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
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