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Jewish Commentators — Their Lives and Works

 

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Isaac ben Moses Arama
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Hebrew Name(s): יצחק בן משה ארמא
Other Names: Yitzhak Arama, Ba'al Aḳedah
Period: Rishonim — 15th Century
Location: Spain
Dates: 1420–1494

Biography:
A Philosopher and Talmudist, Isaac ben Moses Arama was principal of a rabbinical academy in Zamora before moving to Tarragona, Aragon and later to Calatayud where he became head of the Talmudic Academy. After the expulsion of Jews (1492) he settled in Naples.
His commentary on the Pentateuch (Aḳedat Yitzhak), which was written in a philosophical and homiletical style, earned him the name "Ba'al Aḳedah." He also wrote a commentary on the Five Scrolls (Ḥamesh Megillot.)
 
In his writing Isaac ben Moses Arama was critical of Maimonides' rationalism and his philosophical approaches influenced later thinkers (e.g. Abrabanel.)

Works:
Aḳedat Yitzhak (Offering of Isaac); Ḥazut Ḳashah (A Burdensome Vision); Yad Abshalom (The Hand of Absalom)

Comments:
Aḳedat Yitzhak is a philosophical and homiletical commentary on the Torah.
Ḥazut Ḳashah (A Burdensome Vision) treats the relationship between philosophy and theology.
Yad Abshalom (The Hand of Absalom) is a commentary on The Book of Job.

 

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