This extraordinary commentary by a late twelfth-century anonymous northern French exegete interprets the Song of Songs solely according to its plain meaning as a story of two young lovers and their developing relationship. The exegete pays attention to every detail of the text, offering many enlightening insights into its meaning, all the while expanding upon the “way of lovers” – the ways that young people in love go about their lovemaking. The French background of the exegete is made clear by numerous references to knights, coats of arms, weapons, chivalry, and of course, wine drinking. The edition is accompanied by an English translation and extensive introduction which analyzes the various linguistic, literary, and exegetical features of the text.
The Way of Lovers: The Oxford Anonymous Commentary on the Song of Songs (Bodleian Library, MS Opp. 625)
An Edition of the Hebrew Text, with English Translation and Introduction
Sara Japhet and Barry Dov Walfish
This book endeavors to fill a lacuna in the literature on early twentieth-century kabbalah, namely the lack of a comprehensive account of the traditional kabbalah seminaries (Yeshivot) in Jerusalem from 1896 to 1948 as well as the various manifestations of kabbalah within traditional Jewish society. The foundations that were laid in the early twentieth century also paved the way for the contemporary blossoming of kabbalah in many and manifold circles. In this sense, retracing the pertinent developments in Palestine at the outset of the twentieth century is imperative not only for repairing the distorted picture of the past, but for understanding the ongoing surge in kabbalah study.