Monday, August 1, 2011

Academic Conference on the Rashbam in Memory of Professor Elazar Touitou z”l

Rabbi Dr. Moshe Rachimi
Dean of Students, Elkana Campus

Orot Israel College and Bar Ilan University’s Tanach Department recently cohosted an international academic conference devoted to the Rashbam’s commentary on the Tanach - in memory of distinguished educator and researcher Professor Elazar Touitou z”l, who was affiliated with both institutions. One of the world’s foremost experts on the Rashbam, Professor Touitou, who passed away last year, was renowned for his textual and historical analyses of the Rashbam’s exegetical philosophy.

Held at Bar Ilan, the highly-anticipated and widely-acclaimed conference attracted an overflow crowd - including Professor Touitou’s family, friends, and admirers, as well as leading Tanach scholars and researchers from Israel and around the world. Professor Rav Neriah Gutel, President of Orot Israel College, and Professor Moshe Kaveh, President of Bar Ilan University, greeted the attendees and spoke warmly about Professor Touitou. They alluded to his dignified graciousness and discussed his significant contributions to the State of Israel’s development and defense.

Each of the conference’s four sessions shed light on a different aspect of the Rashbam’s teachings. The first session pertained to the Rashbam’s commentary on the Torah; the second session dealt with the Rashbam’s commentary on Tehilim, Kohelet, and Shir HaShirim; the third session focused on the reciprocal nature of the relationship between Rashi, the Ibn Ezra and the Rashbam; and the final session examined the Rashbam’s influence on subsequent generations.

All of the lectures were recorded and are available on Orot’s website. In addition, the talks are set to be compiled into an academic journal, which will be published jointly by Orot Israel College and Bar Ilan University.

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