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Isaac ben Todros of Barcelona


ISAAC BEN TODROS OF BARCELONA (c. end of the 13th, beginning of the 14th century), Spanish talmudist, a pupil of Naḥmanides. Isaac occupied himself with the *Kabbalah to a considerable extent. No biographical details of him are known. His signature appears on the well-known ban on the study of philosophy promulgated in Barcelona in 1305 (Responsa Rashba 1, nos. 415–6). He was the author of a commentary to the maḥzor, remnants of which were discovered by G. Scholem in manuscript (H. Zotenberg, Catalogues des manuscrits (1866), 839:11); a commentary to the *seliḥot (M. Steinschneider, Die hebraeischen Handschriften… in Muenchen (18952), 237); a commentary to the *azharot of Solomon ibn Gabirol (see bibl. Freimann, introd. 10 (99), n. 45). The work Be'er la-Ḥai edited by D. Guenzburg (in: Jubelschrift… L. Zunz; 1884) is not by him (see Freimann p. 11). E. Gottlieb too has shown that the ascription of the commentary on the Ginnat ha-Bitan attributed to Isaac is a forgery. Among his pupils were *Shem Tov Gaon b. Abraham who describes his relation with his teacher in the introduction to his Keter Shem Tov (not in the printed edition but in the Ms., see bibl., Loewinger, p. 30 and Gottlieb, p. 65). His kabbalistic teachings are included in the works of Naḥmanides' disciples, e.g., *Ibn Shuaib's commentary to the Sodot ha-Ramban, Meir b. Solomon Abi *Sahula, Keter Shem Tov, Me'irat Einayim, and Ma'arekhet ha-Elohut.


Nathan b. Judah, Sefer ha-Maḥkim, ed. by J. Freimann (1909), introd. 9–11 (= Ha-Eshkol, 6 (1909), 98–100); Loewinger, in: Sefunot, 7 (1963), 11, 27, 38; Gottlieb, in: Studies in Mysticism and Religion Presented to Gershom G. Scholem (1967), Heb. pt. 63–86.

[Shlomoh Zalman Havlin]

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