Chapter

The Literary Background of Ibn Zimra's Responsa: Rabbi Solomon Ben Adret and the Medieval Sefardi Halakhic Literature

B. Barry Levy

in Fixing God's Torah

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195141139
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780199834945 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019514113X.003.0006
 The Literary Background of Ibn Zimra's Responsa: Rabbi Solomon Ben Adret and the Medieval Sefardi Halakhic Literature

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This chapter builds on the previous four, which analysed the closely related group of four responsa (responses to questions) about the accuracy of the Torah text and closely related matters, by Rabbi David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra (popularly known in English as Ibn Zimra, and in Hebrew as HaRaDBaZ). Ibn Zimra's approach was primarily halakhic, not masoretic, and to appreciate it an examination needs to be made of passages from both the halakhic and masoretic literature (the Masorah is the collective textual notes and other additions to the text of the Torah itself), especially the writings of Solomon ben Abraham Ben Adret, a prolific author and unchallenged rabbinic leader of Spanish Jewry until his death in 1310. Ibn Zimra cited Ben Adret several times, and the analysis presented begins with an anonymous question posed to Ben Adret on matters of spelling in the Torah, and goes on to give his response. Ibn Zimra's use of it is considered in the next chapter.

Keywords: accuracy; ancient texts; David Ibn Zimra; halakhic evidence; Hebrew Bible; Masorah; masoretic evidence; responsa; Solomon ben Adret; spelling; Torah

Chapter.  19119 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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