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Collected Essays: v. 2$
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Haym Soloveitchik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113980

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113980.001.0001

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Characterizing Medieval Talmudists: A Case Study

Characterizing Medieval Talmudists: A Case Study

Chapter:
(p.106) Chapter Six Characterizing Medieval Talmudists: A Case Study
Source:
Collected Essays: v. 2
Author(s):

Haym Soloveitchik

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113980.003.0007

This chapter provides some critiques on Grossman's study, Ḥakhmei Ashkenaz ha-Rishonim. Here, Grossman has characterized R. Shelomoh b. Shimshon (Rabbenu Sasson) as a decisor (posek) who tended towards stringency without serious regard to the economic cost of his rulings. Moreover, he ‘opposed innovation, making any changes in the status quo’, and he ‘preserved custom studiously and defended the received communal practices with zeal’. Following Grossman, Rami Reiner recently extended Rabbenu Sasson's conservative outlook to include a blind acceptance of the Halakhot Gedolot. Grossman and Reiner naturally document these assessments. The chapter scrutinizes these portrayals as well as the various pieces of evidence that have been adduced.

Keywords:   Avraham Grossman, medieval talmudists, Ḥakhmei Ashkenaz ha-Rishonim, Halakhot Gedolot, Rami Reiner, Shelomoh b. Shimshon, Rabbenu Sasson

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