Karaite Judaism or Karaism is a Jewish religious movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh alone as its supreme authority in Halakha and theology. It is distinct from mainstream Rabbinic Judaism, which considers the Oral Torah, as codified in the Talmud and subsequent works, to be authoritative interpretations of the Torah. Karaites maintain that all of the divine commandments handed down to Moses by God were recorded in the written Torah without additional Oral Law or explanation; as a result, Karaite Jews do not accept as binding the written collections of the oral tradition in the Midrash or Talmud. When interpreting the Tanakh, Karaites strive to adhere to the plain or most obvious meaning of the text. By contrast, Rabbinic Judaism relies on the legal rulings of the Sanhedrin as they are codified in the Midrash and other sources to indicate the authentic meaning of the Torah. Karaite Judaism holds every interpretation of the Tanakh to the same scrutiny regardless of its source, teaches that it is the personal responsibility of every individual Jew to study the Torah, decide its correct meaning.
Karaites may consider arguments made in the Talmud and other works without exalting them above other viewpoints. According to Rabbi Abraham ibn Daud, in his Sefer HaQabbalah, the Karaite movement crystallized in Baghdad in the Gaonic period under the Abbasid Caliphate in what is present-day Iraq; this is the view universally accepted among Rabbinic Jews. However, some Arab scholars claim that Karaites were living in Egypt in the first half of the 7th century, based on a legal document that the Karaite community in Egypt had in its possession until the end of the 19th century, in which the first Islamic governor ordered the leaders of the Rabbinite community against interfering with Karaite practices or the way they celebrate their holidays, it was said to have been stamped by the palm of'Amr ibn al-'As, the first Islamic governor of Egypt, was dated 20 AH. Historians have argued over whether Karaism has a direct connection to anti-Rabbinic sects and views, such as those of the Sadducees, dating back to the end of the Second Temple period, or whether Karaism represents a novel emergence of similar views.
Karaites have always maintained that, while there are some similarities to the Sadducees, due to the rejection of Rabbinical authority and the Oral Law, there are major differences. The ancestors of the Karaites were a group called Benei Ṣedeq during the Second Temple period. Karaites at one time made up a significant proportion of the Jewish population. Estimates of the Karaite population are difficult to make because they believe on the basis of Genesis 32 that counting Jews is forbidden. In the 21st century, some 30,000–50,000 are thought to reside in Israel, with smaller communities in Turkey and the United States. Another estimate holds that, of the 50,000 worldwide, more than 40,000 descend from those who made aliyah from Egypt and Iraq to Israel; the largest Karaite community today resides in the Israeli city of Ashdod. Arguments amongst Jewish sects regarding the validity of the Oral Law date back to the 1st and 2nd centuries BCE. Accordingly, some scholars trace the origin of Karaism to those who rejected the Talmudic tradition as an innovation.
Judah Halevi, an 11th-century Jewish philosopher and rabbi, wrote a defense for Judaism entitled Kuzari, placing the origins of Karaism in the first and second centuries BCE, during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, king of Judaea from 103 to 76 BCE: After him came Judah b. Tabbāi and Simon b. Shētaḥ, with the friends of both. At this period arose the doctrine of the Karaites in consequence of an incident between the Sages and King Jannai, a priest, his mother was under suspicion of being a'profane' woman. One of the Sages alluded to this, saying to him:'Be satisfied, O king Jannai, with the royal crown, but leave the priestly crown to the seed of Aaron.' His friends prejudiced him against the Sages, advising him to browbeat and scatter or kill them. He replied:'If I destroy the Sages what will become of our Law?"There is the written law,' they replied, whoever wishes to study it may come and do so. He followed their advice and expelled the Sages and among them Simon b. Shētaḥ, his son-in-law. Rabbinism was laid low for some time.
The other party tried to establish a law built on their own conception, but failed, till Simon b. Shētaḥ returned with his disciples from Alexandria, restored tradition to its former condition. Karaism had, taken root among people who rejected the oral law, called all kinds of proofs to their aid, as we see to-day; as regards the Sādōcaeans and Boēthosians, they are the sectarians who are anathemised in our prayer. Abraham Geiger, a 19th-century German scholar who founded Reform Judaism, posited a connection between the Karaites and a remnant of the Sadducees, the 1st-century Jewish sect that followed the Hebrew Bible and rejected the Pharisees' notion of an Oral Torah before it was written. Geiger's view is based on comparison between Karaite and Sadducee halakha: for example, a minority in Karaite Judaism do not believe in a final resurrection or after-life, a position held by the Sadducees; the British theologian John Gill noted, In the times of John Hyrcanus, Alexander Janneus his son, sprung up the sect of the Karaites, in oppositio
Torah has a range of meanings. It can most mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh, it is printed with the rabbinic commentaries, it can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the Oral Torah; the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today.
According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity, based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, that it was completed during the period of Achaemenid rule. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life; the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means'to guide' or'to teach'. The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, doctrine, "law". Greek and Latin Bibles began the custom of calling the Pentateuch The Law. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, or system.
The term "Torah" is used in the general sense to include both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law, serving to encompass the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash and more, the inaccurate rendering of "Torah" as "Law" may be an obstacle to understanding the ideal, summed up in the term talmud torah. The earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been "The Torah of Moses"; this title, however, is found neither in the Torah itself, nor in the works of the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It appears in Joshua and Kings. In contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were "The Book of Moses" and "The Book of the Torah", which seems to be a contraction of a fuller name, "The Book of the Torah of God". Christian scholars refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the'Pentateuch', a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria.
The Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, the giving of the Torah at biblical Mount Sinai. It ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the specific teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative. In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book, it is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God; the Ancestral history tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people
The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Judah the Prince, the work was studied exhaustively by generation after generation of rabbis in Babylonia and the Land of Israel, their discussions were written down in a series of books that became the Gemara, which when combined with the Mishnah constituted the Talmud. There are two versions of the Gemara; the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled by scholars of the Land of Israel of the academies of Tiberias and Caesarea, was published between about 350–400 CE. The Talmud Bavli was published about 500 CE by scholars of Babylonia of the academies of Sura and Nehardea. By convention, a reference to the "Gemara" or "Talmud," without further qualification, refers to the Babylonian version; the main compilers were Rav Ashi. See Talmud; the Gemara and the Mishnah together make up the Talmud. The Talmud thus comprises two components: the Mishnah – the core text; the rabbis of the Mishnah are known as Tannaim.
The rabbis of the Gemara are referred to as Amoraim. Because there are two Gemaras, there are in fact two Talmuds: the Jerusalem Talmud, the Babylonian Talmud, corresponding to the Jerusalem Gemara and the Babylonian Gemara; the Gemara is written in Aramaic, the Jerusalem Gemara in Western Aramaic and the Babylonian in Eastern Aramaic, but both contain portions in Hebrew. Sometimes the language changes in the middle of a story. In a narrow sense, the word Gemara refers to the mastery and transmission of existing tradition, as opposed to sevara, which means the deriving of new results by logic. Both activities are represented in the "Gemara" as a literary work; the term "gemara" for the activity of study is far older than its use as a description of any text: thus Pirke Avot, a work long preceding the recording of the Talmud, recommends starting "Mishnah" at the age of 10 and "Gemara" at the age of 15. The analysis of the Amoraim is focused on clarifying the positions and views of the Tannaim.
These debates and exchanges form the "building-blocks" of the gemara. A sugya will comprise a detailed proof-based elaboration of the Mishna; every aspect of the Mishnaic text is treated as a subject of close investigation. This analysis is aimed at an exhaustive understanding of the Mishna's full meaning. In the Talmud, a sugya is presented as a series of responsive hypotheses and questions – with the Talmudic text as a record of each step in the process of reasoning and derivation; the Gemara thus takes the form of a dialectical exchange. The disputants here are termed the tartzan; the gemara records the semantic disagreements between Amoraim. Some of these debates were conducted by the Amoraim, though many of them are hypothetically reconstructed by the Talmud's redactors. Are debates formally closed; the distinctive character of the gemara derives from the intricate use of argumentation and debate, described above. In each sugya, either participant may cite scriptural and Amoraic proof to build a logical support for their respective opinions.
The process of deduction required to derive a conclusion from a prooftext is logically complex and indirect. "Confronted with a statement on any subject, the Talmudic student will proceed to raise a series of questions before he satisfies himself of having understood its full meaning." This analysis is described as "mathematical" in approach. Prooftexts quoted to corroborate or disprove the respective opinions and theories will include: verses from the Tanakh: the exact language employed is regarded as significant; the actual debate will centre on the following categories: Why does the Mishna use one word rather than another? If a statement is not clear enough, the Gemara seeks to clarify the Mishna's intention. Exploring the logical principles underlying the Mishnah's statements, showing how different understandings of the Mishnah's reasons could lead to differences in their practical application. What underlying principle is entailed in a statement of fact or in a specific instance brought as an illustration?
If a statement appears obvious, the Gemara seeks the logical reason for its necessity. It seeks to answer under which circumstances a statement is true, what qualifications are permissible. All statements are examined for internal consistency. Resolving
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism's written and oral laws; the first sage for whom the Mishnah uses the title of rabbi was Yohanan ben Zakkai, active in the early-to-mid first century AD. In more recent centuries, the duties of a rabbi became influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title "pulpit rabbis", in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance. Within the various Jewish denominations there are different requirements for rabbinic ordination, differences in opinion regarding, to be recognized as a rabbi. For example, Orthodox Judaism does not ordain women as rabbis. Non-Orthodox movements have chosen to do so for what they view as halakhic reasons as well as ethical reasons; the Hebrew word "master" רב rav, which means "great one", is the original Hebrew form of the title.
The form of the title in English and many other languages derives from the possessive form in Hebrew of rav: רַבִּי rabbi, meaning "My Master", the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word Rav in turn derives from the Semitic root ר-ב-ב, which in biblical Aramaic means "great" in many senses, including "revered", but appears as a prefix in construct forms. Although the usage rabbim "many" "the majority, the multitude" occurs for the assembly of the community in the Dead Sea scrolls there is no evidence to support an association with the title "Rabbi." The root is cognate to Arabic ربّ rabb, meaning "lord". As a sign of great respect, some great rabbis are called "The Rav". Rabbi is not an occupation found in the Hebrew Bible, ancient generations did not employ related titles such as Rabban, Ribbi, or Rab to describe either the Babylonian sages or the sages in Israel; the titles "Rabban" and "Rabbi" are first mentioned in the Mishnah. The term was first used for Rabban Gamaliel the elder, Rabban Simeon his son, Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, all of whom were patriarchs or presidents of the Sanhedrin in the first century.
The title "Rabbi" occurs in the books of Matthew and John in the New Testament, where it is used in reference to "Scribes and Pharisees" as well as to Jesus. Sephardic and Yemenite Jews pronounce this word רִבִּי ribbī. Other variants are rəvī and, in Yiddish, rebbə; the word could be compared to the Syriac word ܪܒܝ rabi. In ancient Hebrew, rabbi was a proper term of address while speaking to a superior, in the second person, similar to a vocative case. While speaking about a superior, in the third person one could say rabbo; the term evolved into a formal title for members of the Patriarchate. Thus, the title gained an irregular plural form: רַבָּנִים rabbanim, not רַבָּי rabbay; the governments of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were based on a system that included the Jewish kings, the Jewish prophets, the legal authority of the high court of Jerusalem, the Great Sanhedrin, the ritual authority of the priesthood. Members of the Sanhedrin had to receive their ordination in an uninterrupted line of transmission from Moses, yet rather than being referred to as rabbis they were called priests or scribes, like Ezra, called in the Bible "Ezra, the priest, the scribe, a scribe of the words of God's commandments and of His statutes unto Israel."
"Rabbi" as a religious title does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. All of the above personalities would have been expected to be steeped in the wisdom of the Torah and the commandments, which would have made them "rabbis" in the modern sense of the word; this is illustrated by a two-thousand-year-old teaching in the Mishnah, Ethics of the Fathers, which observed about King David, "One who learns from their companion a single chapter, a single halakha, a single verse, a single Torah statement, or a single letter, must treat them with honor. For so we find with David King of Israel, who learned nothing from Ahitophel except two things, yet called him his teacher, his guide, his intimate, as it is said:'You are a man of my measure, my guide, my intimate'. One can derive from this the following: If David King of Israel who learned nothing from Ahitophel except for two things, called him his teacher, his guide, his intimate, one who learns from their companion a single chapter, a single halakha, a single verse, a single statement, or a single letter, how much more must they treat them with honor.
And honor is due only for Torah, as it is said:'The wise shall inherit honor','and the perfect shall inherit good'. And only Torah is good, as it is said:'I have given you a good teaching, do not forsake My Torah'." With the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish monarchy, the decline of the dual institutions of prophets and the priesthood, the focus of scholarly and spiritual leadership within the Jewish people shifted to the sages of the Men of the Great Assembly. This assembly was composed of the earliest group of "rabbis" in the mor
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia
The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews; the term "Talmud" refers to the collection of writings named the Babylonian Talmud, although there is an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud. It may traditionally be called Shas, a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the "six orders" of the Mishnah; the Talmud has two components. The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara alone; the entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, customs, history and many other topics.
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, is quoted in rabbinic literature. Talmud translates as "instruction, learning", from a root LMD "teach, study". Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works, though some may have made private notes, for example of court decisions; this situation changed drastically as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly Judaism without a Temple and Judea without at least partial autonomy—there was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained, it is during this period. The oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud, dates from 1342 and is available online; the process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were the two major centers of Jewish scholarship and Babylonia.
Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Talmud Yerushalmi, it was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500; the word "Talmud", when used without qualification refers to the Babylonian Talmud. While the editors of Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud each mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently. Here the argument from silence is convincing." The Jerusalem Talmud known as the Palestinian Talmud, or Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary, transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias and Caesarea, it is written in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western Aramaic language that differs from its Babylonian counterpart. This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah, developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Galilee Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.
Traditionally, this Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about the year 350 by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is traditionally known as the Talmud Yerushalmi, but the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem, it has more been called "The Talmud of the Land of Israel". Its final redaction belongs to the end of the 4th century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance. By this time Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325, Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, said "let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd." This policy made a Jew an pauper. The compilers of the Jerusalem Talmud lacked the time to produce a work of the quality they had intended; the text is not easy to follow. The apparent cessation of work on the Jerusalem Talmud in the 5th century has been associated with the decision of Theodosius II in 425 to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of semikhah, formal scholarly ordination.
Some modern scholars have questioned this connection. Despite its incomplete state, the Jerusalem Talmud remains an indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law in the Holy Land, it was an important resource in the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the Kairouan school of Chana
Isaac Aboab I
Isaac Aboab was a Jewish Talmudic scholar. He was known by the pen name Menorat ha-Maor or Menoras HaMaor, a work which he authored, he lived in Spain during the 14th century. As shown by Zunz, he is not to be confused with Isaac Aboab, rabbi of Castile, the supercommentator of Naḥmanides, who died in 1493, he was a man of affairs, towards the end of his life, devoted much time to literary work and to preaching, as he found that great Talmudic scholars and important seats of learning were rare. In his time, the Jews for whom he wrote still spoke Arabic, he belonged to a period of intellectual decline when men took to eclecticism. He combined extensive rabbinical knowledge with philosophical erudition, was fond of mystic interpretation of the Mosaic laws and ceremonies, he quoted Aristotle and Plato, though only from secondary sources, endeavored to illustrate passages from the Talmud and the midrashic literature, with which he was familiar, by utterances taken from the philosophical, the ethical, the mystic literature of his time.
His chief aim was the elevation of the masses. Aboab wrote three books: The first, on Jewish rites, under the title of Aron ha-'Edut, was divided, after the manner of the Decalogue, into ten sections, each again subdivided into chapters and paragraphs; the various ritual laws were therein traced to their Talmudic sources, the decisions of the Geonim and interpretations added. His second book, on the prayers and benedictions, was called Shulḥan ha-Panim, was divided into twelve sections, symbolizing the twelve loaves of the showbread in the Tabernacle, his third book has survived, has won considerable fame for the author, though in his humility he assures his readers that he composed it chiefly for his own use as a public speaker. But besides this it has contributed more than any other medieval book to the popularization of rabbinical lore and to the religious edification and elevation of the masses, it belongs to that class of ethical works which sprang up in the 13th century in a time of reaction against the one-sided manner in which Talmudic studies had been pursued."These Talmudists," he says in the preface, "consider it their duty to propose difficult questions and answer them in a witty and subtle manner, but leave unnoticed the precious pearls that lie upon the bed of the Talmudic ocean, the haggadic passages so rich in beauty and sweetness."
He conceived, the plan of grouping together the rich material stored up in the vast treasure-house of the Haggadah - from the religious and ethical point of view, of presenting it in a book which he called Menorat ha-Maor ), intending by it to illumine the minds and the hearts of his coreligionists. With reference to the seven-armed candlestick in the Tabernacle, he divided the book into seven sections, each of which bears the title of Ner or "Lamp" subdivided into separate parts and chapters, it can hardly be said that the division of the matter treated is logical and systematic, nor indeed does the work lay any claim to originality. Its skillful arrangement of the various Biblical and rabbinical topics and its warm tone of deep earnestness and sincerity could not fail to appeal to the popular heart, and as in the course of time the sermon still in use among the Spanish Jews, ceased to be a part of the divine service because the preacher had to give way to the Hazzan, or precentor, the Menorat ha-Maor became a substitute for the living voice of the preacher.
It was translated into Spanish and read to attentive assemblies of the people to those not versed in the Law. It thus became the household book of the medieval Jews, it was published with a Spanish translation, with a Hebrew commentary and a Judæo-German translation by Moses Frankfurter, with a modern German translation by Jacob Raphael Fürstenthal and Benzion Behrend. It was translated into modern Yiddish, in Wilna, 1880; the book should not be confused with a work of the same name by Israel Alnaqua. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore. "Aboab". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls