Nahmanides' disputes with rashi as a gateway to his worldview

Shalem Yahalom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although he highly praises Rashi's Torah commentary, Nahmanides emphasizes that Rashi's work is not beyond criticism. This article points out one aspect of Nahmandes' disagreement with Rashi. Rashi, for his part, is willing to cite traditional Midrashic commentaries without significant additions, assuming that tradition is an effective tool for transmitting reliable information. Nahmanides argued with Rashi over this claim. Rather than sufficing to repeat exegetical traditions, in his Torah commentary, Nahmanides expands them and raises alternatives. In this way, he asserts the importance of analyzing all information critically. This article demonstrates how reservations regarding tradition stand behind several exegetical and halakhic disputes between Rashi and Nahmanides. Through analyzing this principle, the study demonstrates how Nahmanides, under the guise of a guardian of tradition, constructed an original, creative spiritual world in the areas of exegesis, halakha, and kabbalah.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-228
Number of pages22
JournalReview of Rabbinic Judaism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2020.


  • Chiddushei HaRamban
  • Medieval Jewish Bible commentary
  • Nahmanides
  • Rashi


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