R. Yitzchak Shemuel Reggio (Yashar) – Intellectual Profile

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R. Yitzchak Shemuel Reggio
R. Y"S Reggio
R. Yitzchak Shemuel Reggio, Yashar
ר' יצחק שמואל ריגייו, יש"ר
WorksCommentaries on Torah, Esther
Exegetical Characteristics
Influenced byMendelssohn, Wessely
Impacted on



  • Name – Yitzchak Shemuel Reggio
    • Hebrew name – 
    • _ name – 
  • Dates –  1784-1855
  • Location – Gorizia, northeastern Italy; for most of his life, this city and region was part of the Habsburg Emprire
  • Education –  Reggio received his Jewish education from his father (see below), but also attended the local gymnasium for his general studies, where he excelled in science and mathematics. In addition to Hebrew, Latin, and Italian, he also knew German and French.
  • Occupation –  Reggio taught for a few years at the gymnasium in Gorizia which he had attended as a student; he had married into a wealthy family and was involved in various business activities. He served as the (unpaid) rabbi of Gorizia from 1842 to 1850, at which point he stepped down in the midst of controversy
  • Family – His father was Abram Vita Reggio, the community Rabbi of Gorizia and a respected rabbinic scholar; his wife Rachel came from one of the wealthiest families of Gorizia.
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  • Contemporaries – Reggio corresponded with most of the leading maskilim and adherents of Wissenschaft des Judentums (the early progenitors of academic Jewish Studies)
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  • Biblical commentaries – Reggio's most important biblical work was his edition of the Chumash, but he also translated Joshua, Isaiah, Ruth and Eichah into Italian, and wrote a commentary to Esther
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Torah Commentary


  • Aim and Structure - Reggio's Chumash, titled Torat ha-Elohim, was presented clearly and unabashedly as an Italian version of Mendelssohn's Sefer Netivot ha-Shalom. He translated the biblical text into Italian, and included a Hebrew language commentary with the simple title Be'ur. Both the translation and the commentary were greatly indebted to the Mendelssohn chumash, to the point that Reggio was often merely restating idea and interpretations found in that earlier work. Reggio, however, explained that he did not reproduce the Berlin Be'ur because he saw fit to simplify some of the commentaries, and also omitted some of the grammatical discussions. Reggio also added his own material, but because he did not quote his sources by name, one has to read carefully and comparatively to tease out his own interpretations from others.
  • Sources - Because of his heavy use of the Mendelssohn chumash, the issue of sources can be complicated. The earlier Be'ur drew upon Rashi, Rashbam, Ibn Ezra and Ramban, plus a whole host of other medieval and early modern parshanim, on top of which Mendelssohn, Dubno, and Wessely added their own interpretations. So one must consider all these sources when studying the commentary of Reggio.   
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Textual Issues

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Significant Influences

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Occasional Usage

Possible Relationship


Later exegetes