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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15Focusing on Jewish Religious Life, 1500-1900$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774716

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774716.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Isaac of Troki’s Studies of Rabbinic Literature

Isaac of Troki’s Studies of Rabbinic Literature

(p.65) Isaac of Troki’s Studies of Rabbinic Literature
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 15

Stefan Schreiner

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses Isaac ben Abraham of Troki (c. 1533–c.1594), one of the outstanding members of the sixteenth-century Karaite community in Lithuania, if not its most prominent intellectual. His major work, the Ḥizuk emunah (Strengthening of Faith), occupies a particular place in the history of Christian–Jewish polemics. Isaac’s book, written in old age, was a result of certain interreligious disputations. He decided to systematize the conclusions in one book, hoping that in future the book might serve his co-religionists as a ‘ḥizuk emunah’, as he called it in an allusion to Isaiah 35: 3. The book itself consists of two parts. In the first part, which consists of fifty chapters, he deals at length with the Christian interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, focusing on all those passages that were traditionally read as prooftexts for the Christian dogma. The second part, which is much shorter although it consists of 100 chapters, contains a thorough discussion of the large number of New Testament texts that refer to the Hebrew Bible.

Keywords:   Isaac ben Abraham of Troki, Isaac of Troki, rabbinic literature, Ḥizuk emunah, Strengthening of Faith, Hebrew Bible, Christianity, interreligious disputations

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