Jacob Ben-sheshet Gerundi

Jacob ben-Sheshet Gerundi a celebrated Cabalist who flourished about the middle of the 13th century, deserves our notice because of his efforts to counteract the influence which some of the better educated and more liberal-minded Jewish Rabbins of the 13th and 14th centuries exerted in behalf of the introduction, of a philosophical mode of interpretation inaugurated by the renowned Maimonides. Like many others of his conservative brethren, he confronted the liberals with harsh terms and low and vulgar epithets and thereby only strengthened the cause of his adversaries. Thus he called the Maimonidists "heretics and transgressors of the law," and asserted that "they seek only the furtherance of the temporal good, of the earthly life, the defense of life and property, but deny all future rewards and punishments," etc. These gross misrepresentations are contained in a work which he published in defense of the cabalistic mode of interpretation. See Grätz, Geschichte der Juden, 7, 85; note 3, p. 442 459. SEE CABALA; SEE MAIMONNIDES. (J.H.W.)

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