Rabbi Solomon Ben Abraham Adret - רשב"א - RaSHBA

Rabbi Solomon Ben Abraham Adret - רשב"א - RaSHBA

Rabbi Shlomo Ben Abraham Adret - רשב"א, acronym Rashba, (born 1235, Barcelona, Spain—died 1310, Barcelona).  He was a disciple of the Ramban (Nachmanides), and of Rabbi Jonah Gerondi. The RaSHBA - רשב"א, became famous as a great Talmudic authority, and numerous questions on points of Jewish law flowed to him incessantly from various Jewish communities in Europe, Africa and Asia. Thousands of these 'Responsa' have been preserved and published. These questions and answers dealing with various phases of Jewish life are of great historical interest, since they give a clear picture and a better understanding of Jewish life seven hundred years ago. The leading exegete of the Talmud, he gave a variety of explanations and interpretations, received many inquiries about Jewish law from all over Europe, and there are still more than 3,000 of his answers on matters of law and commentaries on Gemara and Torah. Besides providing cultural data about the time of Shlomo ben Avraham ben Adrat, his answer greatly influenced the later development of authoritative codes of Jewish law, such as the Shulchan Aruch of the codifier Yosef Karo (1488–1575). Shlomo ben Avraham ben Adrat's many other writings include commentaries on the Talmud and polemics defending it against attacks by non-Jews.

Rashba is known to have a great knowledge of philosophy in those times, but he was not in favor of early study of these subjects. He firmly believed that only after a thorough knowledge of Torah and Gemara as well as careful preparation in tradition and Halacha, it is recommended to delve into philosophical teachings. It so happened that in those times young Jews were tempted Many studied various books and philosophical teachings, and as a result they were led astray, because they were not ready for such study. And so when the rabbinic authorities of France turned to the Rashba to help them fight the heretical tendencies that had begun to infiltrate Jewish homes and schools, the Rashba immediately came to their aid. In a ceremony attended by his two sons, rabbis Yitzchak and Yehuda, his students, the leaders of the community of Barcelona and a large gathering of Jews, the Rabbi declared a strict ban on the study of philosophy books before the age of 25, and then only after a thorough knowledge of the Talmud had been acquired.

In the last period of his life, Rashba became involved in a quarrel between the followers of the medieval Jewish philosopher Rambam and members of a conservative and anti-rationalist movement led by a fanatic known as Astruk Malonal, who believed that Rambam's followers were undermining the Jewish faith. By, for example, an allegorical interpretation of the Bible. It was Astruk that motivated Rashba'a to issue his famous decree against the studies of philosophy and science. Although the ban itself did not bring such studies to an end, it provoked a bitter dispute among the Jews of Spain and the south of France that continued into the last years of Rashba'a.

Updates - Hidushim -  חידושי הרשב"א על הש"ס - (interpretations) on the Babylonian Talmud: The Rashba authored updates to many treatises in the Talmud. Also on the Minachot tractate from Seder Kadeshim, there is a book of the Rashba's Updates on the Minachot treatise, although the assumption that the Rashba is the author of the book has been disputed.

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