Eliezer ben Samuel of Metz

views updated


ELIEZER BEN SAMUEL OF METZ (c. 1115–c. 1198), tosafist and halakhic authority. Eliezer was a pupil of Jacob *Tam (see Sefer ha-Yashar, ed. by F. Rosenthal (1898), 128 n. 57), as well as of *Samuel b. Meir, and Ḥayyim Cohen of Paris. Among his disciples were some of the greatest German rabbis, such as *Eliezer b. Joel*ha-Levi and *Eleazar b. Judah of Worms, author of the Roke'aḥ. He thus served as an intermediary between the centers of study in France and those in Germany. Eliezer obtained his livelihood by moneylending, and was in charge of the distribution of charity. His daughters died during his lifetime. Little else is known of him. Eliezer's most important work is his Sefer Yere'im, written between 1171 and 1179, a work on the 613 precepts according to the enumeration of the *Halakhot Gedolot. It was abridged by Benjamin b. Abraham *Anav, who divided it into 12 "Pillars," in which form it was published in Venice in 1566, and in many later editions. The complete book (464 paragraphs) was published from a Paris manuscript in Vilna (1892–1902) by Abraham Abba Schiff who added a commentary entitled To'afot Re'em. Other commentaries have also been written. Although essentially a halakhic work, Sefer Yere'im includes ethical maxims and homilies on the true service of God. Halakhic discussions are sometimes preceded by rhymed introductions. The rulings of Sefer Yere'im as well as those in Eliezer's commentaries on the Talmud were accepted as authoritative by the rishonim. Eliezer is also an author of tosafot and novellae. Mention is made of his commentary to Berakhot, Shabbat, Zevaḥim, and Nedarim.Ḥayyim Joseph David *Azulai was in possession of a manuscript by him on Ḥullin. Very few of his responsa have been preserved.


Gross, in: mgwj, 34 (1885), 506f.; V. Aptowitzer, Mavo le-Sefer Ravyah (1938), 246f., 312–5; H. Tchernowitz, Toledot ha-Posekim, 2 (1947), 78–87; M. Reich, in: Sinai Sefer Yovel (1958), 356–72; Urbach, Tosafot, 132–40.

[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]

About this article

Eliezer ben Samuel of Metz

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article