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Halakhic Truth and Erroneous Ruling: a Study of the Philosophy of Halakhah in the School of R. Nissim of Gerona—R. Isaac Bar Sheshet and R. Ḥasdai Crescas

In: The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
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  • 1 Ariel University
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Abstract

This study analyzes the attitude toward the conflict between halakhah and science in the thought of two halakhic authorities of fifteenth-century Spain who developed the ideas of their master, R. Nissim of Gerona, in different directions. R. Isaac bar Sheshet Perfet (Rivash) privileged halakhah over science for epistemological reasons because of its basis in revelation and tradition, but it appears that R. Ḥasdai Crescas stressed faith in the halakhic authority of the sages, even in cases of an erroneous ruling, as a way to increase the believing Jew’s motivation to serve God.

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