The Sephardic Legacy: Unique Features and Achievements

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-11-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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Fundamentally different from other more prominent, Jewish traditions and experiences, the Sephardic tradition has long served to bind together the various Jewish communities of the Mediterranean basin. InThe Sephardic Legacy, Henry Toledano immerses readers in the medieval historical context that gave rise to the Sephardic tradition, arguing that the golden age of Jewish culture in Spain would not have been possible without the stimulus and inspiration of Islamic civilization. Along the way, Toledano covers such topics as the flourishing of Jewish culture and science, Hebrew poetry, the systematic codification of Jewish law, Jewish philosophy, and the impact of Islamic civilization on the development of critical biblical exegesis.

Author Biography

Dr. Haim Toledano, rabbi and scholar, was born in Meknes, Morocco to a prominent rabbinic family. Following his family's tradition, he acquired intensive rabbinic training in traditional yeshivot in both Morocco and U.S.A., and obtained rabbinic ordination from both. In the U.S.A., Toledano earned Ph.D in Islamic civilization and medieval Sephardic culture from Columbia University. He has taught Hebrew, Arabic, and Jewish Studies in several American universities, and is presently Professor Emeritus from Hofstra University, his academic home for over twenty years. At Hofstra, Dr. Toledano directed the program in Hebrew, Arabic, and Jewish Studies, as well as a number of lecture-series and Symposia on Sephardic history, culture, and folklore. In addition, he has published and lectured widely on Islamic Jurisprudence in Morocco, Judeo-Islamic relations, medieval Sephardic tradition, Moroccan rabbinic culture, and other related topics.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Sephardic Culture - Definitionsp. 5
Distinguishing Features of Sephardic Culturep. 11
Historical and Cultural Roots of Sephardic Judaismp. 25
Biblical Exegesis and Hebrew Philology in Medieval Spainp. 41
Hebrew Poetry in Medieval Spainp. 49
Sephardic Codification of Jewish Lawp. 85
Medieval Jewish Philosophyp. 125
The Three-Fold Zionist Legacy of Yehudah Halevip. 185
The Spanish Legacy among Moroccan Jewsp. 205
Appendix: The "Heiter Nefihah" Controversy between the Megorashim and the Toshavimp. 227
Notesp. 231
Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 311
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