Lima, Moses ben Isaac Judah

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LIMA, MOSES BEN ISAAC JUDAH (1605?–1658), Lithuanian rabbi and halakhist. Lima studied at the yeshivah of Joshua *Falk in Cracow, where he became friendly with many who later were leaders of the generation. In 1637 he served as rabbi of Slonim and in 1650 was av bet din of Vilna, his colleagues being *Ephraim b. Jacob ha-Kohen and *Shabbetai Kohen, author of the Siftei Kohen. In 1655 he was appointed rabbi where he served until his death. One of his three sons, Raphael, published his father's work Helkat Mehokek (Cracow, 1670), a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer, outstanding for its critical perceptiveness and profundity and acknowledged as one of the best halakhic works of the later generations. It was accepted as an authoritative work in its field, despite its difficult style, which at times makes a super-commentary necessary. The Beit Shemuel of *Samuel b. Uri Shraga Phoebus is devoted largely to a discussion of Lima's book. For the benefit of rabbis and posekim Lima and Samuel compiled Kunteres ha-Agunot, appended to chapter 17 of Evenha-Ezer, containing the essence of hundreds of books and responsa concerning the permission of agunot to remarry. Some later authorities expressed reservations as to whether it was permissible to base oneself on the work for practical decisions without reference to the sources. Of Lima's other works, there remain only a number of responsa in various collections.


H.N. Maggid-Steinschneider, Ir Vilna (1900), 4f.; S.J. Fuenn, Kiryah Ne'emanah (19152), 76–78; H. Tchernowitz, Toledot ha-Posekim, 3 (1948), 158–63; Szulwas, in: I. Halpern (ed.), Beit Yisrael be-Polin, 2 (1954), 21; Wilenski, in: Sefunot, 3–4 (1959–60), 541f.; Eidelberg, in: Sinai, 60 (1967/68), 188; Kahana, in: Sinai, 34 (1954), 311–24.

[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]