Rabad of Posquieres: A Twelfth-Century...

This biographical treatise captures the personality of Rabbad of Posquieres or Rabbi Abraham ben David – one of the most creative talmudic scholars of the twelfth century, chronicles his role in the intellectual history of the Jews in southern France during the twelfth century, and outlines his influence on subsequent generations.

INTRODUCTION TO REVISED EDITION xix introduction to A. Hilbitz, Li- leshonot ha- Rambam, page 3.) From this point of view practically all rabbinic literature— commentaries, responsa, novellae, minor codes— is a potential contributor to a fuller understanding of Rabad’s historical impact and sometimes of his original intent. As a final note in this regard, we should underscore that all this tremendous progress notwithstanding, the agenda of unfinished, schol-arly business with regard to Rabad himself is long and demanding. Systematic, annotated editions of Rabad’s own major works ( for ex-ample, all his hassagot, but especially on the Mishneh Torah, or his trail- blazing Sifra commentary) are still not available and remain scholarly desiderata. Here, too, incidentally, the literary fate of Ra-bad is often interwoven with Maimonides; the magnificent S. Frankel edition of Book III ( Zemanim) of the Mishneh Torah includes the hassagot, with variants collected from the seven manuscripts. In ad-dition, collection of the copious citations from his commentaries— for example, on Berakot, cErubin, or Baba Mezica— strewn throughout rabbinic literature would contribute decisively to the restoration and reconstruction of his oeuvre. I have dealt to some extent with Rab-ad as a commentator of the Talmud, directly, and of the Bible indirectly, but the abundant philological- exegetical material ensconced in his writing needs to be assembled and appraised. Exhaustive study of his works for evidence of change and continuity, the impact of Spanish and French developments ( particularly the latter), systemat-ic thematic analysis, comparison of his methods, interpretations, attitudes, and conclusions with those of other towering halakists of the high Middle Ages ( the golden age of halakic creativity in west-ern Europe)— these tasks still await completion. Nevertheless, the terrain is less forbidding as a result of what has been accomplished in the last few decades, the directional signals are clear, and the hope is great. While I feel no need to succumb to any kind of historical revisionism, quite rampant these days, were I to re-write this book now I would undertake to add some new dimensions to the analysis of Rabad’s great oeuvre and to integrate new facts. A few additional comments concerning the emphatic characteriza-tion of Rabad as a halakic scholar, a thoroughgoing Talmudist ( see   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C  | I n d e x For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Rabad of Posquieres: A Twelfth-Century Talmudist


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FRONT MATTERTitle PageCopyright PageDedication PagePREFACECONTENTSINTRODUCTION TO REVISED EDITIONI. LIFE1. Family and Teachers2. Provence in the Twelfth Century3. Teaching and Writing4. Personality5. InfluenceII. WORKS1. Early Writings2. Talmud Commentaries3. Codes4. Commentaries on Halakic Midrashim5. Mishnah Commentaries6. Sermons and Responsa7. Hassagot on Alfasi, Razah, and MaimonidesIII. WORKS II: CRITICISM OF THE MISHNEH TORAH1. Literature on the2. Corroborative or Explanatory Hassagot3. Critical Glosses and Animadversions4. Rabad's Motives in Composing the HassagotIV. SOURCES1. Talmudic Sources2. Post-Talmudic SourcesV. DISCIPLES AND FOLLOWERS1. Disciples2. Contemporary Followers and Correspondents3. DescendantsVI. RELATION TO PHILOSOPHY AND KABBALAH1. Attitude Toward Secular Learning2. Use of Philosophic Literature3. Rabad and KabbalahLIST OF ABBREVIATIONSProper NamesNOTE ON REFERENCESBIBLIOGRAPHYPrimary SourcesSecondary WorksBIBLIOGRAPHICAL SUPPLEMENTPrimary SourcesSecondary WorksADDENDAINDEX
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