Commentary

Type: Commentary

Critical Glosses (Hasagot) of the Ravad:

Author

Rabbi Abraham ben David; known by his acronym: "Rabad" or "Ravad".

Dates

1125-1198

Place

Posquières, Provence (southern France)

Description

The Ravad's brief critical notes to the Mishneh Torah are known for their abrasive quality. He objected to Maimonides' endeavour of presenting the normative rulings without indication of their sources of rationales, a policy which he feared would severely limit the ability of subsequent authorities to exercise independent judgment.

The Ravad's glosses all begin with the formula "Said Abraham," and are concise to the point of being cryptic. They have been reprinted in every publication of the Mishneh Torah.

Although the Ravad is now best known for his glosses to Maimonides' code, his contemporaries esteemed him as a Talmudic commentator and halakhic teacher in his own right. His literary output extended to most areas of rabbinic activity, including commentaries to the Talmud and to other legal codes, responsa, practical manuals on religious law, and more. He was also one of the earliest adepts of the esoteric mystical teachings of the Kabbalah.


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