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26****Rabbi Avraham ben David (RAVAD III)

Rabbi Avraham ben David (RAVAD III) 

Born: Narbornne, Provence, France, 1120

Died: Posquieres, Provence, France, 1197

Commonly referred to as Ravad. Talmudist, halachist and Kabbalist.                                                                    

At a young age, Ravad directed a yeshivah in Nimes which, under his leadership, became the foremost learning institution in Provence (in Southern France). Later he opened an academy at Posquieres and personally paid for the support of his needy students. In spite of his great wealth, he abstained from all luxuries, leading a pious and ascetic life-style. He wrote numerous brilliant treatises on all phases of religious observance. 

Ravad is best known for his caustic criticism of Rambam's Mishneh Torah. He disapproved of the fact  that the Rambam failed to list the sources on which he based his decisions. Notwithstanding his often biting remarks, Ravad admitted, "Rambam has produced a monumental work in assembling the material from Gemara, Yerushalmi, and Tosefta". For his part, Rambam held Ravad in high esteem, bowing to his criticism. Ravad's critical notes have been incorporated as glosses into the standard text of all full editions of Rambam, as Hasagot Haravad (Ravad's critical notes). From his father-in-law, Ravad II , he received instruction in the teachings of Kabbalah. He reached high spiritual levels of Ruach HaKodesh (Rashi: unification with the divine presence; deep spiritual insight or prophecy) and had the merit of having the Prophet Elijah appear to him. A commentary on the mystical Sefer Yetzirah is attributed to him.

May the merit of the tzaddik Rabbi Avraham ben David (RAVAD III)   protect us all, Amen.

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