Moses of Kiev

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MOSES OF KIEV (12th century), talmudist. No biographical details about him are known. He appears to have visited Western Europe and probably knew the tosafist Jacob *Tam personally. In Tam's Sefer ha-Yashar (1811 Vienna edition, no. 522) a halakhic saying occurs "that Moses of Kiev received from Rabbenu Tam." It is possible that he stayed for some time in the latter's yeshivah in Ramerupt. A. Epstein (in mgwj, 39 (1895), 511) attempts to identify Moses of Kiev with Moses of Russia mentioned in the Sefer ha-Shoham. According to Epstein, Moses left Russia for France in 1124 following the expulsion of the Jews in that year from Kiev. Urbach (Tosafot, 193), however, disagrees, since in 1124 Rabbenu Tam was still very young. Moreover there is no information about an expulsion of the Jews from Kiev in 1124, though a great fire did break out there in that year. It appears that Moses arrived in France at a much later period.

Moses addressed queries to *Samuel b. Ali, head of the Babylonian academy: "Thus sent Samuel b. Ali head of the academy from Babylon to R. Moses of Kiev" (Responsa Meir of Rothenburg, ed. by R.N. Rabinowitz (1860), no. 443). The connection between Moses and Samuel b. Ali is also referred to in the Sefer Yiḥusei Tanna'im ve-Amora'im of Judah b. Kalonymus.


A. Harkavy, Ḥadashim Gam Yeshanim, 1 no. 7 (1895–96), 44–45; F. Kupfer and T. Lewicki, Żrodła hebrajskie do dziejów słowian (1956).

[Shlomo Eidelberg]