Aharon HaLevi

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Rabbi Aharon ben Joseph ha-Levi (Hebrew: אהרון הלוי‎‎; 1235 – c. 1290), known by his Hebrew acronym Ra'aH (רא"ה‎), was a medieval rabbi, Talmudic scholar and Halakhist.

Rabbi Aaron ha-Levi was born in Girona, Catalonia (present-day Spain) in 1235 to his father Rabbi Joseph ha-Levi, son of Rabbi Benveniste ha-Levi, son of Rabbi Joseph ha-Levi, who was the son of Rabbi Zerachiah ha-Levi of Girona Baal Hamaor. The Ra'ah's mother Clara, was a granddaughter of Rabbi Aaron of Lunel who was the son of Rabbi Meshullam ben Jacob of Lunel ("Rabbenu Meshullam hagadol").

Rabbi Aaron ha-Levi studied under his father Rabbi Joseph ha-Levi and brother Rabbi Pinchas ben Joseph ha-Levi, as well as Nachmanides and was a colleague of Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235–1310). He published critical notes on the Rashba's Torat HaBayith, which he entitled Bedek HaBayith. He also wrote a commentary on the Talmud, select parts of which have been published.

The sixteenth century author Gedaliah ibn Yaḥyah also credited ha-Levi as the author of the anonymous Sefer ha-Chinuch ("Book of Education"), although this claim has been rejected by many scholars due to discrepancies between opinions expressed in Bedek HaBayith and the Chinuch.[1][2] This has led to the conclusion that the true author of the Sefer ha-Chinuch was a different "Aaron ha-levi of Barcelona", who was a student of Shlomo ben Aderet, rather than his colleague.[3][4] More recently, Professor Israel Ta-Shma of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has presented that the author of "Sefer ha-Chinuch" was in fact Rabbi Aaron's brother, Pinchas ben Joseph ha-Levi, who had written the work for his son, Joshua.[5]

Rabbi Yom Tov Asevilli was one of Rabbi Aharon Halevi's students.


  1. ^ Chida, Shem HaGedolim.
  2. ^ Rosin (1871), Ein Compendium der Jüdischen Gesetzeskunde, pp. 131–134
  3. ^ Rabbi Chaim Dov Chavel, appendix to Mossad HaRav Kook edition of Sefer HaChinuch.
  4. ^ The 613 mitzvot: a contemporary guide to the commandments of Judaism R. L. Eisenberg - 2005 "Sefer ha-Chinuch (Book of Education), which is attributed to the 13th- century Aaron Ha-Levi of Barcelona,"
  5. ^ Israel Ta-Shma (1980), "Mehabbero ha-'amitti shel Sefer ha-hinnukh," Kiryat Sefer 55: 787-90

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Aaron ben Joseph ha-Levi". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.