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Anaf Yosef - see R. Chanoch Zundel ben Yosef.
Ari Zal - Acronym for Ha-Elohi Rabbenu Yitzchak ('The G-dly Rabbi Isaac'), denoting the master kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzchak (ben Shlomo) Luria (1534-1572). Born in Jerusalem, by the age of eight was recognized as an outstanding prodigy, surpassing all the Jerusalem rabbis in his learning. He lived most of his years in Egypt. He studied under the Radbatz and his successor, Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenazi. After spending seven years in meditation on an island in the Nile, he went to Safed, where he soon gained recognition as the master kabbalist. His disciples preserved his teachings. Most notably, Rabbi Chaim Vital.
Avodah Zara -
Baruch She'amar - Exposition on the year round prayers, Selichot, Haggadah for Passover, and Pirkei Avot. Written by Rabbi Baruch Halevi Epstein of Pinsk. Published by Am Blam publishing.
Berachot - 'Blessings'. Tract of the Talmud dealing with blessings and prayers.
R' Chanoch Zundel ben Yosef - Lived in Bialystok, Poland, where he devoted his life to writing commentaries on the Midrash and the Ein Yaakov. He published two commentaries which appear side by side in the Siddur, Otzar haTeffilos. Eitz Yosef, in which he strives to give the plain meaning of the text; and Anaf Yosef, which is largely homiletic.
Chulin - Non-sanctified slaughter. Tract of the Talmud dealing with kashrus.
Diskin, R. Yehosua leib -
Eitz Yosef - See R' Chanoch Zundel ben Yosef.
Esther Rabba - The section of the Midrash Rabba on the book of Esther.
Gur Aryeh - A commentary on Rashi's Pentateuch commentary. By the Maharal of Prague (1526-1609).
HaAras HaTeffilah - Explanations on the weekday Siddur, from Chazal, Rishonim, Acharonim, and Mussar of the mind in the path of Avodah. By Uri Weisbloom, Jerusalem 1998.
Ha-Gaos ha-Gra - Glosses to the Shulchan Aruch by R' Eliyahu of Vilna ('The Vilna Gaon' 1720-1797).
Hay Gaon -
Hayom Yom - An anthology of aphorisms and customs, arranged according to the days of the year. Assembled by Rabbi M.M. Schneerson ('The Lubavitcher Rebbe'), from the talks and letters of Rabbi Y.Y. Schneerson ('The Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe'). Translated into English by Rabbi Y.M. Kagan, 1988 Kehot Publishing Society.
Hirsch, Samson Raphael - (1818-1889) Leading figure in German Orthodoxy in the 19th century. His works comprise a translation and very comprehensive commentary to the five books of The Torah (The Pentateuch,to the Psalms and to the Prayer Book.
Horowitz, R. Yeshaya (1565-1630) - Popularly known as the Sheloh, an acronym formed of the initials of his famed work, Shenei Luchot Habberit. Talmudist, kabbalist, and rabbi.
Ibn Ezra - Bible commentary by Rabbi Avraham (ben Meir) Ibn Ezra (1180-1264). Commentary on Psalms, first published in Venice, 1528 in Mikraos Gedolos Bible. Born in Toledo, the author was an expert in grammar, philosophy, astronomy, and medicine, as well as an accomplished poet.
Israel, Mennasheh b. -
Iyun Teffilah -
Jacob of Orleans-
Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Concise digest of halachah by R. Shlomo Ganzfried (Hungary, 1804-1886). R. Shlomo intended his work for use by laymen and therefore did not cite sources for his rulings. He also did not include those halachos that had no practical application to most people. TheKitzur Shulchan Aruch became an immensely popular work soon after its publication due to its clear and precise presentation of halachah. It has been updated by a number of authors to include those halachos applicable in Israel.
Kol Bo - 'All is in it' an important anonymous work on Jewish law, first printed in Naples, 1490. It was most probably a first draft or abridgment of Drach Chaim by Rabbi Aaron (ben Yaakov HaKohen) of Luvel (1262-1325). An incomplete edition was probably in Spain before 1492. Rabbi Aaron lived in Narbonne, and when exiled from France in 1306, immigrated to Majorca, Spain. He was a leading halachic authority of his time.
Likkutei Sichos - An anthology of talks relating to the weekly sections of the Torah and special occasions in the Jewish calendar, by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi M.M. Schneerson. Published by Kehot Publishing Society.
Likkutei Torah - An anthology of discourses by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi ('The Alter Rebbe'), founder of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Published by Kehot Publishing Society.
Machzor Vitri - A compilation of halachos pertaining to prayer throughout the yearly cycle, by R' Simchah ben Shmuel (Vitri, France - 11th century). The Machzor Vitri also includes sections on the halachos of Shabbos, eruv, marriage and slaughter.
Maharal - Acronym for Rabbi Yehudah Loewe ben Betzalel (1526-1609), one of the seminal figures in Jewish thought in the last five centuries. Chief Rabbi of Moravia, Posen, and Prague. Author of numerous works in all fields of Torah.
Marhashal - Acronym for Morenu Harav Shlomo Luria. Denotes the writings of Rabbi Shlomo (ben Yechiel) Luria (1510-1573). These include Chachmas Shlomo on the Talmud, first published in Cracow, 1582. Born in Poznan, Poland, and orphaned at an early age. He served as Rabbi and rosh yeshiva in Ostrog (1545) and Brisk (Brest Litovsk, 1565). He gained great fame for his yeshiva in Lublin (1567), which included among his pupils, Rabbi Mordechai Jaffe and Rabbi Yehoshua Falk (author of the Perisha).
Mattei Ephraim -
Me'am Lo'ez - Monumental Ladino commentary on the entire Tanach begun by Rabbi Yaakov Culi of Constantinople (1689-1732), a disciple of the Mishnah L'melech. The most popular Torah work ever published in Ladino, it has won great popularity in it's Hebrew and English translations.
Mechilta - 'Measure' or 'Anthology'. The earliest commentary on the book of Exodus, by the school of Rabbi Yishmael. Often quoted in the Talmud. First printed in Constantinople, 1515.
Mekoray Minhagim -
Mendleson, Moses -
Midrash Rabba - ('The Great Midrash'). A collection of Bible commentaries and sermonic material from the Talmudic period (First to Fifth centuries). With the redaction of the Talmud, much of this material remained in fragmented manuscripts, many only a page or two in length. These were assembled between the years 500 and 1000 into different Midrashim, a number of which eventually compiled into the collection known as the Midrash Rabba. The component Midrashim vary widely. Some is almost pure commentary, while others are pure homily. The Midrash Rabba on the Torah was first printed in Constantinople, 1512.
Mishnah Berurah - Commentary on Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim by R' Yisroel Meir ha-Kohen (the Chafetz Chaim; Poland, 1838-1933).
Mizrachi - Rabbi Eliyahu (1448-1526). The reference is to his commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, first published in Venice, 1527. The author was the greatest rabbi in the Ottoman Empire in his time. He was of Piamaniot origin, meaning that his family was from Turkey, and not from the Spanish exile. He served as Chief Rabbi of Constantinople, and wrote important responsa. His work on Rashi is counted among the important commentaries on the Torah.
My Prayer - A commentary and exposition on prayer by Dr. Nissan Mindel, 1972 Kehot publishing society.
Olas Tamid - Exposition on prayer by Rabbi Mordechai Huminer. Published in Jerusalem, Israel 1990.
Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer - 'Chapter of Rabbi Eliezer' by the school of Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus Hagadol (first and second centuries). First published in Constantinople, 1514. An edition with commentary by R' Dovid Luria (Warsaw, 1852) is particularly useful.
Pre Eitz Chaim -
Rabbeinu Tam - Rabbi Yaakov Tam, grandson of Rashi; one of the earliest authors of the Tosefos, commentating on the Talmud.
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi - (1745-1812), the founder of the Chabad Chassidic movement. Author of the Tanya, a classic text of Chassidic tradition, and Shulchan Aruch Harav, one of the important texts of Jewish law.
Radak - Acronym for Rabbi Dovid Kimchi (1160-1235) of Provence, leading Bible commentator and grammarian of his famous commentary of Tanach, only sections to Genesis, the Prophets, Psalms, Proverbs, and Chronicles have survived.
Rambam - Acronym for Rabbenu Moshe ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides. One of the leading Torah scholars of the Middle Ages. He is famed for his Mishneh Torah, a comprehensive code of Jewish law. He was considered one of the foremost medical experts of his time, and served as personal physician to Saladin, sultan of Egypt and Syria (1185).
Ramban - Acronym for Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, also known as Nachmonides (1194-1270), of Gerona, Spain, one of the leading Torah scholars of the Middle Ages; author of numerous basic works in all aspects of Torah, including a classic commentary on the Pentateuch.
Rashi - Acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105), considered the commentator par excellence. Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch as well as his commentary on the Talmud are considered basic to the understanding of the text to this very day.
Rosh Hashanah - ('New Year'), tract of the Talmud, dealing with the New Year.
Rokeach - ('Spice Mixer,' from Exodus 3025. So named because the word has the same numerical value as the author's name, Eleazar). An important code of Jewish law, by Rabbi Eleazar ben Yehudah of Worms (in Southern France) (1164-1232). First printed in Fano, 1505. The author was one of the foremost masters of Kabbalah of his time.
Schneerson, Rabbi M.M. - ('The Rebbe' 1902-1994). Seventh leader of the Lubavitch Chassidim. Torah genius, scientist, leader of and example to our generation; eldest son of the saintly kabbalist, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak, Rav of Yekaterinslav; fifth in direct paternal line from the Tzemach Tzedek; son-in-law of the Rebbe Rayatz.
Shaarei Tzion -
Sheloh - see Horowitz, R' Yeshaya.
Shaarei Teshuvah - Commentary to Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim by R' Chaim Mordechai Margolios (Poland - late 18th century), rabbi of Dubnow. In his commentary, R' Chaim Mordechai cites the opinions brought in the responsa literature. His comments are noted by the insertion of a small letter in square script enclosed in parentheses.
Sforno - A classic commentary on the Pentateuch, by Rabbi Ovadiah Sforno of Rome and Bolgna, Italy (1470-1550).
Siddur B'nei Yissachar - A commentary and exposition on prayer, by Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech Midneenov, with the order of proper conduct and the reading of the daily sacrifices, Hoshanot, Hakafot, and Simchat Torah, according to the ways of the children of Israel, by Rabbi Nossan Ortner, published 1993.
Siddur of the Chidah - Explanation of the daily prayers, laws, customs, by Rabbi Chaim Yosef Dovid Azulei. Published by Avraham Mordechai Dzialowski, Jerusalem 1995.
Siddur HaGeonim U'Mikubalim -
Siddur Tehilat Hashem -
Sifsei Chachamim - Popular commentary on Rashi's Pentateuch commentary, by Rabbi Shabsai Bass (1641-1718), well-known publisher at that time.
Ta'amei HaMinhagim -
Talmud - 'Learning'. The embodiment of the Oral Torah, as taught by the great masters between the First century b.c.e. and the Fifth century c.e. The first part to be codified was the Mishneh 'Review' set in its present form by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince around 200 c.e. Rav Ashi and Ravina in Babylon, around 500 c.e, redacted subsequent discussions as the Gemara 'Finishing touch'. It is therefore referred to as the Babylonian Talmud. Next to the Bible itself, it is the most important text for the Jew, providing the basis for all Jewish law, practice, and theology. Individual volumes were printed in Soncino as early as 1482, but Daniel Bomberg in Venice first printed the entire Talmud in 1523 along with the commentary of Rashi and Tosefos.
Talmud Yerushalmi -
Tanchuma - An early homiletic Midrash on the Torah, attributed to Rabbi Tanchuma ben R' Abba (circa 370 c.e.), but added to until around 850. First printed in Constantinople, 1522.
Tanya - The Alter Rebbe's basic exposition of Chabad Chassidus. 'Tanya' isv the initial book, which is also Likkutei Amarim (a collection of writings) and Sefer Shel Benonim (the book of the intermediate).
Targum Yonasan - Aramaic paraphrase of the Pentateuch attributed by some to Yonasan ben Uziel, the disciple of Hillel. Others maintain that the initials Sof Yud signify Targum Yerushalmi, meaning that it was composed in Eretz Yisroel, and ascribe a later date to it's composition.
Taz - Acronym for Turei Zahav 'Rows of Gold', a basic commentary on the Shulchan Aruch by R' Dovid ben Shmuel HaLevi (1586-1667), one of the foremost rabbinical authorities in seventeenth-century Poland.
The Weekday Siddur - Elucidated commentary on the weekday prayers by B.S. Jacobson, 1973 Sinai publishing.
Tur - A major early code of Jewish law by Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher (1269-1343), first printed in Piove di Sacco, 1475. The work is divided into four parts, Orach Chaim, Yoreh Deah, Even HeEzer, and Choshan Mishpat. A son of the famed Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel (the Rosh, 1250-1327).
Tzadieh Gaon -
Vayikra Rabba - The section of the Midrash Rabba on the book of Leviticus.
Vilna Gaon - R' Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman (1720-1797); author of Aderes Eliyahu, amongst many others.
Vital, R' Chaim - (1543-1620), author of the Pri Eitz Chaim 'Tree of life'. The title page reads 'Written by the kabbalist Rabbi Chaim Vital, as he heard it from his distinguished master, the Holy Lamp, Rabbi Yitzchok Luria Ashkenazi, which he spoke according to the true Kabbalah he received from Elijah the Prophet.'
R' Yaakov of Orleans - A disciple of Rabbenu Tam; martyred in London, author of a commentary on the Pentateuch, which is cited in other collections.
Yoreh Deah - 'Teacher of knowledge', (from Isaiah 289), second section of Tur and Shulchan Aruch dealing with dietary laws and other areas requiring rabbinical decision making.
Zikhron Tzion - 'Remembrance of Zion', various prayers for special occasions, compiled by Rabbi Yechiel Michel ben Avraham Berach. Published in Prague (approx. 1675),
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