Author Archives: Aryeh Leibowitz

Rabbi Leibowitz is a Ram at Yeshivat Sha'alvim and serves as the Assistant Dean of the Overseas Program.

The Later Rishonim of Germany II

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz R. Meir of Rothenburg (מהר”ם מרוטנברג) R. Meir b. Baruch, the Maharam of Rothenburg (d. 1293), was considered the leading Halachic authority of his day in Germany. He studied in Germany under the Or Zarua, but he also travelled to France and studied under R. Yechiel of Paris and R. Shmuel of Evreux. The Maharam eventually ...

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The Later Rishonim of Germany – Part 1

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz During the later period of the rishonim, the French teachings of the Ri’s academy began to make major inroads in German intellectual circles. Until now, the German Talmudists – Rabbeinu Simcha, R. Yoel and his son the Ravyah, R. Yehuda HaChasid and his student R. Eliezer Rokeach – did not quote much from their French contemporaries, ...

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The Later Rishonim of England and Provence

A new series by R. Aryeh Leibowitz of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, excerpted from a book available for purchase: here by R. Aryeh Leibowitz The Later Rishonim of England The Jewish community of early medieval England was strongly associated with the community of northern France.1)In 1066, the Norman (French) King, William I captured England in the battle of Hastings. This united France ...

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The Later Rishonim of Ashkenaz – France II

A new series by R. Aryeh Leibowitz of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, excerpted from a book available for purchase: here by R. Aryeh Leibowitz   R. Moshe of Coucy (סמ”ג, ר’ משה מקוצי) R. Moshe (d. 1260) was a student of R. Yehuda of Paris and a contemporary of R. Yechiel. He too participated in the Paris disputation of the Talmud. R. ...

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The Later Rishonim of Ashkenaz

A new series by R. Aryeh Leibowitz of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, excerpted from a book available for purchase: here by R. Aryeh Leibowitz In the later period of the Rishonim, Jewish scholarship in France and Germany continued to flourish; but so did anti-Jewish persecution. Throughout the period, the Jewish communities in Ashkenaz were bastions of Torah study and piety, but they ...

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Later Rishonim VIII: The Ran

R. Nissim b. Reuven (Ran, d. 1376) The Ran, also known as the Ranbar (רנב”ר), was originally from Gerona but flourished in the city of Barcelona. He studied under his father and R. Peretz Ha-Cohen (d. 1370), a Provencal scholar who moved to Barcelona. The Ran, like the Ritva and Rashba before him, eventually became the leading Catalonian scholar of ...

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Later Rishonim VII: Ra’ah and Ritva

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz, author of the recently published The Neshamah: A Study of the Human Soul R. Aharon ha-Levi (Ra’ah, d. c.1300) R. Aharon of Barcelona, known as the Ra’ah, was born in Girona, but spent most of his life in Barcelona. He was a descendent of R. Zerachiah ha-Levi, the Ba’al Ha-Meor, and was one of the most illustrious ...

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Using Manuscripts in Learning

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz, author of the recently published The Neshamah: A Study of the Human Soul The Sugya The Gemara in Nedarim 3b seeks an example of the prohibition to violate a vow or oath: “He shall not violate his word – לא יחל דברו (Devarim 30:3).” The Gemara suggests a case of a person who takes a vow (נדר) ...

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Later Rishonim VI: Rashba

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz R. Shlomo b. Aderes (Rashba, d. 1310) With the Ramban’s departure for the land of Israel, the Rashba inherited the mantle of intellectual and communal leadership in Spain. The Rashba resided in Barcelona, from there served as the head Rabbi of Spain, and was recognized by all as the gadol ha-dor. Besides his role as a ...

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Later Rishonim V: Ramban’s Talmud Commentary

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz The Chiddushei Ha-Ramban is known for its terseness and profundity.  Written with utmost care and exactitude, the Ramban’s commentary must be studied slowly and carefully.  Often, one arrives at the Ramban’s true intention only after much thought and analysis. The Ramban did not provide a running commentary on the Talmudic discussion.  Instead, he focused on specific parts of the Talmudic discussion, ...

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