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Commentary on Midrash Rabba in the Sixteenth Century – The Or ha-Sekhel of Abraham ben Asher - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Commentary on Midrash Rabba in the Sixteenth Century: The Or ha-Sekhel of Abraham ben Asher

Benjamin Williams


The ʾOr ha-Sekhel of Abraham ben Asher (Venice, 1567) is of great importance in the history of the study of midrash. It is the first book in which Genesis Rabba was accompanied by commentaries, one spuriously attributed to Rashi and the other written by Abraham ben Asher himself. In the mid-sixteenth century, writing commentaries on midrashim was something of a novelty; immediate precedents are hard to identify. Yet the ʾOr ha-Sekhel was among the first of a new outpouring of such expositions. The need for correct texts and explanations of obscure vocabulary was foremost in the minds of interp ... More

Keywords: midrash, rabbinic literature, early modern period, Ottoman Empire, Sephardi studies, Hebrew book, Midrash Rabba, Abraham ben Asher, Or ha-Sekhel, Genesis Rabba

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198759232
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759232.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Benjamin Williams, author
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester