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Nahmanides (1194 - c. 1270) was a Catalan rabbi, philosopher, Kabbalist and biblical commentator. "Nahmanides " is the common name for Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi; the name is a Greek translation of the Hebrew "Ben Nahman", meaning "Son of Nahman". He is also commonly known as Ramban (רמב"ן), being an acronym of his Hebrew name and title, Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman (רבי משה בן נחמן), and by his Catalan name Bonastruc Ça Porta. Events November 20 - Palermo falls to Henry VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire December 25 - Henry VI is crowned king of Sicily. ... For broader historical context, see 1270s and 13th century. ... Capital Barcelona Official languages Catalan and Spanish In Val dAran, also Aranese. ... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... The Philosopher (detail), by Rembrandt Philosophy is a study that includes various diverse subfields such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and metaphysics. ... Kabbalah (Hebrew קַבָּלָה reception, Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Qabala, Qabalah, Kaballah) is an interpretation (exegesis, hermeneutic) key, soul of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), or the religious mystical system of Judaism claiming an insight into divine nature. ... Meforshim is a Hebrew word meaning commentators (or roughly meaning exegetes), and is used as a substitute for the correct word perushim which means commentaries. In Judaism this term refers to commentaries by the commentators on the Torah (five books of Moses), Hebrew Bible, the Mishnah, the Talmud, responsa, even... Hebrew (עִבְרִית ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel, the West Bank, the United States, and by Jewish communities around the world. ... Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial letter or letters of words, such as NATO and XHTML, and are pronounced in a way that is distinct from the full pronunciation of what the letters stand for. ... Catalan (Català) or Valencian (Valencià) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra and co-official in several regions of Spain. ...

Contents


Biography

Nahmanides was born at Gerona (hence his name "Gerondi") in 1194, and died in the Land of Israel about 1270. He was the grandson of Isaac ben Reuben of Barcelona and cousin of Jonah Gerondi; his brother was Benveniste da Porta, the bailie of Barcelona. Among his teachers in Talmud were Judah ben Yakkar and Meïr ben Nathan of Trinquetaille, and he is said to have been instructed in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) by his countryman Azriel. Girona (Catalan: Girona, Spanish: Gerona, French: Gérone) is a city located in the northwest of Catalonia, Spain on the confluence of the rivers Ter and Onyar. ... Events November 20 - Palermo falls to Henry VI, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire December 25 - Henry VI is crowned king of Sicily. ... This article concerns the concept of The Land of Israel (Hebrew: ארץ ישראל Eretz Yisrael) in Jewish and Christian thought throughout the history from its Biblical sources to the present day. ... For broader historical context, see 1270s and 13th century. ... Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, an autonomous region in Spain. ... A Bailiff in a United States courtroom Bailiff (from Late Latin bajulivus, adjectival form of bajulus) is a governor or custodian; cf. ... Kabbalah (Hebrew קַבָּלָה reception, Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Qabala, Qabalah, Kaballah) is an interpretation (exegesis, hermeneutic) key, soul of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), or the religious mystical system of Judaism claiming an insight into divine nature. ...


Nahmanides studied medicine which he practised as a means of livelihood; he also studied philosophy. During his teens he began to get a reputation as a learned Jewish scholar. At age 16 he began his writings on Jewish law. In his Milhamot Hashem (Wars of the Lord) he defended Alfasi's decisions against the criticisms of Zerachiah ha-Levi of Girona. These writings reveal a conservative tendency that distinguished his later works — an unbounded respect for the earlier authorities. Medicine is the branch of health science and the sector of public life concerned with maintaining human health or restoring it through the treatment of disease and injury. ... The Philosopher (detail), by Rembrandt Philosophy is a study that includes various diverse subfields such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and metaphysics. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה; also transliterated as Halakhah, Halacha, Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish rabbinic law, custom and tradition. ... R. Zerakhyah ben Yitzhak Ha-Levi (Ha-Gerondi), also known as RaZaH, RaZBI and Baal Ha-Maor (author of the book Ha-Maor) was born about 1125 in the town of Gerona, Spain - hence the name Gerondi - and died after 1186 in Lunel. ...


In the view of Nahmanides, the wisdom of the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, as well as the Geonim (rabbis of the early medieval era) was unquestionable. Their words were to be neither doubted nor criticized. "We bow," he says, "before them, and even when the reason for their words is not quite evident to us, we submit to them" (Aseifat Zekkenim, commentary on Ketubot). Nahmanides' adherence to the words of the earlier authorities may be due to piety, or the influence of the northern French Jewish school of thought. However, it is thought that it also may be a reaction to the rapid acceptance of Greco-Arabic philosophy among the Jews of Spain and Provence; this occurred soon after the appearance of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed. This work gave rise to a tendency to allegorize Biblical narratives, and to downplay the role of miracles. Against this tendency Nahmanides strove, and went to the other extreme, not even allowing the utterances of the immediate disciples of the Geonim to be questioned. The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. ... Geonim (also Gaonim) (גאונים) (Singular: Gaon [גאון] meaning pride in Biblical Hebrew and genius in modern Hebrew) were the rabbis who were the Jewish Talmudic sages who were the generally accepted spiritual leaders of the Jewish community in the early medieval era, in contrast to the Resh Galuta/ Exilarch who wielded secular... Rishonim (ראשונים Hebrew - sing. ... Classical (or early) Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Provence is a former Roman province and is now a region of southeastern France, located on the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to Frances border with Italy. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ... The Guide for the Perplexed (Hebrew: Moreh Nevuchim, Arabic: dalalat al hairin دلالة الحائرين) is one of the major works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides, or the Rambam. ...


Attitude Toward Maimonides

Called upon, about 1238, for support by Solomon of Montpellier, who had been excommunicated by supporters of Maimonides, Nahmanides addressed a letter to the communities of Aragon, Navarre, and Castile, in which Solomon's adversaries were severely rebuked. However, the great respect he professed for Maimonides (though he did not share the latter's views), reinforced by innate gentleness of character,and kept him from allying himself with the anti-Maimonist party and led him to assume the role of a conciliator. Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ... Capital Zaragoza Area  â€“ Total  â€“ % of Spain Ranked 4th  47 719 km²  9,4% Population  â€“ Total (2003)  â€“ % of Spain  â€“ Density Ranked 11th  1 217 514  2,9%  25,51/km² Demonym  â€“ English  â€“ Spanish  Aragonese  aragonés Statute of Autonomy August 16, 1982 ISO 3166-2 AR Parliamentary representation  â€“ Congress seats  â€“ Senate... Navarre (Spanish Navarra, Basque Nafarroa) is an autonomous community and province of Spain. ... A former kingdom of modern day Spain, Castile comprises the two regions of Old Castile in north-western Spain, and New Castile in the centre of the country. ...


In a letter addressed to the French rabbis, he draws attention to the virtues of Maimonides and holds that Maimonides' Mishne Torah - his Code of Jewish Law - not only shows no leniency in interpreting prohibitions within Jewish law, but may even be seen as more stringent, which in Nahmanides' eyes was a positive factor. As to Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, Nahmanides stated that it was intended not for those of unshaken belief, but for those who had been led astray by the non-Jewish philosophical works of Aristotle and Galen. (Note that Nahmanides's analysis of the Guide is not the consensus view of modern scholars.) The Mishneh Torah or Yad ha-Chazaka is a code of Jewish law by one of the most important Jewish authorities, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or by the Hebrew abbreviation RaMBaM (usually written Rambam in English). ... The Guide for the Perplexed (Hebrew: Moreh Nevuchim, Arabic: dalalat al hairin دلالة الحائرين) is one of the major works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides, or the Rambam. ... Aristotle (Ancient Greek: Aristotelēs 384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, who studied with Plato and taught Alexander the Great. ... Claudius Galenus of Pergamum (131-201 AD), better known in English as Galen, was an ancient Greek physician. ...


"If," he says, "you were of the opinion that it was your duty to denounce the Guide as heretical, why does a portion of your flock recede from the decision as if it regretted the step? Is it right in such important matters to act capriciously, to applaud the one to-day and the other tomorrow?"


To conciliate both parties Nahmanides proposed that the ban against the philosophical portion of Maimonides's Code of Jewish law should be revoked, but that the ban against the study of the "Guide for the Perplexed", and against those who rejected allegorical interpretation of the Bible, should be maintained and even strengthened. This compromise, which might have ended the struggle, was rejected by both parties in spite of Nahmanides' authority.


The Iggeret ha-Kodesh: Letter on Sexual Relations

Nahmanides was popularly attributed with writing a letter on marriage, holiness, and sexual relations, Iggeret ha-Kodesh. In it the author criticizes Maimonides for stigmatizing as a disgrace to man; man's sexual nature. In the view of the author, the body with all its functions being the work of God, is holy, and so none of its normal sexual impulses and actions can be regarded as objectionable. Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ...


Views on death, mourning and the resurrection

In Nahmanides's Torat ha-Adam, which deals with mourning rites, burial customs, etc., Nahmanides sharply criticizes writers who strove to render man indifferent to both pleasure and pain. This, he declares, is against the Law, which commands man to rejoice on the day of joy and weep on the day of mourning. The last chapter, entitled Shaar ha-Gemul, discusses reward and punishment, resurrection, and kindred subjects. It derides the presumption of the philosophers who pretend to a knowledge of the essence of God and the angels, while even the composition of their own bodies is a mystery to them. Michelangelos depiction of God in the painting Creation of the Sun and Moon in the Sistine Chapel This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and derived henotheistic forms. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is an ethereal being found in many religions, whose duties are to assist and serve God. ...


For Nahmanides, divine revelation is the best guide in all these questions, and proceeds to give his views on Jewish views of the afterlife. He holds that as God is immanently just, there must be reward and punishment. This reward and punishment must take place in another world, for the good and evil of this world are relative and transitory. For information on the last book of the New Testament see the Book of Revelation. ... Jewish eschatology is concerned with Mashiach (the Jewish Messiah) the continuation of the Davidic line, and Olam Haba (Hebrew for the world to come; i. ...


Besides the animal soul, which is derived from the "Supreme powers" and is common to all creatures, man possesses a special soul. This special soul, which is a direct emanation from God, existed before the creation of the world. Through the medium of man it enters the material life; and at the dissolution of its medium it either returns to its original source or enters the body of another man. This belief is, according to Nahmanides, the basis of the levirate marriage, the child of which inherits not only the name of the brother of his fleshly father, but also his soul, and thus continues its existence on the earth. The resurrection spoken of by the rabbis, which will take place after the coming of the Messiah, is referred by Nahmanides to the body. The physical body may, through the influence of the soul, transform itself into so pure an essence that it will become eternal. The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is a self aware ethereal substance particular to a unique living being. ... Levirate marriage is the practice of a woman marrying one of her husbands brothers after her husbands death, if there were no children, in order to continue his line. ...


Commentary on the Torah

His commentary on the Torah (five books of Moses) was his last work, and his most well known. He was prompted to write it by three motives: (1) to satisfy the minds of students of the Law and stimulate their interest by a critical examination of the text; (2) to justify the ways of God and discover the hidden meanings of the words of Scripture, "for in the Torah are hidden every wonder and every mystery, and in her treasures is sealed every beauty of wisdom"; (3) to soothe the minds of the students by simple explanations and pleasant words when they read the appointed sections of the Pentateuch on Sabbaths and festivals. Torah () is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or law. ...


His exposition, intermingled with aggadic and mystical interpretations, is based upon careful philology and original study of the Bible. As in his preceding works, he vehemently attacks the Greek philosophers, especially Aristotle, and frequently criticizes Maimonides' Biblical interpretations. Thus he cites Maimonides' interpretation of Gen. 18:8, asserting that it is contrary to the evident meaning of the Biblical words and that it is sinful even to hear it. While Maimonides endeavored to reduce the miracles of the Bible to the level of natural phenomena, Nahmanides emphasizes them, declaring that "no man can share in the Torah of our teacher Moses unless he believes that all our affairs, whether they concern masses or individuals, are miraculously controlled, and that nothing can be attributed to nature or the order of the world." See further on this debate under Divine Providence. Aggadah ( Aramaic אגדה: tales, lore; pl. ... Kabbalah (Hebrew קַבָּלָה reception, Standard Hebrew Qabbala, Tiberian Hebrew Qabbālāh; also written variously as Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, Qabala, Qabalah, Kaballah) is an interpretation (exegesis, hermeneutic) key, soul of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), or the religious mystical system of Judaism claiming an insight into divine nature. ... Philology is the study of ancient texts and languages. ... Classical (or early) Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Aristotle (Ancient Greek: AristotelÄ“s 384 BC – March 7, 322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, who studied with Plato and taught Alexander the Great. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ... According to many religions, a miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the operations of the ordinary course of Nature are overruled, suspended, or modified. ... The deepest visible-light image of the universe, the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. ... Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is a theological term which refers to the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in peoples lives and throughout history. ...


Next to belief in miracles Nahmanides places three other beliefs, which are, according to him, the Jewish principles of faith, namely, the belief in creation out of nothing, in the omniscience of God, and in divine providence. According to many religions, a miracle, derived from the old Latin word miraculum meaning something wonderful, is a striking interposition of divine intervention by God in the universe by which the operations of the ordinary course of Nature are overruled, suspended, or modified. ... There are a number of basic Jewish principles of faith that one is expected to uphold in order to be said to be in consonance with the Jewish faith. ... The Creation of Light by Gustave Doré. In Abrahamic religions, creationism or creation theology is the origin belief that humans, life, the Earth, and the universe were created by a supreme being or deitys supernatural intervention. ... Omniscience is the capacity to know everything, or at least everything that can be known about a character/s including thoughts, feelings, etc. ... Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is a theological term which refers to the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in peoples lives and throughout history. ...


Attitude Toward Abraham ibn Ezra

Nahmanides was an adversary of Rabbi Abraham ibn Ezra, an influential Jewish Bible commentator. Nahmanides criticises him with harsh expressions that are not in keeping with his usual temper. He is especially bitter against ibn Ezra for deriding Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism), which Nahmanides thought to be a divine tradition. However, we know that Nahmanides showed ibn Ezra considerable respect. This is evident from Nahmanides' introduction to his commentary on the Bible. Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra (also known as Ibn Ezra, or Abenezra) (1092 or 1093-1167), was one of the most distinguished Jewish men of letters and writers of the Middle Ages. ... Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra (also known as Ibn Ezra, or Abenezra) (1092 or 1093-1167), was one of the most distinguished Jewish men of letters and writers of the Middle Ages. ...


The disputation at Barcelona, 1263

Nahmanides, first as rabbi of Girona and later as chief rabbi of Catalonia, seems to have led a quiet and happy life. When well advanced in years, however, his life was interrupted by an event which compelled him to leave his family and his native country and wander in foreign lands. This was the religious disputation he was called upon to sustain, in 1263, in the presence of King James I of Aragon, with the apostate Pablo Christiani, to whom he had been sent by his general Raymond de Penyafort, requested King James to order Nahmanides to take part in a public disputation. Houses on the Onyar river in Girona Girona (Catalan: Girona, Spanish: Gerona, French: Gérone) is a city located in the northeast of Catalonia, Spain, at the confluence of the rivers Ter and Onyar. ... Capital Barcelona Official languages Catalan and Spanish In Val dAran, also Aranese. ... James I of Aragon (Catalan: Jaume I, Spanish: Jaime I) (Montpellier February 2, 1208 – July 27, 1276), surnamed the Conqueror, was the king of Aragon, count of Barcelona and Lord of Montpellier from 1219 to 1276. ... Apostasy (Greek απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is the formal renunciation of ones religion. ...


Christiani had been trying to make the Jews of Provence abandon their religion and convert to Christianity. Relying upon the reserve his adversary would be forced to maintain through fear of wounding the feelings of the Christian dignitaries, Pablo assured the King that he could prove the truth of Christianity from the Talmud and other rabbinical writings. Nahmanides complied with the order of the King, but stipulated that complete freedom of speech should be granted, and for four days (July 20-24) debated with Pablo Christiani in the presence of the King, the court, and many ecclesiastical dignitaries. Provence is a former Roman province and is now a region of southeastern France, located on the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to Frances border with Italy. ... A public demonstration Freedom of speech is often regarded as an integral concept in modern liberal democracies, where it is understood to outlaw censorship. ...


The subjects discussed were:

  1. whether the Messiah had appeared;
  2. whether the Messiah announced by the Prophets was to be considered as divine or as a man born of human parents
  3. whether the Jews or the Christians were in possession of the true faith.

Christiani's argued, based upon several aggadic passages, that the Pharisee sages believed that the Messiah had lived during the Talmudic period, and that they ostensibly believed that the Messiah was therefore Jesus. Nahmanides countered that the Christiani's interpretations were per-se distortions; the rabbis would not hint that Jesus was Messiah while, at the same time, explicitly opposing him as such. Nahmanides proceeded to provide context for the proof-texts cited by Christiani, showing that they were most clearly understood differently than as proposed by Christiani. Furthermore, Nahmanides demonstrated from numerous biblical and talmudic sources that traditional Jewish belief ran contrary to Christiani's postulates. In Judaism, the Messiah (מָשִׁיחַ anointed one, Standard Hebrew , Tiberian Hebrew Arabic ) initially meant any person who was anointed by a prophet of God. ... Midrash (pl. ... The Pharisees (from the Hebrew perushim, from parash, meaning to separate) were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE). ... Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE – 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene, is the central figure of Christianity, in which context he is known as Jesus Christ, where Christ is a Greek title meaning Anointed, corresponding to the Hebrew term Messiah. The...


Nahmanides went on to show that the Biblical prophets regarded the future messiah as a human, a person of flesh and blood, and not as a divinity, in the way that Christians view Jesus. He noted that their promises of a reign of universal peace and justice had not yet been fulfilled. On the contrary, since the appearance of Jesus, the world had been filled with violence and injustice, and among all denominations the Christians were the most warlike. Divinity has a number of related uses in the field of religious belief and study. ...


Views on the Messiah

He noted that questions of the Messiah are of less dogmatic importance to Jews than most Christians imagine. The reason given by him for this bold statement is that it is more meritorious for the Jews to observe the precepts under a Christian ruler, while in exile and suffering humiliation and abuse, than under the rule of the Messiah, when every one would perforce act in accordance with the Law. In Judaism, the Messiah (מָשִׁיחַ anointed one, Standard Hebrew , Tiberian Hebrew Arabic ) initially meant any person who was anointed by a prophet of God. ...


As the disputation turned in favor of Nahmanides the Jews of Barcelona, fearing the resentment of the Dominicans, entreated him to discontinue; but the King, whom Nahmanides had acquainted with the apprehensions of the Jews, desired him to proceed. The controversy was therefore resumed, and concluded in a complete victory for Nahmanides, who was dismissed by the King with a gift of three hundred maravedis as a mark of his respect. The King remarked that he had never encountered a man who, while yet being wrong, argued so well for his position.


The Dominicans, nevertheless, claimed the victory, and Nahmanides felt constrained to publish the controversy. From this publication Pablo selected certain passages which he construed as blasphemies against Christianity and denounced to his general Raymond de Penyafort. A capital charge was then instituted, and a formal complaint against the work and its author was lodged with the King. James was obliged to entertain the charge, but, mistrusting the Dominican court, called an extraordinary commission, and ordered that the proceedings be conducted in his presence. Nahmanides admitted that he had stated many things against Christianity, but he had written nothing which he had not used in his disputation in the presence of the King, who had granted him freedom of speech.


The justice of his defense was recognized by the King and the commission, but to satisfy the Dominicans Nahmanides was sentenced to exile for two years and his pamphlet was condemned to be burned. He was also fined, but this was remitted as a favor to Benveniste de Porta, Nahmanides' brother. The Dominicans, however, found this punishment too mild and, through Pope Clement IV., they seem to have succeeded in turning the two years' exile into perpetual banishment.


Nahmanides in the land of Israel

Nahmanides left Aragon and sojourned for three years somewhere in Castille or in southern France. In 1267 he emigrated to the land of Israel, and, after a short stay in Jerusalem, settled at Acre, where he was very active in spreading Jewish learning, which was at that time very much neglected in the Holy Land. He gathered a circle of pupils around him, and people came in crowds, even from the district of the Euphrates, to hear him. Karaites were said to have attended his lectures, among them being Aaron ben Joseph the Elder, who later became one of the greatest Karaite authorities. For broader historical context, see 1260s and 13th century. ... Jerusalem (31°46′N 35°14′E; Hebrew: (help· info) Yerushalayim; Arabic: (help· info) al-Quds, Greek Ιεροσόλυμα), is an ancient Middle Eastern city on the watershed between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea at an elevation of 650-840 meters. ... An acre is an English unit of area, which is also frequently used in the United States and some Commonwealth countries. ... Karaite Judaism is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the Tanakh as the sole scripture, and rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmud) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... Karaite Judaism is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the Tanakh as the sole scripture, and rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmuds) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ...


It was to arouse the interest of the Israeli Jews in the exposition of the Bible that Nahmanides wrote the greatest of his works, the above-mentioned commentary on the Torah. Although surrounded by friends and pupils, Nahmanides keenly felt the pangs of exile. "I left my family, I forsook my house. There, with my sons and daughters, the sweet, dear children I brought up at my knees, I left also my soul. My heart and my eyes will dwell with them forever."


During his three years' stay in the Holy Land Nahmanides maintained a correspondence with his native land, by means of which he endeavored to bring about a closer connection between Judea and Spain. Shortly after his arrival in Jerusalem he addressed a letter to his son Nahman, in which he described the desolation of the Holy City, where there were at that time only two Jewish inhabitants — two brothers, dyers by trade. In a later letter from Acre he counsels his son to cultivate humility, which he considers to be the first of virtues. In another, addressed to his second son, who occupied an official position at the Castilian court, Nahmanides recommends the recitation of the daily prayers and warns above all against immorality. Nahmanides died after having passed the age of seventy-six, and his remains were interred at Haifa, by the grave of Yechiel of Paris. The phrase The Holy Land (Arabic الأرض المقدسة, al-Arḍ ul-Muqaddasah; Hebrew ארץ הקודש: Standard Hebrew Éreẓ haQodeÅ¡, Tiberian Hebrew ʾÉreá¹£ haqQāḏēš; Latin Terra Sancta) generally refers to Israel, otherwise known as Palestine (sometimes including Jordan, Syria and parts of Egypt). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


His works

Nahmanides' wrote glosses on the whole Talmud, made compendiums of parts of Jewish law, after the model of Isaac Alfasi.


Nahmanides' known halakhic works are: "Mishpetei ha-Cherem," the laws concerning excommunication, reproduced in "Kol Bo"; "Hilkhot Bedikkah," on the examination of the lungs of slaughtered animals, cited by Shimshon ben Tzemach Duran in his "Yavin Shemu'ah"; "Torat ha-Adam," on the laws of mourning and burial ceremonies, in thirty chapters, the last of which, entitled "Sha'ar ha-Gemul," deals with eschatology (Constantinople, 1519, and frequently reprinted).


To the Talmudic and halakhic works belong also Nahmanides' writings in the defense of Simeon Kayyara and Alfasi. These are: "Milhamot HaShem," defending Alfasi against the criticisms of Zerachiah ha-Levi of Girona (published with the "Alfasi," Venice, 1552; frequently reprinted; separate edition, Berlin, 1759); "Sefer ha-Zekhut," in defense of Alfasi against the criticisms of Abraham ben David (RABaD; printed with Abraham Meldola's "Shiv'ah 'Enayim," Leghorn, 1745; under the title "Machaseh u-Magen," Venice, 1808); "Hassagot" (Constantinople, 1510; frequently reprinted), in defense of Simeon Kayyara against the criticisms of Maimonides' "Sefer ha-Mitzwoth" (Book of Precepts). R. Zerakhyah ben Yitzhak Ha-Levi (Ha-Gerondi), also known as RaZaH, RaZBI and Baal Ha-Maor (author of the book Ha-Maor) was born about 1125 in the town of Gerona, Spain - hence the name Gerondi - and died after 1186 in Lunel. ... Abraham ben David was a Jewish, French commentator on the Talmud. ...

  • "Derashah", sermon delivered in the presence of the King of Castile
  • "Sefer ha-Ge'ulah", or "Sefer Ketz ha-Ge'ulah", on the time of the arrival of the Messiah (in Azariah dei Rossi's "Me'or 'Enayim Imre Binah," ch. xliii., and frequently reprinted)
  • "Iggeret ha-Musar", ethical letter addressed to his son (in the "Sefer ha-Yir'ah," or "Iggeret ha-Teshuvah," of Jonah Gerondi)
  • "Iggeret ha-Chemdah", letter addressed to the French rabbis in defense of Maimonides (with the "Ta'alumot Chokmah" of Joseph Delmedigo)
  • "Wikkuach", religious controversy with Pablo Christiani (in the "Milchamot Chovah")
  • "Perush Iyyov", commentary on Job
  • "Bi'ur" or "Perush 'al ha-Torah", commentary on the Torah

See also

Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people with around 14 million followers (as of 2005 [1]). It is one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths and one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Moshe ben Maimon (March 30, 1135–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher. ...

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Nahmanides (2374 words)
Nahmanides is the common name for Moshe ben Nahman of Gerondi; he was a Spanish Jewish rabbi, philosopher, Kabbalist and biblical commentator.
Nahmanides was born at Gerona (hence his name "Gerondi") in 1194, and died in the land of Israel about 1270.
For Nahmanides, revelation is the best guide in all these questions; but as he is not, he says, a despiser of wisdom, one who would systematically refuse to resort to speculation for the corroboration of faith, he purposes to discuss them rationally.
Nahmanides Summary (4395 words)
In the view of Nahmanides, the wisdom of the rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud, as well as the Geonim (rabbis of the early medieval era) was unquestionable.
Nahmanides' adherence to the words of the earlier authorities may be due to piety, or the influence of the northern French Jewish school of thought.
Nahmanides died after having passed the age of seventy-six, and his remains were interred at Haifa, by the grave of Yechiel of Paris.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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