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Ramban




RAMBAN. R. MOSHEH BEN NAkIMAN, or NACHMAN-mEs, was born before 1200 at Gerona, where he was rabbi and physician, and died between 1268 and 1270 in Palesgrea,test Provencal rabbis, and became the most celebrated Talmudist and cabbalist of his age in his own country.

Of his extant commentaries on the Bible that on the Pentateuch is the most valuable. Three editions may be named. (1) Ed. prin., s. l. et a., but certainly before 1480. According to oral tradition the compositors set the type in a waggon whilst travel-ling in Italy from place to place for the purpose of selling printed books. (2) Lisbon, 1489. (3) Naples, 1490. This book has been translated at least twice into Latin (Schiller-Szinessy, Catal., i. pp. 174-177). The authorship of the commentary on Job, ascribed to Nachmanides, has been questioned, but without good grounds (op. cit., pp. 211-213). The commentaries, however, generally ascribed to him on Canticles and Ruth are certainly not his.

Of his many works on Rabbinic literature we mention only : (1) /11X71, Strictures on MAIMONIDES's (q.v.) Sepher Hammifvoth (Constantinople, 1510, 4to ; Venice, 1550, folio, - the latter in Giustiniani's edition of Maimonides's Mishmeh Torah. A cheap (Vienna, 1805). (4) riln5n, rilnlp5, Decisions, Novelise, and Collectanea ; these are spread over almost the whole Talmud. The Responsa ascribed to him are by his disciple Rashba. (5) a sermon on the superiority of the Mosaic Law (best edition by Jellinek, Vienna, 1872, 8vo). (6) Letters (a) on the Maimonidean controversy (cheapest edition, Vilna, 1821, 8vo); (b) to his son, on conduct (Lisbon ed. of the Pent. com.) ; (c) Iggereth Hakkodesh, on the ethics of matrimony (latest edition, Berlin, 1798; 8vo) ; MSS. lie in almost every public library in Europe, e.g., Cambridge. (7) tlitC1 n-on, on Sickness, Dcah, &e. (Constantinople, 1518, folio), - partly ascetic and. contemplative, partly Rabbinic ordinances ; its last chapter separately under the title of 5mari ni.rw (Naples, 1490, 4to, and reprints). (8) His anti-Christian contro-versies are chiefly contained in his 111:1, a Disputation with the convert Pablo Christiani, the teacher of Raymundus Martini, held before Jayme I., king of Aragon ; it is translated into Latin, and will be found, with a mutilated and otherwise corrupt text, in Wag-enseil's Tela ignea Satanic (Altdorf, 1681, 4to), the best and cheapest edition of the text and of the explanation of Isa. lii. 13 to Mi. 12 being that of Dr Steinschneider (Berlin, 1860, 8vo). (9) Cabbal-istic matter is contained in all Ramban's works (notably, however, in, the Pentateuch 1 and Job); he has also a commentary on the Sepher 1 cprah (Mantua, 1562, 4to, and reprints). (10) Nachmanides was also a liturgical writer of eminence. There arc extant by him a prose prayer for one going on a sea voyage (Yephe Noph, Venice, 1575, 4to), and a piece of religious poetry (Melo Chofnajim, Berlin, 1840, 8vo, pp. 39-41) for the Malkhiyyoth (first part of the additional service of New Year) ; the latter is a mosiajcib and betrays a perfect master both in kabbalali and poetry. For a specimen of Aramaic poetry see his introductory poem to Mill.mmoth, Adcrnai. (S.M. S.-S.)








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