ASHKENAZI, DAN


ASHKENAZI, DAN
ASHKENAZI, DAN (late 13th–early 14th centuries), German talmudist. No details are available of his life in Germany, which he left c. 1300 following the rindfleisch persecutions. He migrated to Spain and settled in Toledo, where he founded a yeshivah. He engaged in Kabbalah, and some of his sayings on the subject are preserved. He was among the believers in the "prophecy" of the pseudo-messiah, Abraham of Avila. His responsa are preserved in the works of Solomon b. Abraham adret and yom tov b. Abraham Ishbili with whom he carried on a halakhic correspondence; they bear a novel character, departing from usual halakhic tradition. He cites halakhic decisions which are the opposite of all rulings by other halakhists, as Adret sharply comments in his responsa to Ashkenazi and his followers (1:529–530 et al.). Many of his readings of the Talmud bear the same unique and novel character. Some maintained that the statements ascribed to Ashkenazi were forgeries, while others held that he belonged to a group of scholars who were critical of halakhah and its recognized exponents. His unique "antinomistic" character tempted the famous forger, Saul berlin , to ascribe to him unusual customs, congruent to Berlin's desire to reform the halakhah (Besamim Rosh, 24). Adret nevertheless greatly esteemed Ashkenazi (responsa ascribed to Naḥmanides, 250 et al.) and nissim b. reuben gerondi (Responsa, 32) also wrote of him in the highest terms. Ashkenazi wrote commentaries on the Pentateuch; extracts are quoted in Hadar Zekenim, and in the commentary on the Pentateuch by Baḥya b. Asher . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Michael, Or, no. 787; Baer, in: Zion, 5 (1939/40), 41, n. 87; Rabbenu Bahya, Be'ur al ha-Torah, ed. by C.D. Shevel, 1 (1966), 10. (Israel Moses Ta-Shma)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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