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Jeshua ben Joseph Ha-Levi


JESHUA BEN JOSEPH HA-LEVI (15th century), talmudist. Following the persecutions of Jews in *Algiers in 1467, he fled from his native town Tlemcen and went to Castile, settling in Toledo, where he was supported by Don Vidal b. Lavi. At the latter's insistent request he wrote his talmudic methodology, Halikhot Olam (printed c. 1490). The work is divided into five sections dealing with the composition of the Mishnah and the Gemara, the methodology of the Gemara, and the manner in which the halakhah is determined. As the basis of his work, Jeshua made use of Sefer Keritot by *Samson b. Isaac of Chinon. The work appeared in several editions and served as the basis for Joseph *Caro's Kelalei ha-Gemara, which contains notes and supplements to the Halikhot Olam and for Solomon *Algazi's Yavin Shemu'ah. Both commentaries were published together with Halikhot Olam (Venice edition, 1639). David b. Raphael *Meldola's pamphlets Limmud ha-Talmidim and Hanhagat ha-Talmidim (appended to the Amsterdam edition, 1754) are also based on Jeshua's work. A Latin translation by D.C. l'Empereur was appended to the Leiden 1634 and Hanau 1714 editions; the latter contained notes by H.J. *Bashuysen. Jeshua also compiled shitot on the Talmud. It has been shown that he was the author of a shitah on Bava Kamma which is frequently mentioned in the Shitah Mekubbeẓet, although Bezalel *Ashkenazi was not aware of the identity of its author.


Conforte, Kore, 27b; Weiss, Dor, 5 (19044), 236; H.L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (1931), 136; Finkelstein, in: ks, 12 (1935–36), 368f.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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