His Head, His legs, Your legs, Your head (Rashi Song of Songs)

Commenting on Song of Songs (7:2), this is a most refined physicality and supple anthropomorphism brought by Rashi to the close drawing together between God and Israel. His head, his legs, your legs, your head. Again it’s the case, with Rashi on Song of Songs, the allegory loses none of the original fragrance of the peshat.

The work of a craftsman. The hands of the Holy One, Blessed Is He, as explained in Maseches Sukkah. [49a.] אָמָּן is the same as אוּמָן [craftsman].The praise of the Holy One, Blessed Is He, that the [Bnei] Yisroel praise Him [is] from top to bottom. They begin with, “His head is [like] finest gold,” and continuously descend to, “His legs are like pillars of marble,” because they come to appease Him, to draw down His Divine Presence from the heavenly abodes to the earthly abodes. But, He enumerates their praise from bottom to top, starting with, “How fair were your feet פְּעָמַיִךְ,” these are the feet, and He continues and enumerates until, “that which is upon your head is like Mount Carmel,” until He comes to draw them to Him.

[from Sefaria]

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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