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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 135 Reviews as the branches of the myrtle" (1. 58). The variations on the root letters .c.ID.:l and .ID.R.' are seen in n. 5-6: If cloud this be. it pours out spicy odors And from the myrtle tops the droplets fall. and in 11. 69-70: c'clD:Jn 1'''''' C':JJJin C'O'O""' c'o,n 'IDR"'lC' And the pomegranates in the garden of lilies. l.jR' 11D'1D ll:l C'nlJ" Behold. with studs of clove are they fastened. C'~:ln CID:l m"'1ClDc '1DR':l Was Ibn Ezra aware of his own structuring pattern? From his writings on poetics (in the KJt~b al-mukh~dara wal-mudh~kara, trans. and ed. by A. S. Halkin [Jerusalem, 1975]) it would appear that he was principally concerned with the broad theoretical issues relating to medieval rhetoric and paid scant attention to topics and figures. The intention of the author, however, does not deter the Romantic critic for whom the work of art is an organic form with a life of its own the moment it sees the light of day. And to paraphrase the Russian Formalist Yuri Tynianov: "What was the distinctive feature of the 'poem' in the middle ages is no longer so in the 20th century" (cf. T. Todorov, The Poetics ofProse [Ithaca, 1977], p. 249). Yael Feldman is to be commended for utilizing the modem critical tools that help us "bridge the generations." The need to do this was eloquently argued by 1:1. Schirmann (in his "Problems in the Study of Post-Biblical Hebrew Poetry" [Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 2 (1967):228-236]), even as he cautioned "to proceed carefully ...since a mechanical transfer of foreign concepts to the sphere of Hebrew writing is liable to lead to a distortion of its image." Leon J. Weinberger University ofAlabama Tuscaloosa. AL 35486 THE GARMENTS OF TORAH: ESSAYS IN BIBLICAL HERMENEUTICS . By Michael Fishbane. Indiana Studies in Biblical Literature. Pp. xi + 155. Bloomington: Indiana University, 1989. Cloth. In The Garments of Torah Michael Fishbane sets out to demonstrate how "cultures renew themselves hermeneutically" (p. ix). Specifically. his Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 136 Reviews intent is to show how ancient biblical, rabbinical, and modem Jewish culture is renewed through a process of exegesis which revives and "reforms " the texts and their interpreters "in each other's image." For Fishbane, such exegesis is a "process of symbolic immortality" for "text cultures," in which "the umbilical cord of hermeneutics is at once a lifeline to one's matrix in the past and a death-defying act of the imagination in the present" (p. ix). Fishbane illustrates this dramatic notion of interpretive activity in a series of ten essays, five of which are based on publications which appeared between 1975 and 1988. These writings were chosen because they "might make aspects of the issues accessible to the nonspecialist reader..." (p. x). The fust nine essays are grouped into three sections and the tenth forms the conclusion. Part 1, "The Hermeneutics of Scripture in Formation," begins with a discussion of inner-biblical exegesis, a phenomenon which Fishbane has been analyzing with great precision for many years, most extensively in his 1985 book, Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel. Here he surveys scribal and legal exegesis and strategic revision in the Bible in order to suggest some of the ways by which the Hebrew Bible "not only sponsored a monumental culture of textual exegesis but was itself its own first product" (p. 4). Chap. 2 deals with extra-biblical exegesis. Fishbane begins by arguing that midrash played a dynamic role in rabbinic exegesis "as both a conserver and converter of tradition" (p. 21). His discussion highlights the explicit and implicit use of the "al tiqre hermeneutic" (p. 26). The "al tiqre imperative is a midrashic instruction not to read what is the traditional reading of Scripture" (p. 22). When the procedure is used implicitly, "hermeneutical strategies of substitution" disclose "more hidden scriptural meanings" (p. 23). The al tiqre hermeneutic shows that midrash is not so much a rewritten Bible (like the book of Jubilees) as a...


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