''Rishonim'' (; he, ; sing. he, , ''Rishon'', "the first ones") were the leading rabbis and '' poskim'' who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the ''
Shulchan Aruch The ''Shulchan Aruch'' ( he, שֻׁלְחָן עָרוּך , literally: "Set Table"), sometimes dubbed in English as the Code of Jewish Law, is the most widely consulted of the various legal codes in Judaism. It was authored in Safed (today in ...
'' ( he, , "Set Table", a common printed code of Jewish law, 1563 CE) and following the '' Geonim'' (589-1038 CE). Rabbinic scholars subsequent to the ''Shulchan Aruch'' are generally known as '' acharonim'' ("the latter ones"). The distinction between the ''rishonim'' and the ''geonim'' is meaningful historically; in ''
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Jewish religious laws which is derived from the written and Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, ...
'' (Jewish Law) the distinction is less important. According to a widely held view in
Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist and theologically conservative branches of contemporary Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collec ...
, the acharonim generally cannot dispute the rulings of rabbis of previous eras unless they find support from other rabbis in previous eras. On the other hand, this view is not formally a part of ''
halakha ''Halakha'' (; he, הֲלָכָה, ), also transliterated as ''halacha'', ''halakhah'', and ''halocho'' ( ), is the collective body of Jewish religious laws which is derived from the written and Oral Torah According to Rabbinic Judaism, ...
'' itself, and according to some rabbis is a violation of the halakhic system.See Kesef Mishna (Maamrim 2:2), Kovetz Igros Chazon Ish (2:26) In ''The Principles of Jewish Law'', Orthodox rabbi Menachem Elon writes that:

List of Rishonim

* Eleazar of Worms (''haRokeah''), 12th century German halakhist. *
Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg (1150 – 22 February 1217), also called Yehuda HeHasid or 'Judah the Pious' in Hebrew Hebrew (; ; ) is a Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is one of the spok ...
(''Hasidim''), 12th century German mystic and halakhist. * Abraham ben Nathan (''HaManhig''), 13th century Provençal Talmudist. * Moses de León (''Zohar''), 13th century Spanish Kabbalist. * Isaac ibn Ghiyyat (''Me'ah She'arim''), 11th century Spanish halakhist and commentator. * Moses ben Meir of Ferrara, 13th century Tosafist. * Eliezer ben Samuel of Metz (''Yereim''), 13th century Tosafist. () * Eliezer ben Samuel of Verona, 13th century Tosafist. * Immanuel of Rome, 14th century Italian poet (1261-) * Benjamin ben Judah, 14th century Italian exegete. () * Benjamin ben Isaac of Carcassonne, 14th century scholar. * Judah ben Benjamin Anaw, 13th century Italian halakhist and Talmudist () * Zedekiah ben Abraham Anaw (''Shibbolei HaLeqet''), 13th century Italian halakhist (-1280) * Benjamin ben Abraham Anaw, 13th century poet, exegete, and halakhist. (d. ) * Abba Mari, (''Minhat Kenaot''), 13th century Provençal rabbi (c. 1250-c. 1306) * Isaac ben Abba Mari (''Ittur Soferim''), 12th century Provençal rabbi (c. 1122 – c. 1193) * Jacob ben Meir, 12th century Talmudist, halakhist, and Biblical philologist (1100–1171) * Simhah ben Samuel of Vitry, 11th century French Talmudist(?-1105) * Shemaiah of Soissons, 12th century Talmudist and Biblical exegete * Crescas Vidal, 14th century Talmudist and philosopher * Joseph Kara, 12th century Biblical exegete. (c. 1065 – c. 1135) * Isaiah di Trani, 12th century Biblical exegete and halakhist. (c. 1180 – c. 1250) * Isaiah di Trani the Younger, 13th century Biblical exegete and halakhist * Don Isaac Abravanel, (''Abarbanel''), 15th century philosopher and Torah commentator (1437–1508) * Israel Bruna, (Mahari Bruna), 15th century German Rabbi and Posek * Abraham ibn Daud, (''Sefer HaKabbalah''), 12th century Spanish philosopher * Abraham ibn Ezra, (''Ibn Ezra''), 12th century Spanish-North African Biblical commentator *
David Abudirham David Abudarham ( fl. 1340) ( he, ר׳ דָּוִד אַבּוּדַרְהָם), referred to as Abu darham, Abudraham, or Avudraham, was a rishon who lived at Seville and was known for his commentary on the Synagogue liturgy. Biography He is ...
, said to be a student of the Baal Ha-Turim (but this is doubtful) * Samuel ben Jacob Jam'a, 12th century North African rabbi and scholar * Asher ben Jehiel, (''Rosh''), 13th century German-Spanish Talmudist * Moses Kimhi, 12th century biblical commentator and grammarian. * David Kimhi, ''(RaDaK'') 12th century French biblical commentator, philosopher, and grammarian * Yaakov ben Moshe Levi Moelin, ''(Maharil)'', 14th century codifier of German
minhag ''Minhag'' ( he, מנהג "custom", classical pl. מנהגות, modern pl. , ''minhagim'') is an accepted tradition or group of traditions in Judaism Judaism ( he, ''Yahăḏūṯ'') is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, and ethnic religion c ...
* Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro, ''(Bartenura)'', 15th century commentator on the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral tradition Oral tradition, or oral lore ...
* Meir of Rothenburg, 13th century German rabbi and poet * Bahya ibn Paquda, (''Hovot ha-Levavot''), 11th century Spanish philosopher and moralist * Hasdai Crescas, (''Or Hashem''), 14th century Talmudist and philosopher * Dunash ben Labrat, 10th century grammarian and poet * Rabbenu Gershom, 11th century German Talmudist and legalist * Isaac ben Moses of Vienna, 13th century Bohemian Posek * Gersonides, Levi ben Gershom, (''Ralbag''), 14th century French Talmudist and philosopher * Eliezer ben Nathan, 12th century poet and pietist * Hillel ben Eliakim, (''Rabbeinu Hillel''), 12th century Talmudist and disciple of ''Rashi'' * Ibn Tibbon, a family of 12th and 13th century Spanish and French scholars, translators, and leaders * Isaac Alfasi, (the ''Rif''), 11th century North African and Spanish Talmudist and Halakhist; author of ''"Sefer Ha-halachoth"'' * Jacob ben Asher, (''Baal ha-Turim'' ; ''Arbaah Turim''), 14th century German-Spanish Halakhist * Jonah ibn Janah, 11th century Hebrew grammarian * Joseph Albo, (''Sefer Ikkarim''), 15th century Spain * Joseph ibn Migash 12th century Spanish Talmudist and
rosh yeshiva Rosh yeshiva ( he, ראש ישיבה, pl. he, ראשי ישיבה, '; Anglicized pl. ''rosh yeshivas'') is the title given to the dean of a yeshiva A yeshiva (; he, ישיבה, , sitting; pl. , or ) is a traditional Jewish ...
; teacher of Maimon, father of Maimonides * Meir Abulafia, (''Yad Ramah''), 13th century Spanish Talmudist *
Maimonides Musa ibn Maimon (1138–1204), commonly known as Maimonides (); la, Moses Maimonides and also referred to by the acronym Rambam ( he, רמב״ם), was a Sephardic Jewish philosopher A philosopher is a person who practices or investigate ...
, Moshe Ben Maimon, (''Rambam''), 12th century Spanish-North African Talmudist, philosopher, and law codifier * Mordecai ben Hillel, (''The Mordechai''), 13th century German Halakhist * Nahmanides, Moshe ben Nahman, (''Ramban''), 13th century Spanish and Holy Land mystic and Talmudist * Nissim of Gerona, (''RaN''), 14th century Halakhist and Talmudist *
Rashi Shlomo Yitzchaki ( he, רבי שלמה יצחקי; la, Salomon Isaacides; french: Salomon de Troyes, 22 February 1040 – 13 July 1105), today generally known by the acronym Rashi (see below), was a medieval French rabbi and author of a comp ...
, (Solomon ben Yitzchak), 11th century French Talmudist, the primary commentator of Talmud * Elazar Rokeach, (''Sefer HaRokeach''), 12th century German rabbinic scholar * Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon, 12th-13th century French Maimonidean philosopher and translator * Tosafists, (''Tosafot''), 11th, 12th and 13th century Talmudic scholars in France and Germany * Yehuda Halevi, (''Kuzari''), 12th century Spanish philosopher and poet devoted to Zion * Menachem Meiri, (''Meiri''), 13th century Talmudist * Yom Tov Asevilli, (''Ritva''), 13th century Talmudist * Yitzhak Saggi Nehor, (Isaac the Blind), 12th-13th century Provençal Kabbalist * Solomon ben Aderet, (''Rashba''), 13th century Talmudist * Aharon HaLevi, (''Ra'ah''), 13th century Talmudist * Zerachiah ha-Levi of Girona, (''Baal Ha-Maor'') 12th century Talmudist * Meshullam ben Jacob, ''(Rabbeinu Meshullam Hagodol)'', 12th century Talmudist.(1235-1310) * Joseph Caspi, 13th–14th century talmudist, grammarian, and philosopher. (1280—1345)

See also

Rabbinic literature Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central ...
* Eras of history important in Jewish law * List of rabbis * History of Responsa: Rishonim


External links

The Rules of Halacha
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan
The different rabbinic eras
- interactive map showing where the ''rishonim'' and other notable rabbis lived

( MP3s), Rabbi R. Y. Eisenman
9th Through 11th Century

{{Jews and Judaism Hebrew words and phrases 6