Glossary

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R

Rashi

(1040–1105) Hebrew acronym for Rabi Shelomoh Yitsḥaki. Preeminent commentator on the Bible and Talmud, Rashi was born in Troyes in northern France. Known for his emphasis on literal meaning in his biblical commentaries, he covered almost all of the Hebrew Bible with the exception of the Book of Chronicles. His commentary on the Babylonian Talmud is indispensable because of its clarity and concision, and it has been included in virtually every printed edition of the Talmud.

rebbe

(Yid., rebe; pl., rabeim) Designates a Hasidic leader (tsadik); also used to designate a teacher in a yeshiva. [See Hasidism, article on Teachings and Literature.]

responsa

(Latin, sg., responsum; Heb., she’elot u-teshuvot or shutim; “questions and answers.”) Body of legal literature of questions posed to legal decisors (poskim), which they then answered.