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Collected EssaysVolume III$
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Haym Soloveitchik

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113997

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113997.001.0001

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A Response to R. Buckwold’s Critique of ‘Rabad of Posquières: A Programmatic Essay’, Part II

A Response to R. Buckwold’s Critique of ‘Rabad of Posquières: A Programmatic Essay’, Part II

(p.365) Chapter Thirteen A Response to R. Buckwold’s Critique of ‘Rabad of Posquières: A Programmatic Essay’, Part II
Collected Essays

Haym Soloveitchik

Liverpool University Press

This chapter is a continuation of the response to Rabbi E. A. Buckwold's extensive critique of the author's article on Ravad of Posquières. The author claimed that Ravad and Rabbenu Tam were revolutionaries, that they dispensed with 500 years of geonic tutelage, and that the innovative, the new in law often wears the guise of the old, all of which incurred R. Buckwold's wrath. The chapter first addresses the two major sources of R. Buckwold's disquiet. It then turns to a number of his lesser criticisms, both his assumptions and his mode of argument. R. Buckwold cites Menaḥem ha-Me'iri's introduction to Avot in explanation of the absence of written talmudic commentary in the time of the Geonim, and states that, as the language of the Talmud was understood by all, there was no need for commentary. The chapter argues that Me'iri's introduction to Avot, valuable as it is in some of the information it contains, is not a work of history and is of limited historical use.

Keywords:   E. A. Buckwold, Ravad of Posquières, Rabbenu Tam, geonic tutelage, Menaḥem ha-Me'iri, Avot, talmudic commentary, Geonim, Talmud

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