Ma’amar ‘al Yishma’el

March 27, 2012 | posted in: Books | by 81 Comments


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Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham ibn Adret (1235-1310) was the Rabbi of Barcelona and the acknowledged spiritual leader of his generation. In this virtually unknown polemic work, he defends Judaism against the onslaught of Muslim theologian and critic Muhammad ibn Hazm (994-1064).

The text is based on a unique manuscript once housed in the Breslau Rabbinical Seminary. Researcher Bezalel Naor has relied on the transcription of one of the first graduates of the seminary, Joseph Perles, appended to Perles’ German monograph R. Salomo b. Abraham b. Adereth: Seine Leben und seine Schriften (Breslau, 1863). Naor’s lengthy introduction proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the attribution of the work to Rashba. In addition, the editor has included substantial footnotes and excursuses. The topic could not be more timely, as Judaism once again finds itself called upon to rise to the defense against the charges of Islamic triumphalists.

The volume includes a second original work by Bezalel Naor, Mitsvat Hashem Barah: An Elucidation of the Seven Noahide Commandments. The fascinating material is formatted both according to the order of Maimonides’ Hilkhot Melakhim and the order of the weekly Torah portion. (220 pp.)

Contained in the volume is a facsimile of a formal Haskamah (Approbation) from the late Talner Rebbe of Boston, Professor Isadore Twersy zt”l to Naor’s critical edition of Hassagot ha-Rabad le-Mishneh Torah (Jerusalem, 1984).

Read an excerpt from the book

(The book is all in Hebrew with 9 pages in English)

Announcing publication of a new book from Orot, Inc:
Ma’amar ‘al Yishma’el by
Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham ibn Adret (Rashba).
Introduced and annotated by Bezalel Naor.
Hebrew. Hardcover. 6x 9 inches.
408 pp. (8 pp. English introduction + 178 pp.
Ma’amar ‘al Yishma’el + 220pp. Mitsvat Hashem Barah.)
ISBN 9780976471424

About the Author


Biography: Rabbi Bezalel Naor is the author of several works in both English and Hebrew that span the spectrum of Judaic studies: Biblical exegesis, Talmudic analysis, Kabbalah, Sabbatianism, Hasidism, and his trademark—Kookian thought. Besides author, Rabbi Naor is a noted speaker and teacher, capable of making even the most esoteric subject come alive. Audiences thrill not only to his Torah, but also his adventuresome Jewish travelogues of remote and exotic regions. Rabbi Naor studied in yeshivot and universities both in the United States and Israel, and at various times headed institutes of higher Jewish learning in both countries.