6 08, 2015

Maimonides, Abarbanel, and Cognitive Dissonance

By |2015-08-06T03:56:23-07:00August 6th, 2015|Thoughts|

                                               Maimonides, Abarbanel, and Cognitive Dissonance   Isaac Abarbanel, a highly intelligent fifteenth and sixteenth century Bible Commentator, used his introduction to the biblical book Amos to express his difference with Maimonides on the issue of prophecy. Abarbanel insisted that the view about prophecy held by most people, that prophecy is miraculous, is correct, [...]

22 06, 2015

An unusual, sometime bizarre, but interesting interpreter

By |2015-06-22T04:16:55-07:00June 22nd, 2015|Thoughts|

                                                                        An unusual, sometime bizarre, but interesting interpreter   Isaac ben Judah Abarbanel (also spelled Abravanel, 1437-1508) was a Portuguese Jewish statesman, Bible commentator, advisor to kings, and a wealthy financier. His many Bible commentaries generally begin with incisive questions. He was a clear thinker, but opposed philosophy and the rationalism of Maimonides, although [...]

17 06, 2014

Judges 18, part 2 – Abarbanel’s problematical interpretations

By |2014-06-17T03:27:46-07:00June 17th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                        Chapter 18                                                                         Part two                                          Abarbanel’s problematical interpretations   Abarbanel had many ideas that would bother modern people. He supposed, like Rashi, Nachmanides, and others that God is involved in everything that occurs in this world and sometimes manipulates people, like puppets, to do the divine will. Even grass does not [...]

24 03, 2014

Tazria – Abarbanel’s interpretation of the Naaman tale

By |2014-03-24T06:40:05-07:00March 24th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                        Tazria                                                 Abarbanel’s interpretation of the Naaman tale[1]   Shabbat and holiday synagogue Torah readings are followed by a recitation from one of the books of the prophets. The reading is called haphtarah or haphtarot in the plural. The name means conclusion,” and is so called because it follows and ends the Torah [...]