Great Leaders of our People
Rabbi Yom Tov ibn Asevilli
(2nd Half 13th cent. – 1st Half 14th
The Ritva, Rabbi Yom Tov ibn Asevilli, was the rabbi and
head of the Yeshiva of Seville in Spain. Neither the exact year of his birth
nor of his death is known, but a good approximation is that he was born in
the 2nd half of the 13th century and that he was niftar in the 1st half of
the 14th century. It is known that he and his Yeshiva flourished around the
He was the leading student of the Rashba and of the Ra’ah and was a “talmid
muvhak,” a student very closely attached to the latter.
His commentary on the Talmud is known for its clarity of thought and of
expression, and it is in very wide use throughout the Torah-learning world.
Many “she’elot,” questions regarding Jewish Law, were sent to him, even
during the lifetimes of his great teachers. This shows that he was
considered in his maturity by the Jewish world to be in the same “league” as
they were; that is, he was on a similar level of Torah knowledge and ability
to use that knowledge insightfully to apply it to questions that arose in
Despite his high standing in the eyes of the Jewish community and even in
the eyes of the Spanish royalty and the Catholic Church, it is clear from
his writings that he remained humble.
In the “Golden Age of Spanish Jewry,” he was one of the leading lights of
the Jewish People.
The above graphic includes photographs that were provided by VERAfilm archives.