Gershom ben Judah

▪ German-Jewish scholar

born c. 960, Metz, Lorraine [now in France]
died 1028/40, Mainz, Franconia [Germany]

      eminent rabbinical scholar who proposed a far-reaching series of legal enactments (taqqanot) that profoundly molded the social institutions of medieval European Jewry.

      He was called the light of the exile and also Rabbenu (“Our Teacher,” a title of reverence). As head of the rabbinic academy at Mainz, he was a pioneer in bringing the learning of the Talmudic academies at Babylon and Palestine to western European schools. At synods of community leaders he proposed his taqqanot, which included the prohibition of polygamy (permitted by biblical and Talmudic law but already mostly unpracticed), interdiction of the husband's right to divorce without the wife's consent, prohibition of reading another's mail without his consent (mail then was usually carried by travelers), and prohibition against taunting Jews who had been forcibly converted to another religion and had then returned to Judaism.

      He wrote many responsa (authoritative answers in response to questions about Jewish law), worked on a critical text of the Talmud and the Masora, and transmitted to his students an extensive oral commentary on the Talmud. All subsequent rabbinic students in western Europe considered themselves, in the words of the renowned medieval French Jewish commentator Rashi (1040–1105), “students of his students.”

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gershom ben Judah — Gershom ben Judah, (c. 960 1040? 1028?) best known as Rabbeinu Gershom (Hebrew: רבנו גרשום, Our teacher Gershom ) and also commonly known to scholars of Judaism by the title Rabbeinu Gershom Me Or Hagolah ( Our teacher Gershom the light of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Gershom ben-Judah — (c. 960–1028)    German Talmud scholar. Rabbi Gershom’s reputation was so high that he was known as Meor ha Golah, ‘The Light of the Exile’. He seems to have been born in Metz, in Lorraine, but he lived in Mainz, where he had his academy.… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Gershom ben Judah — (c. 960 1028)    German talmudic scholar and spiritual leader. He was born in Metz and lived in Mainz, where he conducted a yeshivah. He issued legal decisions and takkanot, laid the foundations for a commentary on the Talmud, transcribed and… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • GERSHOM BEN JUDAH ME'OR HA-GOLAH — (c. 960–1028), one of the first great German talmudic scholars and a spiritual molder of German Jewry. Few biographical details are known of Gershom, most of the stories about him being of a legendary nature. He was apparently born in Metz, but… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • GERSHOM BEN SOLOMON — (13th century), Provençal scholar of Béziers. No biographical details are known about him. He compiled a halakhic work, Shalman, giving the halakhic rulings of the Talmud according to the order of the halakhot of Isaac Alfasi, and approximating… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MACHIR BEN JUDAH — (first half 11th century), younger brother of gershom b. judah , the Light of the Exile. Machir was the author of Alef Bet de Rabbi Makhir. This work was in the possession of Rashi and the tosafists, who quote from it (Rashi, Gen. 43:11; Pes.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ISAAC BEN JUDAH OF MAINZ — (11th century), German scholar; teacher of rashi . Practically no biographical details are known of him or his family. The description given by J.N. Epstein (see bibliography) of the characteristics of the yeshivah of Mainz during the period that …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • SHALOM, ABRAHAM BEN ISAAC BEN JUDAH BEN SAMUEL — (d. 1492), Catalonian (Spain) philosopher and translator of philosophical writings. Shalom is known to have translated two works from Latin into Hebrew: a compendium of the physical sciences by albertus magnus , Philosophia Pauperum, under the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • CRESCAS (or Cresques), ḤASDAI BEN JUDAH — (c. 1340–winter 1410–11), Catalonian rabbi, philosopher, and statesman. Crescas was born into an old Barcelonan family of rabbis and merchants. He studied Talmud and philosophy there under Rabbi nissim b. reuben gerondi (c. 1310–1376) and… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • SOLOMON BEN JUDAH OF LUNEL — (Solomon Vivas 1411–?), Provençal philosopher. At the age of 13, under the direction of his teacher, Solomon ben Menahem (Frat Maimon), Solomon composed a commentary on judah halevi s Kuzari, entitled Ḥeshek Shelomo, which is extant in manuscript …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.