Page 86 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Kanarfogel
78
Recent research has pointed to a number of possible influences
on Nahmanides’ writings that also require further study. R. Yehu-
dah ha-Levi’s impact on Ramban in regard to the primacy of the
land of Israel has been duly noted.45Ha-Levi’s significant role in
regard to the parameters of natural law has also been demonstrat­
ed 46A number of other phrases and concepts in Ramban’s thought
may owe their origins to ha-Levi, whose
Kuzari
reflects elements
of merkavah mysticism 47 Some of ha-Levi’s material may have
been brought to Ramban’s attention via Avraham ibn Ezra who,
in addition to having a major impact on Ramban’s biblical exegesis,
also had an influence on Nahmanides’ kabbalistic conceptions.48
P I E T I S T IN FLU EN C E S
R. Eleazar of Worms, who was cited by Ramban in his letter to
the rabbis of northern France and was linked in kabbalistic
pseudepigraphy to Ramban, also had a significant amount of
Rashba, among those of other leading medieval Spanish talmudists, were never
mentioned in Yizhak Baer’s^
History of theJews in Christian Spain.
Baer includes,
o f course, material from other parts of Ramban’s corpus. See Ta-Shma, “Halakhah,
Kabbalah u-Filosofiyyah bi-Sefarad ha-Notzerit,”
Shenaton ha-Mishpat ha-Ivri
1 8 - 19 (1992-94): 479-95 .
45. See M. Idel, “The Land o f Israel in Medieval Kabbalah,”
The Land of
Israel: Jewish Perspectives,
ed. L.A. Hoffman (Notre Dame, 1986), pp. 17 6 -178 ;
Shalom Rosenberg, “The Link to the Land o f Israel in Jewish Thought,”
The
Land of Israel: Jewish Perspectives,
pp. 148-56 ; A. Ravitzky,
A l Da‘at ha-Makom,
pp. 42 -55 ; E. Wolfson, “By W ay o f Truth,” p. 151, n. 36.
46. See Michael Nehorai, “Torat ha-Nes veha-Teva Etzel ha-Ramban ve-
Zikatah le-R. Yehudah ha-Levi,”
Da‘at
17 (1986): 23 -3 1 (and cf. D. Berger’s
response in
Da‘at
18 [1987]: 169-170).
47. Elliot Wolfson, “Merkavah Tradition in Philosophical Garb—Judah ha-
Levi Reconsidered,”
Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research
57
(1991): 179-242; Scholem,
Origins,
p. 223-24, 4 1 0 - 1 1 ; Septimus, “Open Rebuke,”
pp. 14—16, 27. 30; Idel, “W e Have No Kabbalistic Tradition,” pp. 59, n. 33, 69;
Wolfson, “By Way o f Truth,” 105, n. 6; Safran, “R. Azriel and Nahmanides:
Two Views o f the Fall o f Man,” p. 84, n. 43, p. 100, n. 84. Cf. I. Twersky,
Rabad,
pp. 27 5 -76 , 280, and Howard Kreisel, “Judah Halevi’s Influence on
Maimonides: A Preliminary Appraisal,”
Maimonidean Studies
2 (1991): 9 5 - 12 1 .
48. See Septimus, “Open Rebuke,” p. 23, nn. 42, 43; Scholem,
Origins,
p.
4 1 1 , n. 108; and Wolfson, “By Way o f Truth,” 115, n. 37. Regarding Ramban’s
relationship to the exegetical methods o f Rashi and Ibn Ezra, see Septimus,
“Open Rebuke,” pp. 17 -18 , nn. 27 -28 , and 19 -20 , nn. 3 1 -32 , and Y.S. Licht,
“Ramban,”
Entziklopediah Mikra’it,
8:683-89.