33 votes
Accepted

Deviations of Ralbag from normative Jewish theology

Ralbag held of a number of views which might be considered problematic, or against normative theology. The first three listed below, are more deviant than the subsequent two. The former would be ...
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  • 48k
15 votes

Did Rambam have Rashi's works?

Did Rashi's works even reach the lands in which the Rambam lived? To summarize Prof. Shamma Friedman's piece, scholars in the early 20th century assumed from Rambam's silence, that he did not have ...
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  • 34.8k
13 votes
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Praise of Mishneh Torah amongst the Rishonim

The Meiri (13th cent.) describes the unique features of the Mishneh Torah in his introduction to Beit HaBehira: That it is omits the Talmudic dialectics, and presents just ruling. That it is written ...
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13 votes
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Which sins are beyond punishment?

I found a case attributed to the Semag (one of the last ba'alei Tosfos) where a sin is so heinous that not only is forgiveness not an option, but we don't administer capital punishment since putting ...
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  • 11.8k
12 votes
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History of the two versions of the Ritva

There's a significant amount of literature on this which I'm not going to look up right now, so please excuse the lack of sources; I'll try to edit them in later (they were all found by following the ...
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12 votes
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Problem with Likkutei Maharil

Prof. Yedidya Alter Dinri records in his Hakhmei Ashkenaz B'Shilhi Y'mei HaBeynayim (pp. 278-9) as cited by R. Yisrael Peles in Yeshurun (20 p. 890) that many Aharonim held that Likkutei Maharil (aka ...
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  • 34.8k
12 votes
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Who wrote/compiled Rashi on the Rif

The consensus of the majority of traditional and modern authorities is that the "Rashi on the Rif" is not written by Rashi, but rather by a different scholar around the 13th and 14th centuries. The ...
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12 votes
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Instances in Shas where Tosfos quotes the Rambam?

According to a quote from Rav Chaim Kanievsky, there are only 3 places in Shas where Rambam is mentioned in Tosfos (brought down in the stories at the end of the 29th chapter of the Artscroll English ...
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  • 6,683
11 votes
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Where can the Tosafot of Rabbi Samson of Sens be found?

Tosafot Shants are printed in the margins of Eduyot in the standard Vilna edition of the Talmud (counterintuitively, it isn't usually printed in editions of the Mishna). You can read it online here. ...
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  • 23.8k
10 votes

Are there any jokes in the Geonim or Rishonim?

While your question is overly broad, the short answer is "yes" - at least so far as Rishonim are concerned, and only because I don't know of any examples from geonim. (There are numerous examples of ...
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  • 18.5k
10 votes
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Who was רבינו יואל מבונ"א?

Your suspicions are correct and confirmed by Aptowitzer (Intro. to 'Ravia', pg. 39), Urbach (Ba'alei HaTosafos, Jer. 1969, pg. 179) and Ginzberg (JE, Eliezer b. Joel). His full name was Yoel b. ...
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  • 11.8k
9 votes

Deviations of Ralbag from normative Jewish theology

The Rivash in his Tshuvos #45 mentioned that some of the Ralbag's beliefs that he felt were influenced by nontraditional wisdom. Rivash does mention that Ralbag wrote otherwise nice works. Rivash ...
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9 votes

Instances in Shas where Tosfos quotes the Rambam?

Tosefos to Berachos 44a, s.v. על העץ, cites the ספר המיימוני. ובס' המיימוני מצריך להזכיר בה מעין המאורע בשבת ובי"ט
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9 votes
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Was the Ritva's teacher the Ba'al Hamaor's grandson?

One of the Ritva's teachers was Rav Aharon Ha-Levi, often known by the acronym רא"ה. He was indeed a direct descendant of the Ba'al Ha-Maor.
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8 votes
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What was the ריב"א thinking?

Shaalos Uteshuvos Radbaz 3:444 says that perhaps the Riva felt that his time was up and knew that he would die either way and therefore did not eat. "אפשר דריב"א ז"ל הרגיש בעצמו דאפילו שיאכל ימות ...
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8 votes
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When was the Meiri discovered?

It is not true that the Meiri's Bet haBechirah was "rediscovered" in modern times. The work had never been missing, but was merely in manuscript form for some six hundred years, only being printed for ...
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  • 18.5k
8 votes
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Is there a relationship between the Sma"g and the Sma"k?

The Sma"k (written by Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil) is an abridged version of the Sma"g (written by Moses ben Jacob of Coucy) including additional agaddic and ethical material. Cited here for instance. ...
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  • 43.5k
8 votes
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Identity of "the Greek rabbi" in the Raavad's gloss (Tum'at Met 17:3)

It is the Rivmats, Rabbi Yitzchak Ben Malki Tzedek, from Siponto in Italy. A little more about him in the Wikipedia entry about him. The following source helped me find him (top of page 126).
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  • 3,784
7 votes
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Where can I find an online copy of ספר החכמה?

According to Encyclopedi Yehudit ר' ברוך בר' שמואל ממגנצא' was the author of Sefer Hachachma and it has been lost. ברוך בן שמואל ממגנצא - תלמודי ופייטן. חי בסוף המאה הי"ב ומת במגנצא בשנת 1221. ...
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7 votes

When was the Meiri discovered?

Most of the works from the Meiri were printed for the first time in the 20th century. Shimon bM is correct in that the Beit ha-Beḥirah, the most famous work of the Meiri, was first printed in the 18th ...
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  • 10.7k
7 votes

List of which Rishonim wrote on each Masechta?

R. Menachem M. Kasher compiled such a bibliographic list in his Sare HaElef (Section 4), some of which is available here for free (though not the section you’re looking for).
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7 votes
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In what order were the works of the Rashba written?

The Sdei Chemed (vol. 9, Klalei HaPoskim 10:2) delineates the order of authority and reverse chronology as follows: Shu"t HaRashba Torat HaBayit / Avodat HaKodesh / Piskei Challah / Shaar HaMayim ...
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  • 1,989
7 votes
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Source for Cremation Specifically Not Jewish

I’d suggest the quote, albeit not exact, is from Tosafot (Chulin 125b s.v. Yachol): בהא דאמרינן בביצה (י.)... דהתם במת שלם דאין דרך לשורפו ולנתחו פחות מכזית
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  • 11.8k
7 votes

How can I answer a Rishon's question

"Rabbi Yehoshua ben Zeruz, son of the father-in-law of Rabbi Meir, testified before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi about Rabbi Meir that he ate the leaf of a vegetable in Beit She’an without tithing or ...
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  • 10.4k
6 votes

"Secular" studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

It seems Ashkenazi Jews of the time - including the Tosafists - lacked formal secular knowledge. Rabbi Prof. Ephraim Kanarfogel wrote in his essay "The Tosafist Oeuvre and Torah u-Madda": &...
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  • 20.5k
6 votes

Did any classic rabbinic sources discuss static electricity?

Based on some research, e.g. this link, I would venture that the Chazzal, the Rishonim and even early Achronim never heard of it and rarely if ever experienced the zap of static electricity. About ...
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6 votes

Are there any jokes in the Geonim or Rishonim?

Korei Dorot Chapter 3 records the following story featuring Mahari Abuhav (my translation): ואמרו על הרב מהר"י אבוהב ז"ל שהיתה עינו אחת סמויה...פעם אחד היה מהלך בדרך בשדה וישב לו הרב על שן ...
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  • 95.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Looking For HaMaspik

here you go: http://www.docdroid.net/rko0/kefayet.pdf.html and a review by a scholar you should be sure to read: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8F_PW9P6dqlRjI2RERad3haakU/view?usp=sharing
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6 votes

Definition of the Written Law

The Gemara in Kiddushin (30a) says that a father is obligated to teach his son "mikra, not mishnah." Rava there says "mikra" means "Torah." Rashi explains that this means ...
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