Commentaries on the Torah and the New Testament of Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abarbanel This is the special Torah commentator in the spiritual history of the People of Israel

Yitzhak Abarbanel statesman, economist, Jewish leader and Torah commentator

Rabbi Yitzchak ben Yehuda Abrabanel or Don Issac Abrabanel or Dom Isaac Abravanel in Portuguese - ר' יצחק בן יהודה אברבנל - A special and unusual man in terms of his abilities and roles in his life and terms of his footprint in the history of the people of Israel and the spiritual heritage left by him. During his years in Italy, he devoted himself to completing the commentary on the books of the Tanach (Torah Neviim Ketuvim) - תנ''ך. His work was one of the most important assets in the interpretation of the Tanach - תנ''ך. His special approach was helpful in studying the ways of life and the ways of the state that were customary in the Land of Israel, and did not deal only with the grammar of the language and logic. He was able to describe the life of the Jewish people in their country, their ways, their customs and his regime. He also knew the exegetes of the Tanach - תנ''ך from among the Gentiles, and incorporated their interpretation when he saw fit.

He used to write an introduction to each and every book in the Tanach - תנ''ך. In the introduction there was an explanation of the time the book was written, the style of its language, and its content. As an answer to them, its meaning is also known to be relatively long.

מצבה בקבר של דון יצחק אברבנאל בפדובה

Rabbi Yitzchak Abarbanal worked in various professions, but above all of them, his work as an interpreter of the Bible stood out. In Orio, they made him a world name among the wise men of the Jews and Christians.
His political experience made him interpret the readings against the background of the politics and intrigues he encountered in his work with the kings of the land. He describes in his commentaries, in addition to matters of grammar and language, also the ways of life and the ways of the state that were practiced in the Land of Israel. He describes his descriptions of the life of the Jews, their manners, customs, and regimes, from events that are explained from events in their chronicles. He excelled in his great knowledge of the Christian Pharisees, such as Hieronymus, and Nicoli di Lira, and brought their words where he saw that they were the truth.
His way of writing an introduction before each book, in which he explains the time of its writing, its style, and content.

Abarbanel tried his best to prevent the expulsion of Spain’s Jews, including attempting to sway the sovereigns by donating huge sums to the royal coffers. Eventually, the influence of chief inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada prevailed, and the decision to expel the Jews from Spain was confirmed. Abarbanel hinted at this in the preface to his commentary on the Book of Kings. After the expulsion, Abarbanel reached the city of Naples in Italy, where he again served as treasurer, this time under King Alfonso II until 1495, when he fled to Sicily following the city’s conquest by the French. After many wanderings, during which he managed to compile his famous commentary on the Passover HaggadahZevah Pesah or HAGGADAH OF ABARBANEL he arrived in Venice in 1503, where he helped in negotiations on behalf of Portuguese merchants. He died in Venice in 1508 at the age of 71. Though buried in the city of Padua, about a year later, during a siege of the city, his tomb was destroyed along with many other Jewish graves, and his exact burial place remains unknown. One of Don Isaac's sons, Rabbi Don Judah, became an important Jewish philosopher in his own right.

Back to blog

Leave a comment