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:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Judaism, Middle Ages, Rashi, Talmud

 

When Confronting Terrorists, Lethal Force Is Often Necessary

On Saturday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed a passerby in Jerusalem, and was then shot dead by two border guards. As the second bullet hit him when he was already on the ground, some Israelis have accused the guards of wrongdoing; a misleadingly edited viral video has also brought more attention to the incident. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Knife intifada, Palestinian terror