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The First Autograph of the Tosafists from the European Genizah

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Chapter Summary

One of the most moving experiences for a researcher of the Cairo Genizah is the discovery of an autograph of a renowned sage. The most important autographs discovered in the Cairo Genizah are without a doubt those of Maimonides. This chapter presents the first discovery of a textual autograph: a section from a commentary to the Talmud, in the handwriting of its author, a member of one of the leading families in Germany in the early thirteenth century. A single leaf which contains a commentary of the Tractate Berakhot of the Babylonian Talmud is preserved in the library of the monastery in Melk, Austria. R. Judah is known mainly for his Yihusei Tannaim ve-Amoraim, the beginning of which is missing in the extant manuscripts. The work is an extensive and valuable Talmudic list of the names of the Tannaim and Amoraim and their teachings.

Keywords: Cairo Genizah; Germany; Maimonides; Talmud; Tractate Berakhot



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