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Meir ben Samuel of Ramerupt


MEIR BEN SAMUEL OF RAMERUPT (c. 1060–c. 1135), one of the first tosafists of northern France. Meir's teachers were the scholars of Lorraine, Isaac ha-Levi of Worms, *Eliezer of Mainz, and *Rashi, whose daughter, Jochebed, he married. Of his sons, three, who were also his pupils, are especially known – *Samuel b. Meir (Rashbam), *Isaac b. Meir, and Jacob b. Meir *Tam. His son-in-law was Samuel of Vitry, father-in-law of the tosafist *Isaac b. Samuel ha-Zaken. For a certain period Meir apparently dwelt with his father-in-law in Troyes, but he moved to Ramerupt during Rashi's lifetime, founding a bet ha-midrash there. He is sometimes designated ha-yashish ("the venerable") or "the father of the rabbis." Meir wrote commentaries to the Talmud, similar to those of his father-in-law and of his son Samuel. One extant section of his commentaries was incorporated in the commentary of Rashi to the Talmud and some of his tosafot are included in the tosafot of the standard Talmud editions. Halakhic statements by him are quoted in the Sefer ha-Yashar of his son Jacob Tam, in the Or Zaru'a, in the Sefer ha-Ittur, and elsewhere. Biblical comments by him are quoted by his son Samuel in his commentary to the Pentateuch. These are permeated by a spirit of literal exegesis and it is probable that the son was influenced in this by the father. The present text of *Kol Nidrei is the result of amendments introduced by him into the original formula. There are extant responsa written to him by Rashi, and also a responsum written by them jointly. Meir also composed a seliḥah, Avo Lefanekha ("I come before Thee").


Urbach, Tosafot, 38–42, and index.

[Zvi Kaplan]

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