By Robert Chazan
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Extra resources for AJS Review (The Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies), Vol 18, No. 2 1993
1-12, 42-62. That is the belief that there was a single "typical"sort of Ashkenazicrabbiin the late Middle Ages. But perhapsthere was no such single type or range. There may have been, to the contrary,a varietyof possible interestsand types. One field of study-the one thatcapturedthe interestof Simeonben the linkedpairof Jewish Samuelin Regensburg-was philosophy-kabbalah, of doctrines and esoteric interpretations Scripture. metaphysical If we search for typicality,we are forced to make ever more subtle exclusionaryargumentsto explain why men such as Muelhausen,Zioni, Jacob b.
Cf. the similarpassagein Muelhausen's Kavvanatha-Tefilahin Kaufman,Muelhausen,p. 189. "The "divineimage"of man is "thesoul ... "50 Intentionallyor not, he moves the Aristotelianscale of valuesin the direction of asceticismand kabbalah,but the distanceof his views andhis aspirations froma narrowlytalmudicor pietisticaxiologyis clear. He does notrehearseanyphilosophical proofs in the work itself. )"5 But in one place, Simeon ben Samueloffers a proof of his own, on the question of whetherthe body feels pain after death.
130-131. 15. In "Li-Demutah," he mentionstwo manuscripts: one of the Guide,copiedin Praguein 1396, andone of the philosophictextbookRuahhen,withnotesby R. SeligmanBing (fl. 1450). In a laterarticle("Hasagotminhakhamehad'al divreihe-hakhamR. Yosefha-Lo'azi she-katavve-qarabe-qol gadol neged ha-Rambam,"Qovescal yad 21 : 221-222), he publishedan oath takenin 1467 by R. Moses Zartof Lichtenfels,in whichR. Cf. n. 87 below. 16. See Kupfer,"Li-Demutah," p. 131. This conclusionwas endorsedby LawrenceKaplan in "RationalismandRabbinicCulturein SixteenthCenturyEasternEurope:R.