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Samuel ben Meir

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'''Rashbam''' רשב"ם is a Hebrew acronym for רבי שמואל בן מאיר (Rabbi '''Shmuel son of Meir''') (c.[[1085]] - c.[[1158]]). His father was [[Meir ben Shmuel]] and his mother was Yocheved, the daughter of [[Rashi]]. Like his grandfather Rashi, the Rashbam was a biblical commentator and [[Talmud|Talmudist]]. He was also a leading French [[Tosafist]].

Rashbam was born in [[France]] in the vicinity of [[Troyes]]. He learned from Rashi and from the [[Riva]]. He was the teacher of his brother, [[Rabbeinu Tam]].

His commentary on the [[Torah]] is renowned for its stress on the plain meaning (''peshat'') of the text. This approach often led him to state views that were somewhat controversial (thus resulting in the omission of his commentary on the first chapters of [[Genesis]] in many earlier editions of the [[Pentateuch]]). Parts of his commentary on the Talmud have been preserved, and they appear on the pages of most of tractate [[Bava Batra]] (where no commentary by Rashi is available), as well as the last chapter of tractate [[Pesachim]].

Rashbam earned a living by tending livestock and growing grapes, following in his family tradition. Known for his piety, he defended Jewish beliefs in public disputes that had been arranged by church leaders to demonstrate the inferiority of Judaism.

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