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Jacob ben Asher, also known as Ba'al ha-Turim, was born in Cologne, Germany in about 1269 and died in Toledo, Spain in about 1343.[1][2]

He was an influential Medieval rabbinic authority. He is often referred to as the Baal ha-Turim' ("Master of the Rows"), after his main work in halakha (Jewish law), the Arba'ah Turim, ("Four Rows.") The work was divided into 4 sections, each called a "tur," alluding to the rows of jewels on the High Priest's breastplate. He was the third son of the Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel (known as the "Rosh"), a German-born Rabbi who moved to Spain. Besides his father, who was his principal teacher, Jacob quotes very often in the Turim his elder brother Jehiel; once his brother Judah (see Tur Orach Chaim, § 417), and once his uncle R. Chaim(ib. § 49). According to many, Jacob moved to Spain with his father and was not born there.

Some say Jacob succeeded his father as the rabbi of the Jewish community of Toledo (Zacuto), while others say his brother Judah ben Asher did. Two of his brothers (Jehiel and Judah) were also rabbis of different communities in Spain. He lived in abject poverty most of his life, and is said to have fallen ill and died with his comrades on the island of Chios, Greece, whilst travelling[3].

Works

  • Arba'ah Turim, one of the most important halachic books of all times.
  • Sefer ha-Remazim, or "Kitzur Piske ha-Rosh" (Constantinople, 1575), an abridgment of his father's compendium of the Talmud, in which he condensed his father's decisions, omitting the casuistry.
  • Rimze Ba'al ha-Turim (Constantinople, 1500), a commentary on the Pentateuch, which is printed in virtually all Jewish editions of the Pentateuch. This concise commentary consists of mystical and symbolical references in the Torah text (see Masoretic text), often using gematria and acronyms as well as other occurrences of particular words elsewhere in the Torah.
  • Perush Al ha-Torah, a less known commentary on the Pentateuch (Zolkiev, 1806), taken mainly from Nachmanides, but without his cabalistic and philosophical interpretations. Jacob quotes many other commentators, among them Saadia Gaon, Rashi, Joseph Dara and Abraham ibn Ezra.

References

  1. ^ Translated from Hebrew biography in Bar Ilan CD-ROM
  2. ^ Goldin, Hyman E. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Code of Jewish Law, Forward to the New Edition. (New York: Hebrew Publishing Company, 1961)
  3. ^ The Sephardic Community of Chios
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Jacob ben Asher, also known as Ba'al ha-Turim, was likely born in Cologne, Germany c.1269 and likely died in Toledo, Spain c.1343.[1][2]

He was an influential Medieval rabbinic authority. He is often referred to as the Baal ha-Turim' ("Master of the Rows"), after his main work in halakha (Jewish law), the Arba'ah Turim ("Four Rows"). The work was divided into 4 sections, each called a "tur," alluding to the rows of jewels on the High Priest's breastplate. He was the third son of the Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel (known as the "Rosh"), a German-born Rabbi who moved to Spain. Besides his father, who was his principal teacher, Jacob quotes very often in the Turim his elder brother Jehiel; once his brother Judah (see Tur Orach Chaim, § 417), and once his uncle Rabbi Chaim (ib. § 49). According to many,[by whom?] Jacob moved to Spain with his father and was not born there.

Some say Jacob succeeded his father as the rabbi of the Jewish community of Toledo (Zacuto), while others say his brother Judah ben Asher did. His brothers were also rabbis of different communities in Spain. He lived in abject poverty most of his life, and according to The Sephardic Community of Chios, is said to have fallen ill and died with his 10 companions on the island of Chios, in Greece, whilst travelling.[3]

Works

  • Arba'ah Turim, one of the most important halachic books of all times.
  • Sefer ha-Remazim, or "Kitzur Piske ha-Rosh" (Constantinople, 1575), an abridgment of his father's compendium of the Talmud, in which he condensed his father's decisions, omitting the casuistry.
  • Rimze Ba'al ha-Turim (Constantinople, 1500), a commentary on the Pentateuch, which is printed in virtually all Jewish editions of the Pentateuch. This concise commentary consists of mystical and symbolical references in the Torah text (see Masoretic text), often using gematria and acronyms as well as other occurrences of particular words elsewhere in the Torah.
  • Perush Al ha-Torah, a less known commentary on the Pentateuch (Zolkiev, 1806), taken mainly from Nachmanides, but without his cabalistic and philosophical interpretations. Jacob quotes many other commentators, among them Saadia Gaon, Rashi, Joseph Dara and Abraham ibn Ezra.
  • Works of Jacob ben Ascher in the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke. Retrieved 2010-04-20
  • Baal HaTurim Chumash,' ' Davis Edition by Artscroll - Torah with the Baal HaTurim's Classic Commentary - Hebrew/English. ISBN 1-57819-128-9

References

  1. ^ Translated from Hebrew biography in Bar Ilan CD-ROM
  2. ^ Goldin, Hyman E. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Code of Jewish Law, Forward to the New Edition. (New York: Hebrew Publishing Company, 1961)
  3. ^ The Sephardic Community of Chios


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JACOB BEN ASHER (1280-1340), codifier of Jewish law, was born in Germany and died in Toledo. A son of Asher ben Yehiel, Jacob helped to re-introduce the older elaborate method of legal casuistry which had been overthrown by Maimonides. The Asheri family suffered great privations but remained faithful in their devotion to the Talmud. Jacob ben Asher is known as the Baal ha-turim (literally "Master of the Rows") from his chief work, the four Turim or Rows (the title is derived from the four Turim or rows of jewels in the High Priest's breastplate). In this work Jacob ben Asher codified Rabbinic law on ethics and ritual, and it remained a standard work of reference until it was edited with a commentary by Joseph Qaro, who afterwards simplified the code into the more popular Shulhan Aruch. Jacob also wrote two commentaries on the Pentateuch.

See Graetz, History of the Jews (Eng. trans.),vol. iv. ch. iii.; Weiss, Dor dor we-dorashav, v. 118-123. (I. A.)


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