Page 84 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

Basic HTML Version

Kanarfogel
76
Moreover, the other kinds of halakhic writing that Nahmanides
did, such as his monographs and
hassagot,
reflect Spanish (or
Provencal) conventions.37
A P P R O A CH TO H ALAKH AH
Whether Nahmanides consistently adhered to Ashkenazic or
Spanish halakhah in his commentaries, in cases where the two
were in conflict, is most difficult to determine.38 Septimus has
suggested that even as Ramban was deeply indebted to Tosafist
talmudic methodology, and extolled the Tosafists for their method,
“devotion to the study and defense of the Geonic-Andalusian
tradition remained a major counter-theme in his halakhic career.”
In a note, Septimus points to several examples where Ramban in
his
Hiddushim
sided with the position of earlier Sefardic halakhists
against a strong Ashkenazic consensus.39
Satisfactory resolution of this question can come only after a
comprehensive analysis of Nahmanides’
Hiddushim
in their entire­
ty. As a working hypothesis, however, I would suggest that Ramban
was inclined to take the part of
Hakhmei Sefarad
rather than follow
competing Ashkenazic practices in matters of ritual law and custom,
such as the recitation of
piyyutim
and the
Shema^
food preparation
Ma'arav Bimei ha-Benayim,”
Studies in the History ofJewish Society in the Middle
Ages and in the Modem Period,
ed. E. Etkes and Y. Salmon (Jerusalem, 1980), pp.
4 5 -48 , and A. Grossman, “Yetziratam ha-Hilkhatit shel Hakhmei Sefarad,”
Moreshet Sefarad,
pp. 15 8-60.
37. See Septimus, “Open Rebuke,” pp. 30-32; Twersky,
Rabad of Posquieres,
pp. 56-59, 84—85; Ta-Shma,#7, 12 :780-81.
38. Despite a disclaimer that he would defend R. Isaac Alfasi’s views only up
to a point (similar in tone to the disclaimer made in the introduction to his
hassagot
on
Sefer ha-Mitzvot),
Ramban tended to accept the rulings o f Rif (whom
he refers to thoughout his writings as
Rabbenu ha-Gadol)
in his
Milhamot ha-Shem
and
TashlumHalakhot.
Both these works, however, were intended to complement
R ifs
Halakhot,
and neither cites Tosafist views with any frequency. See C.B.
Chavel,
Rabbenu Mosheh ben Nahman,
pp. 73-75, 84-96; his
Kitvei ha-Ramban,
v.
1, pp. 4 1 3 - 14 , 4 1 8 -2 1 ; and Unna,i2.
Mosheh ben Nahman,
pp. 24-26.
39. Septimus, p. 33, n. 86.
40. See Septimus, ibid.; Jacob Katz, “Ma‘ariv bi-Zemanno u-shelo bi-
Zemanno,”
Halakhah ve-Kabbalah,
pp. 190—92; I. Ta-Shma, “E-l Melekh
Ne’eman—Gilgulo shel Minhag,”
Tarbiz
39 (1970): 184-94 ; and
Katz, Halakhah
ve-Kabbalah,
pp. 39-42.