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From Aragon to Castile — The Origins of Sephardi Talmudic Speculation in Fifteenth-Century Spain / מארגון לקסטיליה — לתולדות שיטת לימודם של חכמי ספרד במאה החמש עשרה

יואל מרציאנו and Yoel Marciano
Tarbiẕ / תרביץ
כרך עז‎, חוברת ג/ד‎ (ניסן-אלול תשס"ח), pp. 573-599
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23607025
Page Count: 27
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From Aragon to Castile — The Origins of Sephardi Talmudic Speculation in Fifteenth-Century Spain / מארגון לקסטיליה — לתולדות שיטת לימודם של חכמי ספרד במאה החמש עשרה
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Abstract

This article traces the sources of the study methods of fifteenth-century Sephardic sages, showing that the foundations of the approach that spread in Castile during the second half of the fifteenth century had already arisen in Aragon, in the Saragossa region at the end of the fourteenth century in the academies of the Ran, Rabbi Hasdai Crescas, Rabbi Yosef Albo, Rabbi Mattitya Ha-Hitzhari and others. This suggests that the Sephardic approach, which was prevalent in Castile, originated in Aragon, and it also supports the thesis raised in the article with regard to the force that motivated the Sephardic approach. This article maintains that the Sephardic Approach not only adopted the logical method and semantic concerns from the field of philosophy, but that it was influenced even more strongly by the adoption of philosophical doctrines regarding ultimate perfection. The Sages of the Sephardic Approach believed that the study of Talmud — close reading, the acquisition of knowledge, and the sharpening of the mind — brings the student to cleave to God — an effect similar to the study of philosophy, which combines devotion with the active intellect. This article contributes to the better understanding of the Talmud study-techniques by the Sephardic Sages of the fifteenth century. It contributes to recognizing that the Sephardic study-technique was an independent and unique evolutionary process, which drew upon Iberian culture, rather than the product of Ashkenazi influences that penetrated Spain at the end of the Middle Ages.

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