Bahye ben Asher ibn Halawa also known as Rabbeinu Behaye, born about the middle of the thirteenth century at Saragossa, died 1340, was a rabbi and scholar of Judaism. He was a commentator on the Hebrew Bible and is noted for introducing Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) into study of the Torah.
He is considered by Jewish scholars to be one of the most distinguished of the Biblical exegetes of Spain. He was a pupil of Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (the Rashba). Unlike the latter, Bahya did not devote his attention to Talmudic science, but to Biblical exegesis, taking for his model Rabbi Moses ben Nahman who is known as Nahmanides, the teacher of Rabbi Solomon ben Adret, who was the first to make use of the Kabbalah as a means of interpreting the Torah. He discharged with zeal the duties of a darshan (“preacher”) in Saragossa, sharing this position with several others, and on this account received a small salary, which was scarcely enough to support him and his family; but neither his struggle for daily bread nor the reverses that he suffered (to which he referred in the introduction to his commentary on the Torah) diminished his interest in Torah study in general, and in Biblical exegesis in particular.
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