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 xxiii generalizations ( for example, Razah on the nature of Alfasi’s Halakot). Of special interest is the fact that teachers often encouraged their students to undertake clearly defined exercises in criticism, offering their own works as targets or subjects for criticism. Needless to say, no recklessness is intended, no levity or disrespect is fostered; the goal is a commitment to unrelenting examination of the sources and their varying interpretations. While patronage of scholars and trans-lators was established in Spain, we may discern here a different form of intellectual patronage of young scholars, geared to develop their independence and sustain their creative impulses. Masters expose themselves and their work in order to inculcate the notion that one should be temperate and thoughtful in criticism but also resourceful, vigilant, and courageous in interpretation. Of course, as the polemi-cal style of this period indicates, restraint was often overlooked; the hassagot literature, anything but an anemic, stylized genre, abounds in personal invective and vitriolic rebuttal. Incisive analysis and ad hominem gibes are interwoven. Going a step further, we may call attention to the creative interac-tion not only between masters and disciples but between colleagues and also between revered predecessors and emerging luminaries ( for example, see addendum for page 230); we discern a pattern of ongo-ing criticism concerning major themes and central problems in the halakah ( as distinct from the aforementioned critique of massive, monumental halakic oeuvres). Halakah is an exoteric discipline and its literature is intended to be available and intelligible to all interested or qualified readers. Except for an occasional case of a legal directive that should not be publicly promulgated ( halakah ve’en morin ken), Talmudists did not “ conceal their meaning behind veils of indirection, difficulty and ambiguity” ( P. Gay, Style in History). Hence, the per-sistent, open- ended discussion of key themes, axial problems or authoritative formulations— and Maimonides and Rabad are central by all standards— is noteworthy. There is no premeditated ambiguity, and yet there is ongoing deliberation and debate. Talmud study is efferves-cent. There is a great dialogue spanning the generations. Alfasi, ibn Migas, R. Meshullam, Razah, Rabad, R. Jonathan, R. Meïr ha- Kohen, Nahmanides, ha- Me’iri, and Rashba are engaged in a common, col-lective enterprise of commentary and criticism, with later authorities identifying with or dissociating themselves from earlier ones. If, to a   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


About Book Rabad of Posquieres: A Twelfth-Century Talmudist

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
rabad posquieres twelfth century talmudist page https publishersrow ebookshuk books jewish hebrew ebooks this biographical treatise captures personality rabbad rabbi abraham david most creative talmudic scholars chronicles role intellectual history jews southern france during outlines influence subsequent generations
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