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Drisha Winter Week of Learning

12/05/2018 05:27:18 PM



Dear Friends,

Each year, Drisha offers a Winter Week of Learning, providing thoughtful and scholarly alternatives to "winter break." We are honored to host this important opportunity in our synagogue.

Mysticism and Diplomacy:
Ramban as Commentator, Disputant,
Kabbalist, and Communal Leader
Sunday, December 23rd
thru Tuesday, December 25


Nachmanides as Communal Leader: The Controversy over Maimonides
Dr. Aaron Koller (Sunday 12/23 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM)

Kabbalistic Aspects of Nachmanides’ Commentaries
Rabbi David Silber (Sunday 12/23 1:30 - 4:00 PM)

Nachmanides on Human Law
Dr. Yoni Brafman (Monday 12/24 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM)

The Disputation: Nachmanides vs. Pablo Christiani in front of King James I of Aragon, 1263
Jennifer Seligman (Monday 12/24 1:30 - 4:00 PM)

Literary Aspects of Nachmanides’ Biblical Commentary
Dr. Michelle Levine (Tuesday 12/25 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM)

Hiding in Plain Sight: Kabbalistic Interpretation in Nachmanides
Dr. Joel Hecker (Tuesday 12/25 1:30 - 4:00 PM)

For more information or to register for all
or some of this unique programming please click




Rabbi Moshe ben Nacḥman (1194-1267) was one of the most versatile and influential figures in Jewish history. His commentary on the Torah is one of the most remarkable works in the history of Jewish literature, synthesizing literary, philological, philosophical, and mystical approaches, and he is also well known as a writer of Talmudic commentaries and legal treatises. A harsh critic of Maimonides, among others, he also penned works meant to defend his own intellectual heroes from criticisms. He was also a physician and then a communal leader in Gerona, who tried to broker a compromise in the swirling controversy over philosophy, and was later called to a disputation against the Christians in front of King James I of Aragon. Banished from his homeland as a result of his performance there, he settled in Israel for the last years of his life, where he engaged with French traditions and the Jews of Jerusalem, revising his commentary in light of what he found, and grappling with the mystical meaning of it all. Creative and innovative in Bible, Talmud, halakha, and kabbalah, the Ramban’s life and work are endlessly fascinating and enriching.

Fri, May 29 2020 6 Sivan 5780