R. Yitzchak Arama (Akeidat Yitzchak)

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Akeidat Yitzchak
R. Yitzchak ben Moshe Arama
ר' יצחק בן משה עראמה
WorksAkeidat Yitzchak
Exegetical Characteristics
Influenced byRambam
Impacted onAbarbanel



  • Name – 
    • Hebrew name – ר' יצחק בן משה עראמה1
    • _ name – 
  • Dates – c. 1420-c.1494
  • Location – Spain,2 Naples3
  • Education –  He had a broad Jewish and general education.4
  • Occupation
    • Headed a yeshivah in Zamora, and then served as rabbi for the communities of Tarragona5 and Fraga6 in Aragon.
    • After failing to open a yeshivah in Tarragona, he focused his energies on pulpit instruction, winning renown for his derashot (sermons), which were designed to counter the Christian sermons that Jews of Aragon were forced to attend.
    • He later became rabbi of Calatayud, where he was able to found a yeshivah, revise his derashot for publication, and author other works.7 
    • Participated in several public disputations with Christian scholars.8
  • Family – R. Yitzchak had a son, R. Meir Arama, who fled with him to Naples, and who was an important scholar in his own right.9
  • Teachers – 
  • ContemporariesR. Yitzchak Abarbanel1010About R. Yitzchak Abarbanel
  • Students – 
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  • Biblical commentaries – Akeidat Yitchak on the Torah,11 commentary on the five Megillot,12  Yad Avshalom (commentary to Mishlei).13
  • Rabbinics – 
    • Talmudic novellae – 
    • Halakhic codes – 
    • Responses to the works of others – 
    • Responsa – 
  • Jewish thought – Chazut Kashah14
  • Other works – R. Yitzchak authored poems and a commentary on Aristotle’s Ethics, which are now lost.
  • Misattributed works – 

Torah Commentary


  • Verse by verse / Topical – 
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  • Peshat and derash – 


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Textual Issues

  • Manuscripts – 
  • Printings – Originally published in Salonika, 1522, and reprinted many times since. Y. Hacker15  has identified a copy held by the National Library of Israel of the Venice 1547 edition that was proofread and corrected by its original owner against the author’s autograph manuscript (which is no longer extant).16
  • Textual layers – 


Significant Influences

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Occasional Usage

Possible Relationship


Later exegetes

  • Abarbanel – Abarbanel incorporated into his own commentary large portions of the Akeidat Yitzchak's commentary without attribution.  This aroused the ire of the Akeidat Yitzchak's son, R. Meir Arama.17