rishon

Alternative Spellings

reeshon

Definitions

  • "Earlier rabbis and scholars, who lived from around the 11th to the mid-15th century C.E., before the Shulchan Arukh, the compilation of Jewish law, was written." (JPS)

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" (https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2617006/jewish/Who-Were-the-Rishonim.htm)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

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)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

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

Notes

Plural rishonim, reeshonim. "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)

Edit     See something you disagree with? Feel free to edit it. All changes will be moderated.