Elements of Rhetoric in the Targums: Appeals to the Audience

In: Aramaic Studies
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  • 1 The National University of Ostroh Academy, Ukraine
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In previous studies of the Targums, scholars focused on problems of a textual, linguistic, and historical-critical nature, whereas their literary forms, with some exceptions, remained largely uninvestigated. Alongside literary modifications of the biblical text, the Aramaic translations reflect a special tradition of synagogical rhetoric. This article explores one of the most expressive elements of a sermon which comments on a biblical text—the appeals to the audience. Were these appeals interpolated spontaneously by the meturgemanim, or were they used systematically in translating and expositing certain passages? What do such insertions tell us about the text and the art of the meturgemanim?

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