The Tosafists' approach to Talmudic exegesis was developed in northern France during the twelfth century. The founding fathers of this system in France were Rabbi Ya'akov ben Meir (Rabbenu Tam), grandson of Rashi, and Rabbi Yitzhak ben Shmuel of Dampierre (R'i HaZaken). The Tosafist system spread from northern France to Germany, England, Eastern Europe and Provence during the twelfth century, and reached Spain a generation later. This article describes the entry of the Tosafist system into Provence by examining its use by a number of late-twelfth- century Provençal sages, including Rabbi Avraham, composer of HaEshkol, Rabbi Zerahiah Halevi, Rabbi Yitzhak ben Abba Mari of Marseilles and Raabad (Rabbi Avraham ben David of Posquières). Their enthusiasm about the new exegetical approach was tempered by their awareness that it could change the ancient customs of their communities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Religious studies
- Literature and Literary Theory