Vidal, Crescas

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VIDAL, CRESCAS (end of 13th century), Spanish talmudic scholar. Vidal belonged to a distinguished family of Barcelona. He studied in his home town under *Aaron ha-Levi, whom he frequently quotes in his commentary on Ketubbot. This commentary was familiar to many later scholars, including *Isaac b. Sheshet, Bezalel *Ashkenazi, who quoted parts of it in his Shitah Mekubbeẓet on that tractate, Ḥayyim *Algazi, who quotes it extensively in his Netivot Mishpat, and Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai. There are indications that Vidal's talmudic commentary covered a number of other tractates, but, apart from his commentary to Yevamot, no other manuscript has been preserved. Vidal is also known for his participation at an early age in the polemic of Solomon b. Abraham *Adret against the study of philosophy and for the subsequent ban on pursuing such inquiries. After receiving the letter of *Abba Mari b. Moses on this subject, Adret first turned to Vidal, who was then (c. 1303) living in Perpignan, where he was held in very high esteem. Adret requested that he exert his authority against those "who dabbled in philosophy" in the Languedoc region. At first Vidal thought Adret had been unduly influenced by extremists who exaggerated the dangers of heresy inherent in the views of *Levi b. Abraham b. Ḥayyim, but afterward Vidal changed his mind. It was Vidal who proposed the text of the rather moderate ban on studying philosophy at an early age, which was in the end accepted by Adret (see Abba Mari b. Moses ha-Yarḥi, Minḥat Kena'ot (Pressburg, 1838, 44–48)).


Baer, Spain 1 (1961), 292ff, 442.

[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]