RISHONIM (Heb. רִאשׁוֹנִים; lit. "the early authorities"), a term with many connotations–chronological, literary, ethical, and halakhic–serving to indicate the standing and authority of preceding scholars in relation to the scholars of the time in the domain of halakhic ruling and interpretation of the Torah. The distinction between "rishonim" and contemporaries is already found in the Talmud, which stresses the deterioration in worth of the generations as they progressively become further removed in time from Sinai; e.g., "If the rishonim were as angels, we are as men, and if the rishonim were as men, we are as donkeys" (Shab. 112b). The natural ambivalence involved in the practical use of this term was first raised in the later geonic literature, which set against this assessment the halakhic rule that "the law is in accordance with the later authority" (Seder Tanna'im ve-Amora'im, no. 25), the reason being either because these "were more painstaking than the rishonim in clarifying the halakhah" (Tos. to Kid. 45b), or because these had already seen and taken into consideration the reasoning of their predecessors and were therefore, in the words of the well-known proverb, like "a dwarf sitting on the back of a giant" (see Zedekiah b. Abraham, introd. to Shibbolei ha-Leket, in the name of Isaiah di Trani, S.K. Mirsky, ed. (1966), 107f.). Various limitations were made to this rule in order to reconcile these two contradictory statements (see Rabbinical *Authority). Moses *Alashkar (Responsa nos. 53–54) already grasped the full import of this ambivalence, attempted to draw all the conclusions from it, and limited the application of the rule that the law is in accordance with the later authority to the pre-geonic period, but his was a solitary opinion.
Nevertheless, it is clear that the actual division into "periods" stems from the profound and general recognition that there is indeed a progressive decline in importance and authority with the passage of time. Hence it was also laid down, at least formally, that it is altogether impossible to controvert the early scholars in general and the geonim (see *Gaon) in particular. In this matter, too, contradictory lines of approach have existed side by side throughout the generations. The term "rishonim" is now used to indicate a more or less well-defined period in the history of rabbinic literature; namely, the period between that of the geonim and the *rabbinate; the latter, called the period of the *aḥaronim, continues to the present day. The exact dates establishing the limits to these periods are not precise and unchallenged, but neither are they of great practical importance. Historically the period of the rishonim commences with the eclipse of the Babylonian academies and the beginning of independent Torah centers throughout the Diaspora, and terminates shortly after the renewal of ordination (*semikhah) by *Meir b. Baruch ha-Levi, which brought about a great change in Europe in the order of Torah study and its transmission from teacher to pupil. In general, the death of *Hai Gaon is accepted as the close of the geonic period. Accordingly, the period of rishonim begins in Spain with *Samuel ha-Nagid, in Germany with Gershom b. *Judah, and in North Africa with *Nissim b. Jacob and *Hananel b. Ḥushi'el. The last scholars who are regarded as rishonim are *Nissim b. Reuben and his pupil *Isaac b. Sheshet in Spain, the first members of the *Duran family in North Africa, and in Germany Jacob b. Moses *Moellin and Israel *Isserlein. The period of the rishonim thus extends from the middle of the 11th to the middle of the 15th centuries. Unlike the Middle Ages in general history, the intermediate period of the rishonim bears no implication of a transition from a period of cultural darkness to one of enlightenment. On the contrary, as stated, the generations are regarded as being on the decline, the spiritual stature of the early scholars being held as greater than that of their successors. The chief significance of the division into periods is psychological, its importance being methodological and chronological and valuable mainly as a conventional nomenclature.
From the point of view of literary history, the period of the rishonim is differentiated from that of the geonim by a process of subdivision into separate literary genres; i.e., the composition of books with distinctive contents in distinctive literary forms in accordance with their contents, such as *ethics and philosophy, and in the domain of halakhah, *tosafot, pesakim, *hassagot, *haggahot, *responsa, novellae (*Ḥiddushim), biblical exegesis, etc. This process which reached the zenith of its efflorescence in the 11th century, brought in its wake an improvement in the means of expression. In consequence, works belonging to the period of the rishonim cover a much wider spectrum than was normal with the geonim. They contain more extended discussions, an explicit reliance upon previous scholars, and a marked desire to preserve local traditions and customs. Apart from these general literary aspects, there are no specific phenomena characteristic of the rishonim, since there existed great individual differences between the scholars of the east and the west, as well as between those of the west itself, even with regard to such primary problems as the right attitude toward the geonim, the degree of authority to be attributed to local regulations, and the authority of great scholars to intervene beyond the borders of their own country.
A list of all the published works of the rishonim up to 1959 with subsequent addenda (the last in the Internet journal Jewish Studies, vol. 1, 2002, pp. 129–80) was published in Sarei ha-Elef (see bibl.).
Additional Publications 1969–1972
From 1969 to 1972, no fewer than about 100 complete halakhic works belonging to the period designated as that of the rishonim were published from manuscripts, both critical and partly critical editions, as well as about half as many fragments, both large and small. This remarkable output, equivalent to the appearance of a new work every 10 days, is striking evidence of the flourishing literary activity in this department of rabbinical literature. A new and comprehensive list of all the works of the rishonim published since the invention of printing was due to appear in 1973 in a new edition of Sarei ha-Elef edited by M. *Kasher. Only the more important of these works and fragments will be surveyed here. Since almost all of them were published since 1970 in Israel (mainly Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Bene-Berak, though in many cases this refers only to the actual publishing, the works having been prepared in New York), with a few actually published in New York, the year and place of publication will generally not be given. In the case of fragments, reference is given to the periodicals in which they appeared.
Most of the halakhic works surveyed consist of commentaries on tractates of the Talmud (with a few on Maimonides' Yad); about a quarter belong to the field of responsa, biblical exegesis (in halakhic vein), halakhic rulings, halakhic monographs, and the like. This trend represents the publishers' desire to reach the tens of thousands of youths who study in the hundreds of yeshivot in Israel and the free world more than the aim of meeting the need for historical and literary research, in which field the number of scholars engaged is still very limited.
The Tosafot ha-Rosh (see *Asher b. Jehiel) to the Talmud has almost been completed with the printing of his commentaries to tractates Shabbat (published twice; see below), Eruvin, Rosh Ha-Shanah, Gittin (a complete critical text, based on three mss), Kiddushin, and Sanhedrin (see also below). Much progress has been made with the tosafot of *Perez b. Elijah of Corbeil with the publication of his tosafot to Berakhot, Pesaḥim, Beẓah, and Bava Meẓia. The publication of the *tosafot of English scholars (Ḥakhmei Angliyyah; see Tosafot, 15: 1281), have been virtually completed with the publication of these works on tractates Pesaḥim, Beẓah, Megillah, Gittin, Kiddushin, Bava Kamma, Sanhedrin, Avodah Zarah, and Niddah. The tosafot to the halakhot of Isaac *Alfasi by *Moses b. Yom Tov of London on Kiddushin have also appeared.
In addition to these actual tosafot, important works by the Franco-German tosafists have also appeared. Of great importance is "A Commentary from the School of Rashi on Tractate Sukkah" (Sinai, 63 (1970)). The tosafot of Sens (see *Samson b. Abraham of Sens) to Makkot, Avodah Zarah (printed in Shittat ha-Kadmonim to Avodah Zarah) and Mishnah Shevi'it, chapters 1–5 (by K. Cahana in Ḥeker Ve-Iyyun) completes the considerable number of these tosafot hitherto unpublished. The Tosafot Yeshanim to the first chapter of Yevamot has now appeared in full (huca, 40/41 (1970)) and also to Rosh Ha-Shanah. Although in effect they belong to the tosafot literature, they are not as comprehensive as the first group.
Among the works of the Franco-German scholars that do not belong to tosafot literature, the following may be mentioned: Piskei R. *Jehiel of Paris (in serial form, Moriah (1970/71)); Piskei R. *Isaac of Corbeil (Sinai, 67 (end of 1970)); a new responsum by *Ḥayyim b. Isaac, "Or Zaru'a" (Sinai, 66 (1970)); a series of compilations on regulations concerning the writing of Scrolls of the Law, tefillin, and mezuzot has been published in the important Koveẓ Sifrei Setam. This contains Kitvei Otiyyot Tefillin by R. *Judah he-Ḥasid, an amended edition of the Barukh she-Amar by Samson b. Eliezer, and a fine text of the Tikkun Tefillin by Abraham of Sinzheim and the Alfa Beta of Yom Tov Lipmann *Muelhausen. The unique project of re-editing the Aguddah of Alexander *Suslin from manuscripts continues, and the following have thus far appeared: tractate Berakhot and the Mishnah of the other tractates to the order Zera'im, all the tractates of Mo'ed, and Bava Kamma and Bava Meẓia. Of special importance are two anonymous early prayer books from the German school, published under the titles Siddur Rabbenu Shelomo mi-Germeiza and Siddur Ḥasidei Ashkenaz, which include Ashkenazi material that in some small part ante-date Rashi. In addition, the first complete edition from manuscripts and printed sources of *Jacob b. Asher's biblical commentary, Ba'al ha-Turim, has appeared. A large new collection of halakhic rulings and responsa by early Franco-German scholars of the 12th and 13th centuries is about to be issued by the *Mekiẓe Nirdamim.
An important achievement is the reissuing of the halakhic works of great Spanish scholars. Although most of the works of *Naḥmanides have long been available, the existing edition is very defective, both as regards mistakes and omissions. About two years ago, Makhon ha-Talmud ha-Yisre'eli ha-Shalem began the comprehensive project of publishing a critical edition of all Naḥmanides' novellae to the Talmud, based on all extant manuscripts and printed editions. Those to the tractates Makkot, Avodah Zarah, and Sanhedrin, with a monograph on Dinei de-Garme, have already appeared. A similar project in respect of the works of *Yom Tov b. Abraham Ishbili, the Ritba, is being planned by Mosad ha-Rav Kook. A sample page of Eruvin was published in Sinai, 67 (1970). Of Naḥmanides' works, the following have been published for the first time: Tashlum Derashat ha-Rambam "Toratha-Shem Temimah," the end of which was previously missing (Tarbiz, 40 (1971)); supplements to his commentary on the Torah (Ha-Ma'yan, 9 (1969)); the hitherto missing fragments from the first 11 pages of Bava Meẓia (Mattityahu, Yeshivat Netanyah (1972)); Kelalei ha-Ramban by S. *Abramson, published by Mosad ha-Rav Kook, a collection gathered from the works of Naḥmanides, with some notes.
Works by other Spanish scholars published include a new and critical edition, based on an excellent manuscript, of the Ḥukkot ha-Dayyanim of Abraham b. Solomon ibn Tazarti, a pupil of Solomon *Adret, the previous edition of which was very faulty (two volumes, the Harry Fischel Institute); the completion of the siddur of *Judah b. Yakar, the teacher of Naḥmanides; the commentary of Rabbenu Perez ha-Kohen, the teacher of *Nissim b. Reuben, on the tractate Nazir, and to the same tractate by R. Todros b. Isaac of Gerona, early 14th century; the important commentaries of Nissim b. Reuben to tractates Eruvin and Pesaḥim; the commentary of *Aaron b. Joseph ha-Levi of Barcelona to tractate Avodah Zarah and the Nimmukei Yosef of Joseph *Ḥabiba to the same (in the Shitah Mekubbeẓet to that tractate); Shitah le-Va'al ha-Ẓerurot to tractate Ta'anit by *Ḥayyim b. Samuel b. David of Tudela; and fragments from the commentary by an anonymous pupil of Naḥmanides to tractates Yoma and Sukkah (S.K. Mirski Memorial Volume, New York (1971)); worthy of note are the anonymous commentary to Kiddushin published under the title Shitah Kadmonit and to Middah, by an anonymous scholar of the school of Naḥmanides, published under the title Ḥiddushei ha-Ra. Of the Bible exegetes from this school, worthy of note are the commentary to Genesis and Exodus attributed to a pupil of Nissim b. Reuben and the continuation of the commentary of Abraham b. Isaac *Tamakh on Proverbs 31 (in the Mirski Volume) and on Lamentations 3 (Ha-Darom, 28 (1929)).
In contrast to former years, there has been a decrease in the publication of works from the Provençal school, which continues to be largely terra incognita. A great amount of effort has been squandered in the republication of the Beit ha-Beḥirah of Menahem b. Solomon *Meiri to about ten tractates based on "manuscripts." Despite the fulsome praise of their editors for the new light they provide, they constitute no improvement of any value over the previous editions printed during the past 30 years and still freely available. Their publication testifies only to the great demand for Meiri's works in yeshivah circles. This superfluous republication borders ethically on an encroachment upon the rights of the authors of the previous editions and is without any justification. An exception, and one of great value, is the publication for the first time of the Ḥiddushei ha-Meiri to Eruvin (up to the end of chapter 4; the remainder in print) by Mosad ha-Rav Kook. The existence of the manuscript had been known for many years and its publication fills a great need. The hitherto unpublished portion of Hassagot on Maimonides' Yad by Moses ha-Kohen of Lunel to Nashim, Kedoshah, and Shoftim, supplementing the previously published portion to Madda, Ahavah, and Zemannim, has now appeared, and the work is now complete. Of a planned complete and critical edition of the Sefer ha-Menuḥah by *Manoah of Narbonne, Hilkhot Keri'at Shema, Tefillah, and Berakhot have already appeared. Other works of Provençal scholars published are Ezrat Nashim by *Jacob b. Moses of Begnols; Hilkhot Ḥameẓu-Maẓẓah ve-Seder Leil Pesaḥ im Perush ha-Haggadah by an anonymous Provençal scholar, these being published together with fragments of a sermon for Passover by *Abraham b. David of Posquières, which was not extant in manuscript, but has been collated from a number of sources. First published separately in Ha-Darom (1972), they have been published together in Mi-Toratav shel Ḥakhmei Provens u-Sefarad be-Hilkhot u-ve-Minhagei Pesaḥ. Important, too, is the recently published commentary by *Jonathan ha-Kohen of Lunel on Alfasi's commentary to Kiddushin. Two small fragments hitherto unknown are also worthy of note: a new letter by *Abraham b. Isaac of Narbonne, and the original letter of the scholars of Lunel to Maimonides, in which they asked him to send them "his other scholarly works" (Tarbiz, 39 (1970)). Finally, there is a criticism of the New Testament by Joseph b. Nathan *Official, which appeared in the Jubilee Volume for Isaac Kiev, New York (1972), after the Sefer ha-Mekanne was published.
Of the works of Oriental scholars, note must first be taken of developments connected with *Maimonides. Seven new responsa have appeared (from a Parma mss, not as stated from the *Genizah, Tarbiz, 39 (1970)), and a substantial part of his classical works, retranslated into Hebrew as part of a comprehensive project undertaken by Rabbi Y. *Kafah (who makes use of additional Arabic mss), and most recently the Sefer ha-Mitzvot and the Iggeret Teiman. Kafaḥ has also published a small work containing a detailed index of all biblical verses in all the Maimonidean literature, titledHa-Mikra be-Rambam. It is of exceptional value, and is the first of its kind in comprehensiveness and quality. Of importance for textual research on the works of Maimonides is the reissue of Ḥasifat Genuzim mi-Teiman and the facsimile edition (by "Makor") of the unique and important Constantinople (1509) edition of the Mishneh Torah. Among the works of other Oriental scholars, note should be taken of the anonymous commentary to Bava Batra – Perush Kadmon; of the anonymous Hilkhot Ereẓ Yisrael min ha-Genizah (in Koveẓ al Yad, 7 (1968)), and of the small fragment of the commentary of *Peraḥyah b. Nissim to Alfasi's commentary on Shabbat (in Seyata di-Shemaya (1970)). Important is the commentary of *Hananel b. Samuel to the Alfasi on Kiddushin, printed in the Shitat ha-Kadmonim to this tractate. Ereẓ Israel halakhot, dating from the pre-Moslem period, from Genizah sources, which throw considerable light on the specific halakhah of Ereẓ Israel and clarify many hitherto obscure passages in the so-called Sefer ha-Ma'asim (see p. 330) and including new extracts from it–from the literary legacy of Prof. Mordecai Margaliot, collected by him over 20 years from all available sources–are now in the final stages of publication. Among Bible commentaries, mention may be made of the commentary to Job by Meyuḥas b. Elijah.
north african school
The editio princeps of the Rif by Isaac Alfasi has now been published in facsimile by "Makor," with an introduction. Twelve responsa by Isaac Alfasi were published in Or ha-Mizraḥ, 20 (1971), and an amended and critical edition of the Seder Rav Amram Ga'on (see *Amram b. Sheshna), the first that can by usefully consulted, has appeared; a new edition of the *Halakhot Gedolot based on very many mss (Mekiẓe Nirdamim), and also a facsimile edition of the same work from the Paris mss 1702 and a facsimile edition of the *Halakhot Pesukot, from mss Sassoon, both by "Makor." Belonging to a much later period is the commentary of Simeon b. Ẓemaḥ *Duran to Berakhot, published for the first time. Ch.D. Chavel has collated and published all extant fragments to the biblical commentary of R. Hananel ben Ḥushi'el.
The great project of publishing the Pesakim of *Isaiah b. Mali (di) Trani and of his grandson, *Isaiah b. Elijah, continues. The following having been published recently: Beẓah, Rosh Ha-Shanah, Ta'anit, Megillah, Ḥagigah, Mo'ed Katan, and the Halakhot Ketannot. His Pentateuch commentary from amanuscript which belonged to R. Zedekiah *Anav was published lately with Anav's annotations; new responsa by Joseph *Colon as well as his commentary on the Passover laws of Maimonides and of the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, as well as his commentary on the Pentateuch; the Arugah ha-Shelishit (Order of Blessings) of the Shibbolei ha-Lekket of Zedekiah Anav, published from the literary remains of S.K. Mirski in his Memorial Volume.
A work of unique value for the period of the rishonim, which includes new fragments from every sphere of Jewish culture, is Ḥasifat Genuzim mi-Teiman, the individual project of Judah Levi Nahum, an enthusiastic Yemenite who has for decades been collecting copies of Yemenite works from all periods and all subjects as well as pages of incunabula and fragments of old printed works extracted from the bindings of books originating in the Yemen. This work, of which only one part has been published thus far, contains among its 100 fragments very many from the works of rishonim, of which a considerable number deal with the work of Maimonides, which was especially popular in the Yemen. It is impossible to deal here with all the relevant fragments, but the commentary of David *Abudarham on piyyutim and hoshanot may be given as an example. The superiority of this work over the others mentioned above lies in the fact that it gives a facsimile of each fragment. This is especially important since lack of experience has caused a certain lack of precision in the reading of the fragments. It may be assumed that further volumes of this project, which is a kind of wandering genizah of Jewish literature, will make their appearance, and no doubt the copying of the fragments will be perfected.
Most of the books have been copied, edited, and published on the initiative and personal predilection of relatively young scholars, some of whom have had previous experience in this work, while others are new to it. Only a few have been published on the initiative of public Torah institutes, which have made long-term plans of great importance. As a result, together with the notable achievements there is a conspicuous and complete lack of coordination both among the editors themselves and between them and the organized institutions. At times, there is even open rivalry, with the result that sometimes the same work is published simultaneously more than once. The Tosafot ha-Rosh to Sanhedrin was published from the same unique manuscript simultaneously by B. Lipkin (posthumously; with supplements and notes by J. ha-Levi Lipschutz) in Jerusalem (1968) and by S. Ullman of Brooklyn in Tel Aviv (1969). The Tosafot ha-Rosh to Shabbat was also published twice: by I.S. Lange (of Zurich) in Jerusalem (1969) and by the same S. Ullman in Tel Aviv (1971), though in this case different mss were used, the former using Parma and London mss and the latter mss in the New York Seminary and the Ginsberg collection. The Tosafot ha-Rosh to Yoma published in New York (1961; the main article in the ej has 1965–a typographical error) was republished from the same mss by Ullman in Tel Aviv (1969), as though it were being published from the manuscript for the first time. Something similar has occurred with the publication of the Meiri (see above) and with the Hashlamah of Meshullam b. *Moses. More examples could be given.
Among institutes which have undertaken defined assignments in the period of the rishonim is the Makhon ha-Talmud ha-Yisraeli ha-Shalem, whose main projects are: the editing of the Piskei Rid and the Riaz (see above), following the order of the Talmud (thus far, Berakhot and all of Mo'ed have appeared); a series Ginzei Rishonim, within whose framework works of rishonim "that have never been published" are being printed, but there appears to be neither method nor system in the series, the printing of many of the works being interrupted and left uncompleted; a project to issue the complete novellae of Naḥmanides (see above). Mosad ha-Rav Kook has sponsored the main work of Rabbi Y. Kafaḥ, the issuing of new Hebrew translations of all Maimonides' Arabic works, and the editing of many works by rishonim of which he possesses single, or unique, manuscripts. It is also about to begin the printing of the series Ha-Ritba ha-Shalem on the Talmud (see above). Worthy of note is the project Sanhedrei Gedolah of the Harry Fischel Institute, which is reprinting all extant rishonim to tractate Sanhedrin or those whose subject matter refers mainly to that tractate. Hitherto four volumes have appeared and Ḥukkot ha-Dayyanim (see above). All the works published by these institutes have introductions, source references and notes by the editors.
The work of these individual scholars is of equal importance to the planned series. Quite a number of these scholars work according to their own private plan, e.g., Rabbi Ullman, who has published the remainder of the hitherto unpublished Tosafot ha-Rosh (without taking into consideration that some other person may be engaged in the identical task), and Rabbi Brizel, who has published the Aguddah with notes and source references. It is a cause for satisfaction that editors who were accustomed formerly to embellish their editions with an abundance of mostly superfluous notes have also recently begun to regard their principal work as simply the provision of a reliable text. As a result, the literature of rishonim is gradually returning to the original form in which it was always published in the past.
At present the editing of works by rishonim is wholly in the hands of yeshivah scholars and students of the Torah who are guided in their choice and in their work by the curriculum current in yeshivot. No work of any significance in this domain is being done in academic circles, although among them too are considerable numbers of rabbinical scholars. Any work needed for research into matters connected with rabbinical literature which does not fall within the curriculum of the yeshivot is still completely dependent on the possibilities (and the preferences) of the Mekiẓe Nirdamim society, and on the very few publications, too fragmentary to have permanent value, in a few periodicals. There exists a great need especially for facsimile editions (either with or without their parallel printed transcription), since these are the foundations of all exact scientific research, relieving the researcher from dependence upon the editors' reading of the photostat of the mss. Because this task is not regarded as of significance for study in yeshivot, such works are well-nigh nonexistent. A praiseworthy exception is the Makor Publishing Company, which puts out excellent facsimile editions of those manuscripts (see above).
Among the chief workers in the field (of complete works) are: Rabbis Y. Kafaḥ, A. Sofer, M. Herschler, M.J. ha-Kohen Blau and Ch.D. Chavel who are veteran scholars of great experience; also S. Greenbaum, A.D. Pines, A.L. Feldman, I. ha-Levi Lipschutz and S. Ullman. Others, in alphabetical order, are: A. Brizel, S.Z. Broida, K. Cahana, J. Cohen, M. Glazer, M. Hildesheimer, D.Z. Hillman, W. Horowitz, H. Krauser, I.S. Lange, A. Liss, M.M. Meshizahav, I. Reinz, I. Rothstein, H. Segal, A. Shoshana, S. Sofer, and the Seder Amram Ga'on by Dr. Goldschmidt. Of publishers of fragments, particular mention may be made of A. Kupfer.
In contrast to the publication of texts, research has proceeded at a very slow pace. Nevertheless, many studies of value for the works of rishonim can be enumerated. It should first be noted that there has been a considerable general improvement in the standard of the introductions printed at the beginning of many of these books. Among studies of Maimonides, note must be taken of the Ein Mitzvot, a bio-bibliographical lexicon for the study of Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitzvot and its commentators, by I.I. Dienstag (1969); also a list of all complete printed editions of the Mishneh Torah (in the Jubilee Volume for Kiev (1972), which, though not the first in this field, is a great improvement over its predecessors; the article "Sefer Mishneh Torah… Its Aims…," by I. Twerski, in Israel National Academy of Sciences, 5:1 (1972); and "Mishneh Torah le-ha-Rambam in the Possession of the Jews of the Yemen," by S.D. Pinḥasi, in the Ḥasifat Genuzim mi-Teiman (1971). S.Z. Havlin has published a valuable article on the printed editions of the Mishneh Torah (introduction to the above-mentioned Makor facsimile edition). Note should be taken of the article "The Literary Creation of Joseph Ibn Migas," printed in Kiryat Sefer, 45/47 (1970–72); the study by I. Spiegel of Sefer Maggid Mishneh on the Mishneh Torah (Kiryat Sefer, 46 (1971)); the article by I. Markus on Isaac ibn Ghayyat (Sinai, 67/8 (1970)); of great value is the article "Tosafot Gornish" (Sinai, 68 (1961)), where not only is the subject illuminated for the first time but the nature of pilpul and its developments clarified; finally, the unsatisfactory article by I. Shtzipanski on "Rabbenu Ephraim and the Rif " (Tarbiz, 41 (1972)), which is of little value. Not only does it not make use of all available data on the subject but it "reveals" a considerable amount of material long known and fully discussed by scholars. In addition to these articles, several introductions to books have been printed which give all the available biographical material and the authors of the work. Particular note should be taken of Horowitz's introduction to the Sefer ha-Menuḥah (see above) and the Seridei Derashot ha-Rabad, and to the introductions of I. Lipschutz and S. Feldman. Of particular importance is the article "Ha-Siddur le-Va'al ha-Semak with the commentary of the author of the Maḥkim," by S.D. Bergmann(in the Mirski Volume, see above), containing information about German scholars of the 13th and 14th centuries. Lastly, note should be made of the article "Le-Ḥeker he-Arukh," of*Nathan b. Jehiel of Rome, by S. Abramson in Leshonenu, 36 (1972), 100–22.
M. Kasher and J.D. Mandelbaum, Sarei ha-Elef, (1959; a bibliographical list of the printed writings of the ri shonim); addenda up to 1965, in: Noah Braun Memorial Volume (1970), 215–99; I. Ta-Shema, Sifrei Rishonim (1967); S. Poznański, Babylonische Geonim im nachgaonaeischen Zeitalter, (1914), 79–111.
[Israel Moses Ta-Shma]