Repentance, Halakhah, and secular culture in the writings of Rabbi Abraham Hcombining dot belowazan (1920-2003)

Avinoam Rosenak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

This article presents a portrait of Rabbi Abraham Hcombining dot belowazan, a prominent figure in the rabbinic and intellectual community of 20th century French and North African Jewry. Hcombining dot belowazan was an educator and a halakhist, a passionate Zionist possessed of a profound faith in humanity. In the final decades of his life, Hcombining dot belowazan's work revolved around two foci. One was the Qeren Ha-Teshuvah project, which revolutionized the field of criminology in Israel by greatly reducing recidivism and avoiding the return to prison of hundreds of felons, contrary to statistical expectations. At the same time, he mounted a sharp critique, on social, cultural, and religious grounds, of the sort of halakhic thought that was taking root in the Jewish world in general and particularly in Israel. The article will investigate out the link between these foci by examining the broad cultural world that provides the context for Hcombining dot belowazan's thought and accounts for some of his formulations. In the course of doing so, the article casts light on the foundations of North African Jewish thought in general.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)131-162
Number of pages32
JournalRevue des Etudes Juives
Volume168
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

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