20 Jun 2006

[m., pl. “Rishonim”]; the “first” or an “early one.” In Torah scholarship, the term has taken on the specific meaning of Torah scholars who lived from approximately the eleventh though the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries, who passed along the Talmudic Tradition their earliest members received from the “Geonim” to later generations, and added their own insights to the Talmudic analysis. Some of the great “Rishonim” were RASHI, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, of France, his grand-children and great grandchildren, the “Baalei Tosafot,” the RAMBAM, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon of twelfth century Spain and later, Egypt, and the RAMBAN, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, of thirteenth century Spain and later, Eretz Yisrael, to name but a few.