1501 Broadway, suite 505A | New York, NY 10036

December 25 - 27, 2017

Join the Drisha Network

Sign Up Now
site lock black

Winter Week of Learning

Mysticism and Diplomacy: Ramban as Commentator, Disputant, Kabbalist, and Communal Leader
Sunday, December 23 – Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Rabbi Moshe ben Naḥman (1194-1267) was one of the most versatile and influential figures in Jewish history. His commentary on the Torah is one of the most remarkable works in the history of Jewish literature, synthesizing literary, philological, philosophical, and mystical approaches, and he is also well known as a writer of Talmudic commentaries and legal treatises. A harsh critic of Maimonides, among others, he also penned works meant to defend his own intellectual heroes from criticisms. And if that were not enough, he was also a physician and then a communal leader in Gerona, who tried to broker a compromise in the swirling controversy over philosophy, and was later called to a disputation against the Christians in front of King James I of Aragon. Banished from his homeland as a result of his performance there, he settled in Israel for the last years of his life, where he engaged with French traditions and the Jews of Jerusalem, revising his commentary in light of what he found, and grappling with the mystical meaning of it all. Creative and innovative in Bible, Talmud, halakha, and kabbalah, the Ramban’s life and work are endlessly fascinating and enriching.

Join us at The Sixth Street Community Synagogue, 325 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003, as we explore some of the many facets of this towering figure in Jewish history and thought.

Click here to register for the full program.

Click on any title below to register for the individual session.

Sun, Dec 23 Mon, Dec 24 Tues, Dec 25
Dr. Aaron Koller

Nahmanides as Communal Leader: The Controversy over Maimonides

Dr. Yoni Brafman

Nahamanides on Human Law

Dr. Michelle Levine

Literary Aspects of Nahmanides’ Biblical Commentary


1:15 Mincha Mincha Mincha
1:30-4 Rabbi David Silber

Kabbalistic Aspects of Nahmanides’ Commentaries

Jennifer Seligman

The Disputation: Nahmanides vs. Pablo Christiani in front of King James I of Aragon, 1263

Dr. Joel Hecker

Hiding in Plain Sight: Kabbalistic Interpretation in Nahmanides


Faculty Bios