Petter ben Joseph

views updated


PETTER BEN JOSEPH (12th century), tosafist. Petter came from Carinthia in Austria and was a pupil of *Samuel b. Meir and of his brother, Jacob *Tam. He participated in the editing of R. Tam's Sefer ha-Yashar, to which he made additions. Petter maintained a halakhic correspondence with R. Tam and with *Isaac b. Melchizedek of Siponto and it is probable that the quotations from the latter in the Sefer ha-Yashar were included by Petter. He was also an associate of *Isaac ha-Lavan, who quotes him in his tosafot. Most of the statements of Petter in the printed tosafot also appear in the Sefer ha-Yashar. He meta martyr's death at an early age during the Second Crusade, and Jacob of Bonn eulogized him in the highest terms.

With regard to the unusual name of Petter borne by a pupil of R. Tam, it is interesting to note that R. Tam accepts the medieval legend that Peter (Simon Caiaphas) was a devout Jew who sacrificed himself in order to effect the separation between Judaism and Christianity, and is the author of the prayer *Nishmat, a legend whose authenticity had been rejected by R. Tam's grandfather, Rashi (see Maḥzor Vitry, ed. by S. Hurwitz (19232), 282 n. 5, 362 n. 5).


Urbach, Tosafot, 191–3.

[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]

About this article

Petter ben Joseph

Updated About content Print Article