Jacob ibn Habib


Jacob ben Solomon ibn Habib (
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
: יעקב בן שלמה אבן חביב) (alternative transliteration: Yaakov ben Shlomo ibn Habib) (c. 1460 – 1516) was a
rabbi A rabbi is a spiritual leader or religious teacher in Judaism. One becomes a rabbi by being ordained by another rabbi, following a course of study of Jewish texts such as the Talmud. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisees, Phar ...

talmudist The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the ...
born at
Zamora, Spain Zamora () is a city in Castile and León, Spain, the capital of the Zamora (province), province of Zamora. It lies on a rocky hill close to the Duero river some upstream of the Portuguese border. With its 24 Romanesque architecture, characteristi ...
. In his youth Ibn Ḥabib studied the Talmud under rabbi Samuel Valensi.

''Ein Yaakov''

In 1492, when the Jews were expelled from Spain, he settled at
Salonica Thessaloniki (; el, Θεσσαλονίκη, ), also known as Thessalonica (), Saloniki or Salonica (), is the List of countries by largest and second largest cities, second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its Thessaloni ...
, where he wrote his ''Ein Yaakov'' in the house of Don Judah Benveniste, grandson of Don Abraham Benveniste, who placed his rich library at his disposal. Ibn Ḥabib also availed himself of the library of Don Shemuel Benveniste the brother of Judah, which contained, among other great works, a large collection of novellæ on the Talmud by many distinguished commentators. By the aid of the works from these two libraries Ibn Ḥabib collected all the aggadic passages from the Babylonian Talmud, and many from the Jerusalem Talmud. The publication of this work began in 1516 in the printing establishment of Judah Gedaliah, the author himself carefully reading the proof-sheets; but he died at Salonica just as the first two orders (Zeraim and Moed) came from the press. His son, R. Levi, completed the labors of his father, but the work appeared before the public without the notes of the author to the last four orders (''sedarim''), and without the index, which the author originally intended to cover the entire work. The aggadot of the Jerusalem Talmud are also lacking. The ''Ein Yaakov'' is the only work Ibn Ḥabib left to the world. The object of the author was to familiarize the public with the ethical spirit of Talmudic literature; at the same time his notes were intended to refute the charges brought against the Talmud by the numerous Spanish converts. The book, which thus appealed to the mass of the unlearned, became very popular. It was often edited and annotated, and served as a text-book of religious instruction. There are over thirty editions known; the latest [as of 1906] (Vilnius, Vilna, 1883; Elijah Schik) contains twenty commentaries, among them one which consists of selections from more than one hundred homiletic works. Of the additions, the most important one is that of Leon of Modena, Leone di Modena, under the title ''Ha-Boneh,'' which has appeared in all editions since 1684. The author's intention was chiefly to propagate a more rationalistic view of the Talmudic Aggadah. In some editions the title of the whole work is ''Ein Yisrael.''


* ;Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography * Besides the bibliographical works s.v., see the introduction of the author and the various commentators in the Wilna edition of 1883 * Leopold Zunz, Zunz, G. V. p. 94; * Mielziner, Introduction to the Talmud, p. 76; * Grätz, Gesch. x. 35; * Rabbinovicz, Diḳduḳe Soferim, Introduction to Megillah.

External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Ibn Habib, Jacob ben Solomon 1460s births 1516 deaths 15th-century Castilian Jews 15th-century rabbis 16th-century rabbis Spanish rabbis Jews from Thessaloniki Jews expelled from Spain in 1492