Raavad of Posquires

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I noticed you have some lectures on the Meforshim. My question is about the Raavad of Posquieres. Is he recognized as being as great as (or greater than) the Rambam – at least in terms of Talmud/Halacha?
With best wishes

Dear Shimon
Raavad of Posquires is best remembered for his terse, sometimes almost exasperated-sounding, hasagot (animadversions) on the Mishneh Torah. He was an older contemporary of Rambam, renowned as an outstanding halakhic authority, who regarded the rabbinic genius from Egypt (who fled Spain as a teenager) as a young, possibly overconfident upstart. The fact that nearly all of the dozens of editions of the Mishneh Torah published in the last 500 years include Raavad’s hasagot attests to the high regard in which he is held. Nevertheless, IMO it would be going too far to assert that he is considered to be Rambam’s superior in Talmudic jurisprudence. While his criticisms of the ruling of Rambam are invariably respected, Raavad’s view definitely does not carry the day every time.
For a lecture (including notes to download) on Rambam, click here (or here to go direct to the Maimonides video).
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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