Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira – Sermons from the Years of Rage

Prof. Daniel Reiser

This book presents three hundred pieces added by Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Nachmanides) to his commentary on the Torah when he made Aliyah to Israel at the end of his life. The added segments were identified according to update lists sent by Nachmanides himself and others to the Diaspora, as well as on the basis of extensive comparative examination of all the hand-written transcripts of Nachmanides’ interpretation of the Torah found today in the world (about fifty in number). There is a comprehensive introduction at the beginning of the book, that discusses the phenomenon of the additions and analyzes the findings of the hand-written transcripts and surveys the reasons and for these additional pieces. The bulk of the book is comprised of interpretive discussions detailed in every piece, whose purpose is to clarify Nachmanides’ motives when making additions to what he first wrote. In the book itself – and the website that accompanies it – detailed information is presented about the additions and the evidence of them in the list of additions and the hand-written transcripts. The awareness of the commentary’s formation by those who studied the commentary, both at large and specifically for each particular piece, adds a new dimension to the commentary, and is a significant contribution to understanding the way of Nachmanides, to solving problems in his sayings and clarifying his intent. To this end, the book is a very important tool for scholars of Nachmanides, Torah learners and lovers.