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Jewish Concepts of ScriptureA Comparative Introduction$
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Benjamin D. Sommer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740620

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740620.001.0001

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Concepts of Scripture in Nahmanides

Concepts of Scripture in Nahmanides

(p.139) Chapter 9 Concepts of Scripture in Nahmanides
Jewish Concepts of Scripture

Aaron W. Hughes

NYU Press

This chapter examines Nahmanides' (Moses ben Nahman) life and thought by situating him against the larger intellectual and social backdrop that characterized the diversity of Jewish communities in the thirteenth century. This was a time of exchange and interchange between numerous Jewish cultures in northern Spain and France. The rationalism associated with al-Andalus, the mysticism of Provence, and the Tosafist tradition of northern France all implied different sets of traditions and concomitant understandings of Judaism and Jewish texts. At the crossroads of these cultures is the commanding figure of Nahmanides, who was able to mediate the tensions associated with these diverse Jewish cultures, employ philosophical rationalism, expound on the mystical currents associated with the kabbalah, and uphold the conservatism of the rabbinic schools associated with northern France.

Keywords:   Nahmanides, Moses ben Nahman, thirteenth century, Jewish communities, al-Andalus, Provence, Tosafist tradition, Judaism, kabbalah

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