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Interpreting “The Resting Of The Shekhinah”: Exegetical Implications Of The Theological Debate Among Maimonides, Nahmanides, And Sefer Ha-Hinnukh

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author opens a new aspect of fertile division within Jewish learning by exploring its exegetical manifestations, i.e., how the opposing theological positions generated opposing interpretations of the biblical depictions of the &t;descent&t; of the shekhinah into the Tabernacle in the desert and its ultimate &t;resting place&t; in the Temple in Jerusalem. The author primarily focuses on two authors namely Andalusian talmudist-philosopher Maimonides and the Catalan talmudist-kabbalist Nahmanides. Simply including Maimonides makes an important statement that requires some elaboration, which has long been known as a great Bible commentator. A new exegetical portrait of Nahmanides himself has emerged recently, even though he clearly has long been regarded as a great Bible commentator in the peshat tradition. Sefer ha-Hinnukh is not an exegetical work as such, but rather a detailed listing of the 613 commandments in the order of their appearance in the Torah.

Keywords: Maimonides; Nahmanides; Sefer ha-Hinnukh; Tabernacle



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