Abba Mari ben Moses ben Joseph
(c. 14th Century)
Abba Mari ben Moses ben Joseph Astruc was a 14th century
Jewish scholar in Montpellier. He was appalled at the willingness of
many Jewish scholars to explain the Torah rationally. They even maintained that certain Torah images were allegories
and metaphors. In a scathing work, Sefer HaYareach, Astruc emphasized
traditional rabbinic beliefs.
He initiated the third attack against Maimonides' Guide For the Perplexed, initiating
a major Maimonidean Controversy. He succeeded
in convincing Solomon ben Abraham Adret to
issue a ban against anyone who studied the
text before the age of twenty-five. This ban
was taken further in Provence, prohibiting
the study of science, metaphysics, rational
explanations for the Torah, and philosophical
interpretations of midrash
In 1306, the Jews (including Astruc) were expelled from France.
He ended up in Perpignan where he settled.
Sources: Gates to