- Rabbi Asher ben Jechiel was born ca. 1250 in Germany, and died in 1327 in Toledo, Spain. Rosh studied in the yeshivot of the Franco-German Tosafist school, and his outstanding teacher was Rabbi Meir ben Baruch of Rothenburg. Due to persecution of the Jews by the Germans, Rosh fled to Spain in 1303, where he was greatly honored by Rashba. Later, Rosh became the rabbi of Toledo. After Rashba's death, Rosh was accepted as the foremost halachic authority of his generation. Rosh's literary legacy includes more than 1,000 responsa, as well as commentaries on the Talmud in which he combines the method of the Franco-German Tosafists with that of the Spanish yeshivot. His son, Rabbi Jacob ben Asher, the author of the Tur, a noted halachic code, cites Rosh's halachic decisions extensively. Likewise, R. Joseph Caro's halachic code, the Shulchan Aruch, is replete with rulings of Rosh. Piskei Ha-Rosh was first printed in the Venice edition of the Talmud Bavli in 1520. Piskei Ha-Rosh summarizes the most important halachic points of each talmudic discussion, much like the Rif, although it frequently quotes the Tosafists' explanations of the Talmud and their halachic decisions. A condensed version of Piskei Ha-Rosh is printed at the end of each tractate. This work seems to be the work of Rosh's son, R. Yaakov Ba'al Ha-Turim. Haggahot Asheri, which contains halachic decisions from various Ashkenazic authorities (the Tosafists, Or Zarua, R. Hezekiah of Magdeburg, and others), was printed together with Piskei Ha-Rosh in the first edition of that work. These glosses were edited by R. Israel of Krems (Austria, fourteenth century), the great-grandfather of R. Yisrael Isserlein, author of the Terumat Ha-Deshen. Haggahot Asheri appear on most tractates and substantially influenced later halachic decisions.
- one of the most important medieval commentaries on the Talmud, was composed by French and German Talmudists during the twelfth to fourteenth centuries C.E. This commentary, which augments and often disputes Rashi's commentary on the Talmud, is printed opposite that work in standard editions of the Talmud Bavli. Tosafot is formulated dialectically, as a series of questions and answers. The work often addresses the significance of parallel talmudic passages for a proper understanding of the local sugya. Prominent among the authors of this work were Rabbenu Jacob b. Meir Tam, Rashi's grandson, and his nephew R. Isaac ben R. Shmuel (Ri). Tosafot is a collective work, composed by scholars from different schools and during different periods; hence we sometimes find contradictions between the Tosafot on different tractates. Tosafot concentrates more on talmudic interpretation than on rendering halachic decisions, although the interpretations in this work often exerted a significant influence on halachic decision making.
- Rabbi Menachem ben Solomon Meiri
- Rabbi David Kimhy
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