic literature exclusively for the purpose of linguistic comparison, in his Shorashim, Radak often considers not only the language but also the content of rabbinic teachings, whether halakhic, haggadic, or exegetical. Of more than seven hundred (700) references to rabbinic traditions in Radak’s Shorashim, approximately one hundred and sixty (160) discuss the content of rabbinic teachings, as outlined in a recently published paper (Grunhaus, 2020). Even though his quotation of rabbinic traditions expands significantly upon the practice of earlier linguists, he is not breaking entirely new ground–for R. Jonah ibn Janaḥ (990-1050), a more recent predecessor of Radak, had already exhibited a similar, although less focused, interest in the content of rabbinic literature. Radak, however, took this tendency to a new level, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Continuer la lecture de « Engagement with Rabbinic Literature in Qimhi’s Sefer ha-Shorashim »

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