Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Ketav Tamim

Seforim Online has uploaded a new batch of books. Among them is Ketav Tamim, by R Moshe ben Hisdai Tachau. Sections of this controversial book were first published in 1860 by Kirchheim, and a facsimile of the unique manuscript (Paris NB heb. 711) was produced by the Dinur Center in 1984. The people at SO have copied the 1860 publication, and added several pages from Urbach's edition of Arugat ha-Bosem, containing an extensive quote from the work.

Philosophy is not my forte, and I hope readers will be able to give a better explanation of the content of Ketav Tamim. In short, it contains an attack on the philosophical, anti-anthropomorphic statements of Saadi'a Gaon, the Rambam and others.

The book and its author are mentioned in the contribution by the late Shraga Abramson to the Urbach memorial volume (Mehqerei Talmud 3). In his back-handed way, Abramson recounted his first encounter with the professor, at the first World Congress of Jewish Studies. Urbach gave a lecture about Ketav Tamim, and Abramson, who was a yeshiva student at the time, informed him that he had looked deeply into all extant sources about R Moshe Tachau. Urbach asked "And did you know about Ketav Tamim?" Abramson answered "Of course! How can you study R Moshe Tachau without knowing about Ketav Tamim?"

That's the story.


Blogger Jeffrey said...

I wrote my second seminar paper in grad school on Moshe Taqu, and have always found him fascinating.

The Seforim on line people, however, missed a direct quote from Ktav Tamim in the Maharshal's introduction to the Yam shel Shlomo.

9:37 PM  
Blogger manuscriptboy said...

The one discussed by Elhanan Reiner in his Shalem article?

9:59 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

I don't know. To which article are you referring?

2:04 PM  
Blogger manuscriptboy said...

Sorry, my mistake. I meant his article in the Chone Shmeruk festschrift.

2:41 PM  

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