Page 177 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

Basic HTML Version

KANARFOGEL/ON THE ASSESSMENT OF NAHMANIDES
169
opposed the procedures advocated by
rabbaneHhakhmei Tmrefat
over a range of issues within
hilkhot ’avelid.
42On the other hand,
Nahmanides was more inclined to follow Tosafist interpretations
and rule accordingly in matters of monetary law.43Affecting this
entire analysis, however, is the fact that Nahmanides, regardless
of the area of law that was involved, did not adhere to the prev­
alent Ashkenazic strategy of reconciling practices and conventions
that appeared to be in conflict with talmudic law.4
42. See, e.g.,
Hiddushei ha-Ramban, Mo’ed Qatan
17b, s.v.
kol shiv’ah,
19a, s.v.
’amar R. Amram,
20a, s.v.
’amar Rav Huna,
and
hanei shiv’ah yomei
(fol. 158),
21b, s.v.
tannu rabbanan,
and cf.
Torat ha-Adam, Kitvei ha-Ramban,
v.2, pp.
99-100, 158-63, 189-90.
43. See, e.g.,
Hiddushei ha-Ramban, Bava Batra
55a, s.v.
’im ken;
Simha Assaf,
Sifran shel Rishonim
(Jerusalem, 1935), pp. 87-89; and Shmuel Shiloh,
Dina
Demalkhuta Dina
(Jerusalem, 1975), pp. 191-95, 318-20, 326-29. See also
Hiddushei ha-Ramban, Bava Metzia
70b, s.v.
mai lav
and
Tosafot
ad loc., and
Haym Soloveitchik in the next note. Ramban’s strongest words of praise
for the greatness o f the French Tosafists’ talmudic scholarship appear at
the beginning o f his monograph on
dina de-garmi,
which deals with laws
o f torts. Cf. I. Ta-Shema,
EJ
12:780.
In several o f the examples adduced by Septimus (above, n. 39), Ramban
sides with the Spanish view in cases of monetary law. These may not, how­
ever, be indicative. In these cases, Ramban’s position is determined either
by talmudic
nusha’ot,
where Ramban’s consistent preference for Spanish
readings is well known [see Unna, p. 21, and Ta-Shema,
EJ
12:779], or
the French position is cited as the opinion of one scholar rather than the
view o f
rabbanei!hakhmei Tsarefat
in general.
44. See H. Soloveitchik,
Halakhah, Kalkalah ve-Dimmui Atzmi
(Jerusalem, 1985),
pp. 112-19, and Katz (above, nn. 40-41), and
Halakhah ve-Kabbalah,
pp.
135-36, 160 regarding
yibbum.
For Ramban’s position on
pilagshut,
see my
“Rabbinic Attitudes Toward Non-Observance in the Medieval Period,
"Jew­
ish Tradition and Nontraditional Jews,
ed. J.J. Schacter (New York, 1992),
pp. 17-26, and see also pp. 30-35. Ramban’s diverse tendencies in halakhic
decision-making and codification further complicate any attempt to identify
broad patterns o f innovativeness or conservatism in his writings. See R.
Chazan,
Barcelona and Beyond,
pp. 37, 185-94. Indeed, while Ramban, as
Chazan has shown, takes a very forward approach to messianic speculation,
his stance in regard to (mystical) eschatology is quite conservative. See Idel,
“Be-Or ha-Hayyim,” (above, n. 16).
Israel Ta-Shema has noted that the talmudic novellae of Ramban and
Rashba, among those o f other leading medieval Spanish talmudists, were
never mentioned in Yizhak Baer’s
A History of the Jews in Christian Spain.
Baer includes, o f course, material from other parts of Ramban’s corpus.
See Ta-Shema, “Rabbinic Literature in Fifteenth-Century Spain: the Case
o f
Menorat ha-Ma’or
by R. Isaac Aboab,” to appear in the proceedings of
a conference, Intellectual Creativity in a Community in Decline: Spanish