rishon (REE-shon) listen
rishon (ree-SHON) listen


Example Sentences

  • "What was the attitude of other Rishonim to Maimonides and his philosophy?" (Glinert)

  • "The scholarly and literary output of the Rishonim is staggering" (source)

  • "I'm leining rishon this Shabbos."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • ראשון rishon 'first'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      reeshon, rishonim


  • Distinguished from the achronim.

    "What the Mishna took for granted, the Talmud had to spell out. And what the Talmud transcribes in a kind of live debate, the Rishonim, the medieval scholars, tried to codify and justify. The Rishonim were the giants of medieval Judaism: Rashi, Yehuda Halevi, Maimonides, Ramban, the Tosaphists..." (Glinert)

    See also shenishlishirevi'ichamishishishi, and shvi'i.

    Plural rishonim, reeshonim.

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