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Disambiguation: It's important to be aware that there are three individuals known as the Ra'avad: R' Avraham ibn Daud of Spain, author of Sefer HaKabbalah; R' Avraham ben Yitzchak Av Beit Din of Narbonne, who wrote the Sefer HaEshkol; his son in law, and R' Avraham ben David of Posquières, author of the Hasagot on the Baal HaMaor and Rambam, Baalei HaNefesh, and quoted extensively by Rishonim.[1] Here, we also refer to the third one.

  1. the Ra'avad was a Talmid of Rav Moshe HaDarshan and Rabbeinu Meshulam, learned with the Baal HaMaor and saw Rabbeinu Tam.[2]
  2. In addition to his commentary on the Rambam, the Raavad wrote a commentary to Shas, which is quoted frequently by the Ramban, Rashba, and Shitah Mekubetzet, as well as on the Rif and Baal HaMaor.[3]
  3. When presented with a dispute between the Rambam and Ra'avad, some argue the Halacha should be treated as a Safek, while others favor the Ra'avad when he is more stringent than the Rambam, and still others are willing to be lenient like the Ra'avad against the Rambam.[4]
  4. In his inimitable style, the Ra'avad's critiques of the Rambam should not be seen as personal attacks to belittle the Rambam but rather as means of raising the red flag to warn people not to follow the rulings he felt the Rambam was mistaken in presenting.[5] He himself praises the Rambam's monumental work Mishneh Torah and states that he only argues so the generations to come don't unequivocally follow the Rambam's rulings. Additionally, the name "Mishneh Torah" and idea of it being the sole work necessary along with the Written Torah was very unsettling for him.[6]
  5. When the Ra'avad presents a dissenting opinion with the opening of "Yesh Mi SheOmer," the Tur seems to think he actually paskens that way, but the Beit Yosef does not.[7]
  6. Neither the Rambam's Perush HaMishnayot nor Moreh Nevuchim were present before the Ra'avad, as they had not yet been translated from Arabic to Hebrew.[8]
  7. "Gedolei HaMefarshim" and "Gedolei HaMagihim" refer to the Ra'avad.[9]
  8. The Recanti and Rav Chaim Vital write how Eliyahu HaNavi revealed himself to the Ra'avad, which corroborates with his statements "סוד ה' ליראיו" in Hilchot Lulav 8:5 and Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 6:5.[10]
  9. He wrote his collected writings in Temim Deim before he wrote his commentary on the Rambam, which means the latter is more authoritative regarding his view.[11]


  1. Shem HaGedolim (Sefarim, Heh 81-83). See Shach Choshen Mishpat 39:2
  2. Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Aleph 11)
  3. Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Aleph 11)
  4. Yad Malachi (Klalei HaRambam Ra'avad veSamag 41)
  5. Yad Malachi (Klalei HaRambam Ra'avad veSamag 42)
  6. Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Aleph 11)
  7. Yad Malachi (Klalei HaRambam Ra'avad veSamag 42)
  8. Yad Malachi (Klalei HaRambam Ra'avad veSamag 43, 44)
  9. Yad Malachi (Klalei HaRambam Ra'avad veSamag 45)
  10. Shem HaGedolim (Gedolim, Aleph 11)
  11. Nachal Eshkol (Hilchot Tumat Kohanim), Maharsham vol. 3 Siman 366, Leyad HaMeayen by Rav Mordechai HaKohen page 195. See Encyclopedia Hilchatit Refuit vol. 4 "Kohen" fn. 22.