The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Biblica Veritas: Biblical Interpretation as a Source of Law in the Responsa of R. Joseph Colon

R. Joseph Colon (Maharik; 1420-1480) was the leading halakhic authority in Northern Italy in the middle third of the fifteenth century. His responsa are marked by clarity of argument and the broad range of sources which he enlists. He is unique among his contemporaries and predecessors in prominent role played by the Biblical text and of works of medieval Bible commentary in his legal analyses. This lecture will present a taxonymy of his use of this material and his attitude toward Bible study generally, in comparison with relevant discussions among his contemporaries.