27 10, 2020

The religious and Literary ideas of Nachmanides

By |2020-10-27T07:19:19-07:00October 27th, 2020|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

  The highly respected scholar Dr. Isadore Twersky (1930-1997) was a professor at Harvard University, a rabbi, the Chasidic Tainer Rebbe of Boston, and the son-in-law of Rabbi Dr. Joseph B. Soloveitchik. His works on Maimonides and other writings achieved high praise. In 1983, Harvard University Press published his book “Rabbi Moses Nahmanides (Ramban): Explorations [...]

5 04, 2020

Nachmanides Unique View of the Passover Seder

By |2020-04-05T04:39:15-07:00April 5th, 2020|Jewish Books, Thoughts|

Some may say that the mystic Nachmanides (1194-1270) was more interested in heaven than earth. Unlike Maimonides (1138-1204), who focused on a scientific study of the world, Nachmanides was concerned with the way in which Jews interact with God. Maimonides’ view led him to see three people-oriented purposes for the 613 biblical commandments. In his [...]

8 08, 2018

I just published a new book.

By |2018-08-08T04:36:06-07:00August 8th, 2018|Thoughts|

Pub date: October 2018 Nachmanides An Unusual Thinker by Israel Drazin ISBN: 9789652298874 Price: $24.95 Pages: 217 Binding: Hardcover Nachmanides was and still is a highly respected scholar. Yet despite his brilliance he had ideas that many modern Jews are unable to accept. He was the first person who contended that the Bible, Targum Onkelos, [...]

22 04, 2018

A famous mystic’s view of ecclesiastes

By |2018-04-23T04:36:56-07:00April 22nd, 2018|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

While scholars such as Rashbam, Abraham ibn Ezra, Maimonides, and others read what the Bible actually states, Nachmanides (1194-1270) read mysticism into the biblical words. According to Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel, he was the first Bible commentator to do so.[1] He also explained the biblical text by claiming that certain events, behaviors, and conversations [...]

21 03, 2018

Nachmanides’ Unique View of Passover

By |2018-03-21T06:44:02-07:00March 21st, 2018|Thoughts|

  Some may say that the mystic Nachmanides was more interested in heaven than earth. Unlike Maimonides, who focused on a scientific study of the world, Nachmanides was concerned with the way in which Jews interact with God. Maimonides’ view led him to see three people-oriented purposes for the 613 biblical commandments. In his Guide [...]

10 10, 2017

Nachmanides opposed doctors

By |2017-10-10T06:30:28-07:00October 10th, 2017|Thoughts|

The renowned Spanish Mystic Bible and Talmud commentator Nachmanides’ view that God is involved in everything that occurs in this world affected his view about doctors helping people. He was generally, with only one exception, opposed to doctors.   Miracles occur daily Nachmanides (1194-1270) writes[1]: “And now I shall declare to you a general principle [...]

20 09, 2017

Nachmanides’ attempt to defend Judaism at Barcelona

By |2017-09-20T04:28:25-07:00September 20th, 2017|Book Reviews|

“The Disputation at Barcelona, by Ramban,” translated by Rabbi Dr. Charles B. Chavel, is a classic text composed by Nachmanides (1195-1270), also known as Ramban, of the formal dispute that Nachmanides had with Pablo Christiani in 1263 before the king of Aragon, James I. It is an interesting piece of Jewish history. There are two [...]

14 09, 2017

The curious views of Nahmanides

By |2017-09-14T04:58:49-07:00September 14th, 2017|Thoughts|

  Nachmanides was a famed Bible and Talmud commentator. His real name was Moses ben Nahman Gerondi. He is known in Hebrew as Ramban and in European languages as Nahmanides, also spelt Nachmanides (1194-1270). He was a mystic and had mystical ideas. What are some of his views? Among much else, Nahmanides believed that Jews [...]

26 04, 2017

Nachmanides’ strange understandings of demons, hell, souls, women’s period, rape, and other subjects

By |2017-04-26T04:07:07-07:00April 26th, 2017|Thoughts|

The following is a draft of a chapter from my forthcoming book "Nachmanides: An Unusual Thinker," which should be published sometime this year   The prior chapter examined Nachmanides’ mystical view of God. This chapter looks at his approach to other subjects. Did Nachmanides insist that midrashic tales are not parables, but true facts? Did [...]

24 04, 2017

Some thoughts about Nachmanides

By |2017-04-24T07:05:03-07:00April 24th, 2017|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

Among the many things that I do each week are the reviews that I write for amazon and which I place on amazon. (Since I was a child, I have been unable to do just one thing at a time. For example, I went to Talmudical Academy in Baltimore since kindergarten, including high school, but [...]

6 02, 2017

Were the Ten Plagues Miracles?

By |2017-02-06T06:48:47-07:00February 6th, 2017|Thoughts|

                The following essay is chapter 24 in my third book on Maimonides: Maimonides, Reason Above All.                                                               [...]

17 04, 2016

Reasonable interpretations of the Torah by Nachmanides

By |2016-04-17T05:06:18-07:00April 17th, 2016|Thoughts|

                               Reasonable interpretations of the Torah by Nachmanides   Many of Nachmanides’ views are reasonable, more reasonable than those by Rashi, but many are not, for Nachmanides felt that the only truth was Kabbalah. The following are some of his reasonable [...]

10 04, 2016

The Unusual Thinker Nachmanides

By |2016-04-10T07:40:36-07:00April 10th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                              Nachmanides’ View of Himself   Most rabbis consider the twelfth century Spanish rabbi Nachmanides one of Judaism’s greatest thinkers. Many do so without knowing [...]

13 01, 2016

Hasdai Crescas: Jewish Philosophy Unintentionally Including Christian Beliefs

By |2016-01-13T09:50:18-07:00January 13th, 2016|Book Reviews, Thoughts|

                   Hasdai Crescas: Jewish Philosophy Unintentionally Including Christian Beliefs One of the most tragic occurrences in Judaism’s long history is the frequent absorption of alien, often heathen and Christian notions.[1] This occurred not only amongst the uneducated masses; rabbis fell prey to this phenomenon as well, simply because they did not know Jewish history [...]

11 01, 2016

The non-biblical notion of holiness

By |2016-01-11T08:47:51-07:00January 11th, 2016|Thoughts|

                                                                  The non-biblical notion of holiness   The concept of “holiness,” meaning that something or someone is sacred does not exist in the Bible. The biblical Hebrew word kedushah, which is usually translated today as “holiness” means “separate.” When the Bible asserts that God is holy it signifies that God is totally separate [...]

21 12, 2014

Do angels and demons exist?

By |2014-12-21T06:21:05-07:00December 21st, 2014|Thoughts|

  The following is based on what I wrote in my recent book “Unusual Bible Interpretations: Five Books of Moses.”                                                                                                                                                                Angels and demons   Did brilliant well-respected ancient thinkers of all religions have ideas that modern people should reject? Certainly. Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers, had the despicable incorrect notion that women [...]

24 11, 2014

Does God Control and Manipulate Us?

By |2014-11-24T06:54:23-07:00November 24th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                                Does God Control and Manipulate Us?   Since the beginning of time, since people believed that God exists, men and women of every religion asked whether God is involved in their lives and, if so, how? The Hebrew Bible does not answer this question. So individuals developed their own views. Those with a [...]

21 11, 2014

A very strange assessment of the Torah

By |2014-11-21T09:09:09-07:00November 21st, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                                            A very strange assessment of the Torah   When Mordecai told Ether that Haman planned to murder all Judeans, Esther requested that Mordecai arrange that all Judeans fast for three days. The book of Esther does not reveal when the fast began. However there is an opinion in the Babylonian Talmud[1] that the [...]

26 10, 2014

The patriarchs were humans

By |2014-10-26T06:17:16-07:00October 26th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                                 The patriarchs were humans    The first book in my new series “Unusual Bile Interpretations,” on the “Five Books of Moses,” was published in Israel last week. I finished the next two, on the biblical books Joshua and Judges, and they will be published in upcoming months. I am currently working on a [...]

14 09, 2014

Nachmanides on Curses and Magic

By |2014-09-14T01:19:58-07:00September 14th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                    Nachmanides on Curses and Magic[1]     The biblical portion Nizavim, Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20, offers us an opportunity to observe some problematic ideas of the great thirteenth century Spanish Jewish sage, Nachmanides, ideas common among people of his time, but rejected by many people today.   Idolatry, magic, and divination Nachmanides’ view of [...]

11 09, 2014

Strange ideas of Nachmanides

By |2014-09-11T23:46:38-07:00September 11th, 2014|Thoughts|

                                                      Strange ideas of Nachmanides                                    His notion concerning the Sanctity of Israel[1]     The biblical portion Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8, mentions laws that Israelites were expected to observe when they entered Canaan, later called Israel. This affords us an opportunity to discuss the sanctity of the land of Israel.   Many [...]

2 10, 2013

Unusual Bible Interpretations – Joshua 1

By |2013-10-09T02:52:42-07:00October 2nd, 2013|Thoughts|

                                                                 Joshua  Chapter 1                                                                 By Israel Drazin   Having completed 54 Unusual Bible Interpretations on the Pentateuch, I have begun this series on the next biblical book Joshua. I will focus on one chapter every week.                                                          The Book Joshua The first chapter of Joshua presents its history using the number three.[1] [...]

3 07, 2013

My latest article

By |2013-07-05T10:25:06-07:00July 3rd, 2013|Thoughts|

    I published a twenty-page scholarly article on the well-respected famed thirteenth century sage Nachmanides’ commentaries on the late fourth century Aramaic translation of the Torah called Targum Onkelos on the on-line scholarly publication www.oqimta.org.il.   People read Targum Onkelos today, and search it for derash, halakhah, and homiletical teachings. My article shows for [...]

24 10, 2011

Rabbis have abandoned the Bible to fundamentalist Christians

By |2011-10-25T04:52:52-07:00October 24th, 2011|Thoughts|

By Israel Drazin   Many rabbis have, in effect, abandoned Bible study to fundamentalist Christians. Very few of their books that ostensibly address the Torah actually do so. Instead, usually without disclosing the fact, the rabbis who composed these volumes and the rabbis who deliver synagogue sermons focus on the midrashic versions of the biblical [...]

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