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.

vii PREFACE Jewish intellectual history to the dawn of the nineteenth century is comparable to a fast- moving stream coursing through a complex network of tributaries and offshoots. The waters of the rivulets which poured into or eddied alongside the mainstream of Judaism were colored by a dazzling variety of cultural disciplines: philosophy and mysticism, rationalism and pietism, exegesis and com-mentary, poetry and belles- lettres, linguistics and grammar. They did not always flow evenly or simultaneously. At various times, the phil-osophic tributary swelled in certain areas while the mystical waters raged elsewhere; or the philosophic tributary changed its course, only to have its former bed occupied by mystical currents. Poetry and belles- lettres were like wadies: their waters might reach inundating proportions and they might dry up completely. The courses of these streams deserve to be— and, to a great extent, have been— charted, their ebbs and peaks registered, their force and calm measured; each of them left an imprint on the evolving Jewish intellect and spirit. The mainstream, however, was the halakah ( Jewish Law)— its ever- expand-ing corpus of literature and its cumulative body of practice. Yet, this position of undisputed centrality in history notwithstand-ing, it has not received a commensurate position in historiography. The following book on an outstanding medieval Talmudist, Rabad of Pos-quières, who lavishly enriched the major genres of halakic literature and perceptibly accelerated the development of a critico- conceptual method of halakic study, is offered as a modest contribution to this field of historical research. Rabad was a thoroughgoing Talmudist; his prolific literary output was characterized by a striking unity of form and content. In this study, I have attempted to treat Rabad primarily as an halakic scholar, relating other attributes and inter-  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
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