Rashi’s Bible Interpretations in Yalkut Shimoni on Psalms

is a project in Rabbinical studies which has started in February 2020 and is led by the P. I. Prof. Dr. Dagmar Börner-Klein, the author of several books and articles, among others on rabbinical exegesis, and the publisher of the book series on Yalkut Shimoni. The project is supported by the DFG (the German Research Foundation) and affiliated to the Jewish Studies the University of Düsseldorf in Germany. Dr. Vera Leininger is the project research scientist in the area of Jewish history.

Both, the author of the Yalkut Shimoni, a monumental biblical commentary on the entire Hebrew Bible, and Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzhak, 1040-1105 in Troyés), the most important Jewish commentator on the Bible, used Talmud and Midrash as their source in their biblical interpretation. It is generally believed that the Yalkut Shimoni originated after Rashi. Since Rashi offers a selection of Talmud and Midrash in his commentary on the Hebrew Bible and presents these sources not literally but condensed, it is striking that there are similarities in the presentation of rabbinic sources in Rashi and in the Yalkut Shimoni.

Since the author of the Yalkut names his sources from Talmud and Midrash, but he does not name Raschi as a source, there is a need to clarify whether there was a direct dependence of the Yalkut on Rashi. Therefore, it needs to be clarified how Rashi and the author of the Yalkut refer to the traditional Jewish literature. Where, and why do they agree and in what way they differ relying on rabbinic literature. The project is of fundamental importance for the history of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible as well as for Jewish cultural history, since both Rashi and Yalkut are the most widely read Jewish interpretations of the Bible in Ashkenas, but little is still known about their influence on each other.

The oldest and most complete manuscript of Yalkut Shimoni on Thora from 1307 (Rothenburg ob der Taube) – Ms Hebr. B. 9,x Bodleiana, Oxford. Copyright: https://hebrew.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/

Within the frame of the project Yalkut Shimoni, the comprehensive biblical commentary on Tanakh, will be compared with the work of Rashi, one of the most important Jewish commentators on the Bible and Talmud – in particular: Their commentaries on the Psalms. As both commentaries are of an extraordinary relevance for the history of the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible and its integrity within the Jewish culture and history, and formative for the literal and personal identities over generations and centuries, the humble goal of this project is none less than the comparison of the mutual influences embedded in their time and area of impact. These pages are to inform about the progress and sources relevant to our research.


November 2022

August 2022

July 2022

Fachverband Judaistik/Jüdische Studien/Jüdische Theologie in Deutschland e. V. – Aus laufender Forschung:

June 2022

Heinrich-Heine University – Scholarly communication: Jalkut Shimoni (update)

February 2022

On letters of Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Leib Rapoport (1790-1867), his contemporaries and Wissenschaft des Judentums. AAJS – Jewish History in a Global Context: Telling Transnational Stories

Visualisation of Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda L. Rapoport’s (1790-1867) network during his time in Lemberg/Lwiw -1837, Tarnopol 1837-1840 and Prague 1840-1867. Materials for the data collection are in public domain, resp. courtesy of the National Library of Israel, Internet Archive, Leo Baeck Institute New York/Berlin. Visualisation
programme: http://nodegoat.net from LAB1100; cut: Adobe Premiere Pro.

October 2021

Der Jalkut Schimoni
Eine jüdische Bibelauslegung aus Deutschland

Prof. Dr. Dagmar Börner-​Klein (HHU)
Dr. Vera Leininger (HHU)

26. 10. 2021 19.00-20.30 (streamed)
Bürgeruniversität Haus der Universität

Eine Veranstaltung im Rahmen von 2021. Jüdisches Leben in Deutschland

De Gruyeter – published October 25, 2021

Jalkut Shimoni and its Riddles (video)

August 2021

WER? WANN? WO? – WHO? WHEN? WHERE? (in English)

Dagmar Börner-Klein interviewed by Victoria Meinschäfer – Read about our project in the Uni Magazin der Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf

June 2021

At: Annual BAJS Conference: World in Crisis: Reflections and Responses from Antiquity to the Present, University of Southhampton, 5-7 July 2021

May 2021

Riddle No. 2

Who is who? In the mid of the 19th century. Does anyone have a clue? And what do these gentlemen have to do with Medieval Times? Copyright due to USCL – Courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York. www.academia.edu

April 2021

Bible Interpretations in the Middle Ages. Initial online workshop of the DFG Project: Rashi & Yalkut Shimoni on the Psalms.

March 2021

Riddle No. 1

December 2020

AJS 52nd Annual Conference, December 13-17, 2020
13.1 – Theories on the Move – Session chair

Rashi’s Bible Interpretation in Yalkut Shimoni on Psalms