Join Rabbi David Sedley as he explores the life and writings of Levi ben Gershon, otherwise known as the Ralbag. Aside from being a Talmudist and having wrote an extensive commentary on the Torah, he was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and is credited with inventing the Jacob’s Staff, which helps measure the distance between celestial objects.
Profile: Ralbag: Jewish personalities – Ralbag
Ralbag, or Rabbi Levi ben Gershom, is one of the most overlooked, yet unique, rabbis of the Middle Ages. His views were very influenced by science (he was one of the very few rabbis who also made a serious contribution to secular science). His views were considered radical by some — to the point that he is hardly studied nowadays.
Yet his commentary to certain books of the Bible is published in the standard Mikra’ot Gedolot.
Also, there is a crater on the moon named after him.
Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel - https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/david-sedley.