Literal Meaning and Rabbinic Hermeneutics: A Response to Claudio Luzzati and Jan Broekman
Author: Jackson B.S.
Source: International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, Volume 14, Number 2, 2001 , pp. 129-141(13)
This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue) addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legal interpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, with examples, their concept of ``simple meaning'' (peshat), and its place within their overall hermeneutic system and its theological presuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to the theoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (my version of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists the reduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and refuses to equate decision-making with justification. I suggest that traces of traditional theological positions may be discerned in the normativist positions of my interlocutors.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 2001-01-01