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Being asked to contribute to this Festschrift for Bob Rabin is both a privilege and a delight. To revisit his vast and influential oeuvre is to experience anew the breadth and depth of his scholarship. It is a sumptuous banquet at which one can sample a great many delicacies and then go back to refill one's plate with one's favorite Rabinesque dishes. (Indeed, if-like me and Oscar Wilde-the one thing you cannot resist is temptation, then you may want to return for thirds.) Paying homage to Bob is even more gratifying, of course, because of his character. In my experience, it is uncommon for a superb scholar to also be an equally admirable human being and celebrated teacher, yet Bob exemplifies this elusive unity of excellence. Generous with his mind and time, scrupulous in his research and explication, attentive to the wishes and eccentricities of others, softened and enriched by the intimacies of family and friendships, Bob is what we should all aspire to be-a magisterial mensch.
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