Difference between revisions of "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 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.