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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54095
Doc. No:TL24049
Call number:‭3294190‬
Main Entry:Kent Aaron Reynolds
Title & Author:Psalm 119: Promoting Torah, portraying an ideal student of TorahKent Aaron Reynolds
College:The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:273
Abstract:Torah study is the definitive religious activity of Rabbinic Judaism. Earlier, Torah study did not enjoy preeminence, and this difference indicates that a dramatic shift took place in the conception of Torah. The emphasis on Torah study in Psalm 119 is unique within the Hebrew Bible and contributes to the shift in the conception of Torah, especially its function in the life of the righteous. This dissertation examines the striking message of Psalm 119 and describes how the author articulates it. Psalm 119 teaches that the righteous should internalize Torah to the point that it is character-forming. Instead of admonishing the reader to study and obey Torah, the author portrays someone who does so. By means of the portrayal the author creates—in the persona of the speaker—a model for the reader to follow. The speaker loves Torah, clings to it, and yearns to understand it. He rejoices and delights in obedience. The author formulates the words of the speaker using traditional religious language. The speaker uses locutions and motifs of wisdom literature, but he does not praise wisdom. He uses elements of lament psalms, but he is not lamenting. The author uses this religious language to characterize the speaker as someone who has internalized Torah so completely that it shapes his speech. Because the words are traditional, they resonate with the beliefs of the pious and this resonance increases the rhetorical effectiveness of the psalm. The conception of Torah in Psalm 119 is not merely the five books of Moses. Torah includes rules that govern the universe (vv. 89-91); the justice that God will eventually visit upon the wicked (v. 84); and any instruction from God for mankind. Torah also includes stipulations about how God should act. Because God imposes these on himself, they are trustworthy promises. Instructions and promises include various implications, and the implications are also Torah. All of these notions are part of a single, unified entity, because they are all from the mouth of God. The conception of Torah in Psalm 119 is a step towards the many-faceted conception of Torah in Rabbinic Judaism.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Language, literature and linguistics; Hebrew; Hebrew Bible; Judaism; Psalms; Torah; Ancient languages; Religion; Biblical studies; 0321:Biblical studies; 0289:Ancient languages; 0318:Religion
Added Entry:M. V. Fox
Added Entry:The University of Wisconsin - Madison