A Rediscovered Prayer by a Medieval Rabbinic Giant https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/history-ideas/2020/09/rediscovered-prayer-by-a-medieval-rabbinic-giant/

September 22, 2020 | Zack Rothbart
About the author:

Born in the Spanish city of Gerona, Moses Naḥmanides (1194-1270), was an outstanding talmudist, kabbalist, exegete, physician, and community leader, whose work left an enduring mark on Jewish thought and practice. The scholar Idan Perez, in his research into the liturgy of the Jews of Catalonia—which was distinctive from that of other Spanish Jews, and has not been used for centuries—discovered what appears to be a liturgical poem composed by Naḥmanides himself. Zack Rothbart writes:

Perez’s work presents the first ever printed prayer book of the Catalonian liturgy and ritual used by Naḥmanides and the once thriving Jewish communities of Catalonia, Valencia, and Majorca, which were ultimately extinguished by the expulsion of the Jews from Spain over 500 years ago. The monumental project was completed by piecing together manuscripts and other source materials from institutions across the globe.

The prayer attributed Naḥmanides was found in a manuscript written just after the expulsion, which was likely used by Catalonian exiles living in Provence. . . . “The text’s content and style, along with the fact that the manuscript’s author prefaced it with the words ‘A bakashah [supplication] of Rabbi Moses ben Naḥman,’ all seem to indicate that this bakashah was, in fact, written by the Naḥmanides himself,” says Perez.

The first complete English translation of the prayer can be found at the link below.

Read more on The Librarians: https://blog.nli.org.il/en/lbh-rambans-prayer/

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