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Manoah of Narbonne


MANOAH OF NARBONNE (end of 13th and first half of 14th century), Provençal scholar. No biographical details are known of him. Even the name of his father is uncertain (see Hurvitz in bibl.). Some (Geiger, according to Isaac b. Sheshet, resp. no. 85, and Samuel b. Meshullam Gerondi, Ohel Mo'ed pt. 1, Jerusalem 1886 ed., 88b) are of the opinion that his father's name was Simeon; others (Zunz, Gross, and the New York-Schulsinger publishers of Maimonides' Yad) without giving reasons state that it was Jacob. A third view is that there were two scholars named Manoah – one, the subject of this article, whose patronymic is unknown, and a second, the son of Simeon, mentioned in the above responsa, who was the author of Hilkhot Terefot. Manoah's teachers were Meir b. Simeon ha-Me'ili and Reuben b. Ḥayyim. Internal evidence suggests that he was active in Narbonne (ch. 12 of Hilkhot Tefillah: "the custom of this town, Narbonne" quoted in the Shem ha-Gedolim of Azulai).

Of his works in the sphere of rabbinical literature, that on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah on the laws of leavened and unleavened bread, shofar, the Day of Atonement, sukkah, and lulav has been published (Constantinople, 1718; with the commentary of Simeon Sidon, 1879). An additional portion on the laws of the reading of the Shema, prayer, and the priestly and other blessings is extant in manuscript (Moscow-Guenzburg no. 123). This may be the manuscript seen by Ḥ.J.D. Azulai (Shem ha-Gedolim, 1 (1852), 126 no. 46). An excerpt from this section was published by Hurvitz in Talpioth, 9 (1965). This work is much quoted by Joseph Caro in his Beit Yosef and Kesef Mishneh.


A. Geiger, Kevuẓat Ma'amarim, ed. by S.A. Poznański (1910), 254; S.M. Chones, Toledot ha-Posekim (1910), 348; Hurvitz, in: Talpioth, 9 (1965), 136–76, 490–3.

[Shlomoh Zalman Havlin]

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