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Ibn Abītūr, Joseph ben Isaac

(1,313 words)

Author(s): Judit Targarona
Joseph ibn Abītūr (ca. 939–after 1012) was born in Merida in al-Andalus in the mid-tenth century. He had an Arabic last name (Abītūr) and a Romance appellative (Satanas, Santas, or Santos). His family had been in Sepharad for more than six generations. In a letter to Samuel ha-Kohen, Ibn Abītūr says that “although his great-grandfather was not an erudite man, he was a powerful one who imposed five death penalties,” qui…

Maimon ben Joseph ha-Dayyan

(1,142 words)

Author(s): Judit Targarona
Maimon (Ar. Maymūn) ben Joseph ha-Dayyan (ca. 1110–ca. 1166), the father of Moses Maimonides, was a disciple of  Joseph ha-Levi ben Meʾir ibn Migash, with whom he studied in Lucena. Maimon served as a rabbi and jurist in …

Ibn Naghrella, Samuel (Abū Ibrāhim Ismāʿīl) ben Joseph ha-Nagid

(2,196 words)

Author(s): Judit Targarona
Samuel ibn Naghrella (Abū Ibrāhim Ismāʿīl ibn Yūsuf ibn Naghrīla), best known in Jewish history as Samuel ha-Nagid, was born in Cordova in 993, the second son of a wealthy family from Merida. The quintessential repr…

Bible Exegesis

(15,870 words)

Author(s): Mordechai Cohen | Judit Targarona | Daniel Frank | Frank Weigelt
1. Rabbanite Jewish scholarship in Muslim lands was deeply enriched by its absorption of Arabic and Greco-Arabic learning, which included grammar and philology, poetics, hermeneutics, history, science, and philosophy, all of which contributed profoundly to forging substantially new methods of biblical interpretation. While Scripture had long been central in Judaism, earlier interpretation was dominated by creative midrashic ways of rewriting the Bible, which by the Muslim period had been consolida…
Date: 2016-10-21