by David Fhima

רבינו יצחק בן יהודה אבן גיאת

Rit”z Gias – Reb Yitzchak Ibn Gias

Rit”z Gias – Reb Yitzchak Ibn Gias (1020-1089).

Reb Yitzchak was born to his father Reb Yehuda in the city of Lucena, Spain. He was close to illustrious personages such as Reb Shmuel Hanagid and his son Reb Yehosef. When the latter was murdered, Reb Yitzchak took his son Azariah into his home and groomed him to become the next Rabbi of Lucena, continuing in the footsteps of his forebears1.

Unfortunately, Azaria died at the age of 20 and the Rabbinate was handed over to Reb Yitzchak. As a Rabbi he spent almost all of his time teaching Torah to the many pupils who flocked from far and wide to hear his lectures1. Of his well-known Talmidim are Harav Hadayan Yosef ben Yaakov ben Sahal who eventually became the Dayan of Cordoba, apposition he held for 11 years2. His other Talmidim included his own son Reb Yehuda as well as Reb Moshe Ibn Ezra. As a result, most of his written works were unfinished. One of his works was a Halachic compendium on different Halachic topics named Meah Shearim. In his work Reb Yitzchak quotes form both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud’s and his work is also a rich reservoir of Geonic Pesakim (Halachic decisions). This work is frequently quoted by other Rishonim. He also wrote a commentary and translation of Kohelesin Arabic1. It is assumed he also wrote a commentary on the rest of Tanachas he is quote by various Rishonim dotted all over the Tanach. He was also a celebrated Paytan and composed over 100 Piyutim as well as many songs3.

When his health deteriorated, he travelled to Cordoba, Spain to seek medical intervention and passed away whilst there. His holy body was brought back* to Lucena for burial in the city of his ancestors1.


1.       The Rishonim (2006). Mesorah Publications Ltd,Brooklyn.

2.       Rabbi Dovid Conforti Zt”l. (1745). KoreHadoros. Venice.

3.       Reb Avraham Meir Weiss. (2012). Shemos Chachamim. Bene Brak.

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