R. Shemuel b. Meir (Rashbam)

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Rashbam
Name
R. Shemuel b. Meir
ר' שמואל בן מאיר, רשב"ם
Dates1085-1174
LocationFrance
WorksTanakh and Talmud commentaries
Exegetical Characteristics
Influenced byRashi, his father R. Meir
Impacted onR. Eliezer of Beaugency, R. Yosef Bekhor Shor

Background

Life

  • Name – 
    • Hebrew name – R. Shemuel b. Meir (ר' שמואל בן מאיר), of which Rashbam (רשב"ם) is an acronym.
  • Dates – c.10851 – c.1174.2
  • Location – Rashbam lived in cities in Northern France including Troyes, Ramerupt, Paris, Caen, and Loudun.3
  • Occupation – Rashbam had a flock of ewes, which provided milk and wool.
  • Family – Rashbam was the grandson of Rashi4 and the son of R. Meir.5 His brothers were R. Yitzchak and R. Tam. He had a daughter Marona and perhaps a son Yosef.6
  • Teachers – 
  • Contemporaries – 
  • Students – 
  • Time period

Works

  • Biblical commentaries – Rashbam most probably wrote a commentary on all of Tanakh. His commentary on Torah survived only in one manuscript, Breslau 103, that is now lost.7 Commentaries of Rashbam on Tehillim, Iyyov, Kohelet, and Shir HaShirim have recently been published, but some dispute his authorship of these works. Citations from Rashbam's commentaries on Neviim and Ketuvim also survived in the Arugat HaBosem of R. Avraham b. Azriel and in some Northern French commentaries.
  • Grammar – 
  • Rabbinics – 
    • Talmudic novellae – Rashbam wrote commentaries on the tenth chapter of Pesachim and on Bava Batra 29a through the end8 in order to complete missing sections of Rashi's commentary. In addition Rashbam wrote commentaries on Eiruvin,9 Gittin,10 Bava Kama,11 other sections of Bava Batra,12 and Niddah13 which are not extant, but are cited by other commentaries.
    • Halakhic codes – 
    • Responses to the works of others – 
    • Responsa – 
  • Jewish thought – 
  • Commonly misattributed to Rashbam – 

Torah Commentary

Textual Issues

  • Manuscripts – Rashbam's commentary on Torah survived only in one manuscript, MSS Breslau 103, which was a bit fragmented, and was lost completely during the Holocaust. This manuscript was missing the first three Parashot of Sefer Bereshit, Parashat Pinechas, and Devarim 33:3 through the end.14 Rashbam's commentary on Bereshit 1 was discovered by A. Geiger in MSS Munich 5, and it is now incorporated in most printed editions. His commentary to part of Devarim 34 was found by M. Sokolow in 1984 in MSS Oxford 34.
  • D. Rosin published an annotated edition based on that manuscript in 1882.
  • Printings – The commentary was saved due to its printing in a few מקראות גדולות. It was printed for the first time in 1705 in BerlinRashbam's commentary on Torah survived only in one manuscript, which was missing many pages in its beginning and end, and even this manuscrips was lost in the Holocaust. D. Rosin published an annotated edition based on that manuscript in 1882.
  • Long and short commentaries – 
  • The writing process – 
  • Ramban's later updates – 

Characteristics

  • Verse by verse / Topical – 
  • Genre – 
  • Structure – 
  • Language – 

Methods

  • – 

Themes

  • – 

Sources

Significant Influences

  • Earlier Sources – 
  • Teachers – 
  • Foils – 

Occasional Usage

Possible Relationship

Impact

Later exegetes

Supercommentaries

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