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77
R. Moses b. Nahman
for the Sabbath, and the burial ofJews on Yom Tov by non-Jews.41
Indeed, a perusal of
Hiddushei ha-Ramban
at the end of tractate
Mo ‘ed Katan
reveals that Ramban consistently opposed the proce­
dures advocated by
rabbanei/hakhmei Tzarefat
over a range of issues
within
hilkhot
’avelut
,42
On 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 prevalent Ashkenazic strategy of
reconciling practices and conventions that appeared to be in conflict
with talmudic law.44
41. See Jacob Katz,
Goy shel Shabbat
(Jerusalem, 1984), pp. 166-72 , and R.
Menahem ha-Meiri,
Bet ha-Behirah
‘al Massekhet Shabbat,
ed. Y.S. Lange
(Jerusalem, 1965), pp. 141-42 .
42. See, e.g.,
Hiddushei ha-Ramban, Mo‘ed Qatan
17b, s.v. kol shiv‘ah, 19a,
s.v. ’
dmar R. Amram,
20a, s.v.
'amar Rav Huna,
and
hanei shiv'ahyomei
(fol. 158),
21b, s.v.
tannu rabbanan.
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.
Hmken;
Simha Assaf,
Sifran shel Rishonim
(Jerusalem, 1935), pp. 87 -89 ; and Shmuel Shilo,
Dina
Demalkhuta Dina
(Jerusalem, 1975), pp. 19 1 -95 , 3 18 -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 o f praise for the
greatness o f the French Tosafists’ talmudic scholarship appear at the beginning
of his monograph on
dina de-garmi,
which deals with laws of torts. Cf. I. Ta-Shma,
EJ
12:780. On the nature o f Nahmanides’
hiddushim
and his use o f earlier
rabbinic literature, see also
Hiddushei ha-Ramban le-Massekhet Ketubot,
ed. Ezra
Shevat (Jerusalem, 1990), editor’s introduction, 1-44.
In several o f the examples adduced by Septimus (above, n. 39), Ramban
sides with the Spanish view in cases o f monetary law. These may not, however,
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-Shma,
EJ
12:779], or the French position is
cited as the opinion o f one scholar rather than the view o f
rabbanei/hakhmei
Tzarefat
in general.
44. See. H. Soloveitchik,
Halakhah, Kalkalah ve-Dimmui Atzmi
(Jerusalem,
1985), pp. 1 1 2 - 1 9 , and J. 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,”
Jewish
Tradition and NontraditionalJews,
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 patters o f
innovativeness or conseratism 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-Shma has noted that the talmudic novellae o f Ramban and