Rabad of Posquières
A Twelfth-century TalmudistBook - 1980
Provence during the twelfth century was the scene of a remarkable renaissance in Jewish scholarship. Cities such as Lunel, Carcassonne, and Montpellier became centers of learning--pivotal points of contemporary Jewish life whose influence was important in the evolution of Jewish culture in general and the development of Jewish law in particular.
Rabad of Posquieres--Rabbi Abraham ben David--was one of the most creative Talmudic scholars of this period. Although celebrated for his criticism of Maimonides' "Mishneh Torah," the nature and significance of his halakic work have never before been clarified nor have his achievements been fully assessed.
This biographical treatise on Rabad captures his personality, chronicles his role in the intellectual history of the Jews in southern France during the twelfth century, and outlines his influence on subsequent generations. Rabad's disciples and followers are discussed, as well as his reaction to the philosophic literature of Spanish Judaism and his relation to the emerging medieval kabbalah. Characterization of his works, description of his halakic methodology, and analysis of his literary sources focus attention on basic problems of medieval Jewish history.