RISHONIM ROUNDUPS
by David Fhima

מהר"י קרא

Rabbeinu Yosef Kara

Rabbeinu Yosef Kara lived in the Troyes region of France during the late 11th century and into the 12th century. This corresponds to the Jewish years 4830-4900 approximately. We do not have precise information on exactly when he was born or when he was Niftar. He was a studied Torah at the feet of his uncle Rabbeinu Menachem Ben Chelbo. Some say he was also a student of Rashi. He authored an extensive Bible commentary that stresses on the literal meaning of the text. He is often quoted by Rashi as well as occasionally by Rashbam. The Chida brings a tradition that the commentary to the Prophets attributed to Rashi was really from the Mahari Kara. However, he dispels this notion and confirms that it is indeed from Rashi’s pen. Mahari Kara also authored commentaries to the Prayer service and to various Piyutim. He may have also authored Responsa (Shaalot Vetshuvot). He is not to be confused with Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the Shulchan Aruch who lived hundreds of years later.

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