Touati, Charles

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TOUATI, CHARLES (1925–2003), French rabbi, teacher. The scion of a rabbinical family, he studied at the University of Algiers, then in Paris at the Sorbonne, the École pratique des hautes études, the École Rabbinique, and later at Dropsie College, Philadelphia, under Solomon Zeitlin. He was for a few months the rabbi of the Ohel Avraham Community in Paris; later professor at the École Rabbinique until the beginning of the 1980s and at the École pratique des hautes études, section des sciences religieuses (1967–71), as a "chargé de conferences," 1972–93, and as a "directeur d'études"; director of the *Revue des études juives with Gérard Nahon (1981–1996). He was honored with the title of chief rabbi ("grand rabbin") but was hindered by poor health from succeeding Jacob *Kaplan as chief rabbi of France. A specialist on medieval Jewish theology and philosophy as well as talmudic literature, he is mainly known for his annotated translation of Gersonides, Les Guerres du Seigneur. Livres iii et iv (1968); for the first thorough and momentous synthesis on La pensée théologique et philosophique de Gersonide (1973, repr. 1992); and for his French translation of the Kuzari of Judah ha-Levi (1994). Some of his articles were collected in Prophètes, talmudistes, philosophes (1990).


G. Freudenthal, J.P. Rothschild, G. Dahan (eds.), Torah et science… Études offertes à Charles Touati (2001); "Hommage à Charles Touati (1925–2003)," in: rej, 162 (2003), 343–56; G. Nahon, "Hommage au grand rabbin Charles Touati (1925–2003), rej, 164 (2005), 539–46.

[Jean-Pierre Rothschild (2nd ed.)]