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Bonafed, David ben Reuben


BONAFED, DAVID BEN REUBEN (1240?–?), rabbi, Talmud commentator and halakhist. A student of *Naḥmanides, David wrote novellae to a number of tractates of the Talmud. Those of Tractates Sanhedrin and Pesaḥim were scattered in the novellae of R. *Nissim ben Gerondi to those two tractates, and it appears that R. Nissim bases his decisions on those of Bonafed. His novellae on those two tractates have now been published separately: those on Sanhedrin by Yaakov Halevi Lifschitz (1968), and those on Pesaḥim by Abraham Shoshana (1978), on the basis of the only extant manuscript which is in the Casanatense Library in Rome.

The novellae on Sanhedrin were apparently written during the life time of Naḥmanides, between 1264 and 1270, since Bonafed always refers to him as being still alive and he makes extensive use of his works, as well as mentioning many details which he had heard from Naḥmanides himself. In addition, however, he employs new methods in his treatment of the subjects he deals with by examining all the various interpretations of his predecessors, before arriving at an independent halakhic decision. Like his master, he tries to establish the correct text upon which he bases his commentary.


Michael, Or, 10, 703; Y.N. Epstein, HaKedem, i (1907–8), 131; idem, Tarbiz, 4 (1933) 24; Lifschitz, Mavo le-Ḥidushei R. David al Sanhedrin (1968), 32–47; A. Shoshana, Mavo le-Ḥidushei R. David al Pesaḥim (1978), 33–39.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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