Ḥayyim Paltiel ben Jacob

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ḤAYYIM PALTIEL BEN JACOB (late 13th–early 14th century), German talmudic scholar. Ḥayyim Paltiel was a pupil of *Eliezer of Touques, and also, apparently, of *Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg. He traveled through the cities of Bohemia and served as rabbi of Magdeburg. His questions to Meir of Rothenburg are included in the Cremona (1557, nos. 32–34), Prague (1608, no. 226), and Lemberg (1860, no. 507, et al.) editions of the latter's responsa and a number of his responsa to other scholars are also included in these collections. Of great historical importance is the responsum (Lemberg ed. no. 476) he wrote in 1291 from Magdeburg on the subject of the *Ḥerem ha-Yishuv. He was one of the first – if not the first – to add the self-effacing epithet tola'at ("worm") to his formal signature, Ḥayyim Paltiel Tola'at (abbreviated to Ḥapat). One of his responsa to two of his pupils was forwarded by them to *Asher b. Jehiel for his opinion (Resp. Rosh, Kelal 30, no. 4). Ḥayyim Paltiel's chief importance lies in his Sefer ha-Minhagim, which contains the customs for the whole year, referring to benedictions, prayers, and festivals, according to the Ashkenazi rite. The work was later used by Abraham *Klausner, who adapted and amended it, and added other customs and explanations. The connection between the work of Klausner and that of Ḥayyim Paltiel was first suggested by H.J. Ehrenreich in the introduction to his edition of Klausner's Minhagim (1929), and was proved beyond doubt when Paltiel's work was discovered and published in Kirjath Sepher by D. Goldschmidt (see bibliography). Ḥayyim Paltiel thus emerges as one of the first authors of the *Minhagim books, which gained wide popularity in 14th-century Germany and which laid the foundation for the spread of the version known in essence as nosaaḥ Ashkenaz ("the Ashkenazi rite"). It is probable that he is identical with the Ḥayyim Paltiel whose biblical explanations are extensively quoted in a still unpublished manuscript of a Bible commentary by a 14th-century French scholar.


Ziemlich, in: mgwj, 30 (1881), 305–16; Abraham Klauser, Sefer ha-Minhagim, ed. by H.J. Ehrenreich (1929), introd.; D. Goldschmidt, in: ks, 23 (1946/47), 324–30; 24 (1947/48), 73–83; Urbach, Tosafot, 456.

[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]

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Ḥayyim Paltiel ben Jacob

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