Isaac Alfasi


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Alfasi (1013–1103) lived for most of his life in Fez in Morocco (hence the name Alfasi, ‘from Fez’ or the Rif, ‘Rabbi Yitzhak Fesi’) and was the author of one of the great Codes of Law, the Sefer Ha-Halakhot (The Book of the Laws). By the time of Alfasi the Babylonian Talmud had become the supreme source of Jewish Law, but the Talmud is not a Code; rather, it is a corpus of the discussions by the Rabbis on numerous questions, most of them of law. Alfasi's method was to give the basic debates in matters of law in the original form in which they appear in the Talmud but omitting all the elaborate discussions, stating simply, in his own words, at the end of each passage: ‘This is the law’.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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