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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Later Rishonim I

by R. Aryeh Leibowitz Introduction Students of Gemara merit to spend hours analyzing the works of the great medieval commentators – the Rishonim.  But who were the Rishonim?  When did they live?  Who were their teachers?  What seforim did they write? Did they have a unique approach to Talmud study (derech ha-limud)? In regard to the period of the early Rishonim (11th – early 13th century), I have already had the opportunity ...

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