Rashi's Commentary on Psalms

Rashi's Commentary on Psalms

Rashi's Commentary on Psalms

Rashi's Commentary on Psalms


This new volume in the Reference Library of Judaism faithfully presents the complete Hebrew text of Rashis (1040-1105) psalter commentary according to Vienna Heb. ms. 220 together with a fully annotated scientific translation into contemporary idiomatic English. The supercommentary places one of the finest commentaries by the single most influential Hebrew biblical exegete in dialogue with the full gamut of ancient, medieval and modern exegesis. The supercommentary identifies Rashis sources and pinpoints the exegetical cruces to which Rashi responds, defines the nuances of Rashis exegetical, linguistic and theological terminolgy, and guides readers to use the translation to gain access to the Hebrew. The introductory chapters constitute the most up-to-date discussion of the scope of Rashis literary legacy and of the history of research. They include highly original discussions of the Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemiah commentaries commonly attributed to Rashi and fully annotated English translations of 1) Rashis programmatic essay on the problem of homonymity in biblical exegesis; 2) Rashis commentaries on liturgical poetry; 3) one of Rashis liturgical poems, and 4) the famous medieval poem, which declares Rashi to be the Torah Commentator par excellence.


I am delighted to record my sincere thanks to Professor Jacob Neusner, Research Professor of Religion and Theology and Senior Fellow, Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, Annandaleon-Hudson, New York, Editor of the Brill Reference Library of Judaism, for inviting me to publish this book in this series. I thank Brill Academic Publishers, and especially Senior Acquisitions Editor Joed Elich, and Religion and Social Sciences Editor Ivo Romein, for bringing this project to fruition.

I am pleased also to record my sincere thanks to my three adult sons—Rabbi David Shalom Gruber, Mr. Jehiel Benjamin Gruber, and Rabbi Hillel Boaz Gruber—for their important contribution many years ago as children to the research that lies behind this book. Over a period of several years my sons filed the index cards that served as a dictionary of the exegetical, linguistic and theological terminology employed by Rashi in his Commentary on Psalms. I utilized this dictionary to make certain that my translation and notes reflected both Rashi's consistent use of certain expressions and his homonymous usage of some of those same expressions. My eldest son David also helped me in the preparation of the cumulative bibliography at the end of this volume.

I am pleased to acknowledge my indebtedness to Prof. Robert A. Harris of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York City for his critical review of my earlier Rashi's Commentary on Psalms 1–89. Several leading questions posed in that review inspired me to write section IV of the introduction to the present work, which describes the totality of Rashi's literary output.

Special thanks are due the Austrian National Library in Vienna for granting me permission to publish both the text of Rashi's Commentary on Psalms found in Austrian National Library Cod. Hebr. 220 and my translation of that text. I record my deep appreciation to Dr. Michael Carasik for transcribing the Hebrew text from the

Robert A. Harris, Review of Rashi's Commentary on Psalms 1–89 (Books I-III) by
Mayer I. Gruber, in Hebrew Studies 40 (1999), pp. 331–334.

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