Saving the soul by knowing the soul: a medieval Yemeni interpretation of Song of Songs

Langermann, Tzvi
August 2003
Journal of Jewish Thought & Philosophy (Routledge);Aug2003, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p147
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the book "Song of Songs by Hebrew Bible." Song of Songs, more than any other book of the Hebrew Bible, invites allegorical interpretation. Nevertheless, judging from the surviving writings, Yemenite commentators were hardly stimulated by that book. Nonetheless, Zekharya ben Shlomo, a major figure in Yemeni-Jewish letters even if relatively unknown to the wider world of Jewish scholarship, did write a commentary to Song of Songs. In this article the author attempts to present a credible conspectus of his strange commentary to that biblical book. Its strangeness stems not merely from its language, which is Judaeo-Arabic interspersed with a few efforts at writing in Hebrew, or from the world of ideas to which it relates, especially in all that concerns the human soul.


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