Understanding Medieval Rabbis as People, Not Textual Abstractions

April 6 2021

Few living scholars have exercised as much influence on the study of medieval Judaism as Haym Soloveitchik, himself the scion of a distinguished rabbinic dynasty who chose not to pursue the rabbinate, even as he acquired a reputation for immense talmudic erudition. Reviewing the recently published third volume of Soloveitchik’s collected essays, Alan Jotkowitz comments on his knack for characterizing the approach and style of the great European rabbis of the Middle Ages, taking as an example his analysis of Rabbi Avraham ben David of Posquières (1125-1198). This rabbi, usually referred to by the acronym Ra’avad, is best known for his sharply critical glosses to Moses Maimonides’ halakhic magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah, but Soloveitchik argues that his other work deserves greater consideration:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Judaism, Middle Ages, Rashi, Talmud

Israel’s Naval Shadow War with Iran Comes Out into the Open

April 9 2021

Wednesday night, Israeli planes struck a weapons depot outside Damascus, reportedly killing three pro-Iran fighters. While such attacks have become both routine and widely known, the IDF has also been fighting the Islamic Republic at sea, a fact only recently brought to public attention because of an explosion on an Iranian military vessel on Tuesday. Ron Ben Yishai explains:

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, US-Israel relations