Great Leaders of our People
Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet
Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet was born in the year 1235 in
Barcelona, on the northeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, a major
Spanish city with a warm and pleasant climate due to its location on the
shores of the Meditteranean. A main center of Jewish life, Barcelona was the
home of the Rashba for all of his life.
He passed away in the year 1310, after having established with thousands of
Responsa, his reputation as one of the most, if not the most prolific of the
“Poskim,” Respondents to questions of Jewish Law. And, by his commentary on
all of the Talmud, he had established a reputation as one of the greatest of
the “Rishonim,” Torah scholars of the Middle Ages (approximately eleventh
through fifteenth centuries).
He was a disciple of the Ramban and of Rabbeinu Yonah of Gerona, and the
teacher of the Ritva (Rabbi Yom Tov ibn Asevilli), and of Rabbi Bachya ben
In 1305, he took a compromise position on the issue of secular studies by
issuing a ban on the study of philosophy for those under the age of 25,
specifically excluding the works of the Rambam from the ban.
Faced with the danger of false Messianism, as embodied in the popular
preachings of Rabbi Avraham Abulafia, he criticized that man and forbade any
community from following him.
By his greatness in all aspects of Torah scholarship and the breadth of his
outlook, as reflected in his Teshuvot (Responses to questions on Jewish
Law), and his commentary on the Talmud, he earned his reputation as the
greatest and most influential leader of Spanish Jewry in his time.
The above graphic includes photographs that were provided by VERAfilm archives.