Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

600-year-old manuscript reveals lost French-Jewish intellectual stream

(JNS) - The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem announced on Wednesday the acquisition of a one-of-a-kind manuscript, "Mezukak Shivatayim," whose title means "Distilled Sevenfold" in Hebrew.

An encyclopedic work that "distills" and blends halachah (Jewish law), theology, and Aristotelian and medieval philosophy, the treatise is one of those few rare books representing the now lost Jewish community of Provence and its unique way of life.

During the late 13th and early 14th centuries, a vast complex of religious, cultural and social disputes known as the Maimonidean controversies created an...


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