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 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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Later Rishonim IV: Catalonia

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz Catalonia and its Torah Community Catalonia is located in the north-eastern region of modern-day Spain. The Catalonian region was conquered by Muslims from North African in the early 8th century. However, their rule was short lived. By the 9th century, Catalonia returned to Christian hands. As a part of Christian Europe, Catalonia served as a feudal ...

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Later Rishonim III: Rabbeinu Yonah

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz Rabbeinu Yonah (d. 1263) R. Yonah was born in Girona, Catalonia but was appointed Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Toledo following the death of the Ramah. R. Yonah studied under R. Shlomo Min ha-Har (Montpelier) in Provence, and also travelled to northern France to study in the Tosafist academy in the city of Evreux (אווירא). In ...

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Later Rishonim II: Ramah

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz Rabbenu Meir Ha-Levi (Ramah, d. 1244)  Rabbenu Meir ha-Levi Abulafia served as Rav and Rosh Yeshiva in Toledo (טוליטולא), a major Torah center in the central Castille region of Spain. [1]The Ramah came from a well-known family of Rabbis and community leaders.  His father, Rav Todros (d. 1225) was a talmid chacham and communal leader. At ...

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