Anav, Judah ben Benjamin Ha-Rofe

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ANAV, JUDAH BEN BENJAMIN HA-ROFE (13th century), author, copyist, and paytan; member of the *Anau family of Rome. He was also known as Judah Ya'aleh (initial letters of Yehudah Anav le-Mishpaḥat ha-Anavim, an allusion to Judg. 1:2). Of his personal life, little is known. He studied under Meir b. Moses of Rome and may be approximately dated by means of a Ms. (Paris 312; of the Hilkhot ha-Rif on Seder Moed), copied by him in 1247, and from a piyyut, "El Mi Anusah le-Ezrah," written by his cousin and pupil, Benjamin b. Abraham, in 1239, occasioned by Nicholas *Donin's denunciation of the Talmud. In 1280 he completed his work on the laws of ritual slaughter with special reference to the customs of Rome and fixed the formula of a get ("bill of divorce") for Rome. He was apparently the initiator of the communal synod in the same year (Ms. Hamburg 193, Ms. Oxford 633).

Among his works are a commentary on the tractate of Shekalim (published in the Vilna ed. of the Talmud), and on the Hilkhot ha-Rif of Isaac *Alfasi (Ḥ.J.D. Azulai saw a manuscript of this latter commentary which covered most of Alfasi's work). The only extant manuscripts, however, are on Berakhot, Seder Mo'ed, Yevamot, Ḥullin, and on Hilkhot Tumah, Sefer Torah, Mezuzah, Tefillin, and Ẓiẓit. The only ones published are those on Pesaḥim (1955), Sukkah (in: M. Herschler (ed.), Ginzei Rishonim, 1962), Rosh Ha-Shanah, Yoma, Ta'anit ((1963); also in Sefer Yovel I. Elfenbein, 1963), and Berakhot (1967). His work on the laws of ritual slaughter (Hilkhot Sheḥitah) has been published in the introduction to Shibbolei ha-Leket (ed. by S.K. Mirsky (1966), 50–74). He also completed Solomon b. Shabbetai Anav's commentary on Aḥa of Shabḥa's She'iltot (from "Ki Tavo" onward; She'iltot, ed. S.K. Mirsky, 1 (1960), 38–9). His halakhic questions addressed to Avigdor b. Elijah of Vienna and the latter's replies are quoted in Shibbolei ha-Leket, written by his cousin and most outstanding pupil Zedekiah b. Abraham, and containing much of his teachings. He is not the author of Tanya Rabbati as some erroneously contend but the work was influenced by his writings. Of Judah's piyyutim, a zulat to parashat "Shekalim" is extant.


Azulai, 1 (1852), 98, no. 287 (rif); 170, no. 49 (Shelomo mi-Trani); S.D. Luzzatto, Iggerot, 5 (1882), 669, no. 269; S. Buber (ed.), Shibbolei ha-Leket ha-Shalem (1886), 6–7, 11; Vogelstein-Rieger, 1 (1896), 277 ff., 377–8, 504 (index); S.K. Mirsky (ed.), Perush R. Yehudah b. Binyamin Anav al-ha-RIF, Massekhet Pesaḥim (1966), introd.; idem, Shibbolei ha-Leket ha-Shalem (1966), 35–74 (introd.).

[Shlomoh Zalman Havlin]