Yom Tov of Seville

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Yom Tov ben Avraham Assevilli
Bornc. 1260
Seville, Spain
Diedc. 1314
Known forCommentaries on Talmud

Yom Tov ben Abraham of Seville (c. 1260 – 1320; also Asevilli, Assevilli, Ashbili) commonly known by the Hebrew acronym Ritva, (Hebrew: ריטב"א) was a medieval rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Seville, known for his commentaries on the Talmud.

אהרון הלוירשב״א
יהודה קנפנטון



Asevilli was born in the city of Seville, Spain around 1260. His name, Asevilli is itself a topographic surname that identifies him as being from Seville.[1]

He was the student of Solomon ibn Adret and Aaron ha-Levy. His works suggest that he spent some time studying in France. He spent most of his life in Zaragoza. He died between 1314 and 1328.[2]

He was the rabbi and head of the Yeshiva of Seville in Spain.[citation needed]


His commentary on the Talmud was collected and published as a novellae entitled Chiddushei Ha-Ritva. It is one of the most frequently referred-to Talmudic commentators today.[3] Assevilli wrote two versions of his commentary, first an extended one and then a concise one. In general only the concise version survives.

Controversially attributed works include:

  • Berakhot: Some thought it to be the work of Assevilli's father or Bezalel Ashkenazi, however it is now assumed to be the genuine work of Assevilli himself.[4]
  • Shabbat: Nissim of Gerona's commentary was misattributed to Assevilli by the Saloniki printers, but the genuine commentary is widely available.[5]
  • Nedarim: Very controversial. See the introduction to the MhRK edition.
  • Gittin: The traditionally printed commentary is now known to be the work of Crescas Vidal, with few detractors. A second commentary in manuscript has been printed by MhRK; they conclude it is genuine but some scholars disagree.[6]
  • Kiddushin: Two separate commentaries have been attributed to Assevilli, but they are both suspicious and (at minimum) include large amounts of foreign material.[7]
  • Bava Metzia: Two separate commentaries have been attributed to Assevilli. Both are extremely controversial, but both may be genuine.[8]
  • Shevu'ot: Two separate commentaries have been attributed to Assevilli, one of which is traditionally printed. Apparently only the printed one is authentic, but the original Livorno printers heavily corrupted the text to correspond to Talmudic printings.[9]
  • Niddah: Authentic through the seventh pereq, after which the printed text is the commentary of Asher ben Jehiel.[10]

He also wrote commentaries on the writings of Isaac Alfasi and certain works of Nahmanides.[11]


  1. ^ "YOM-ṬOB BEN ABRAHAM ISHBILI - JewishEncyclopedia.com". www.jewishencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  2. ^ Roth, Norman (2003). "Ishīlī, Yom Ṭov". Medieval Jewish Civilization: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge. pp. 369–70. ISBN 9780415937122.
  3. ^ "Ritva (Rabbi Yom Tov ibn Asevilli)". Orthodox Union. Retrieved 2019-05-26.
  4. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על ברכות, הקדמה
  5. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על שבת , הקדמה
  6. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על גיטין , הקדמה. See also the introduction to Hullin.
  7. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על קידושין , הקדמה
  8. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על בבא מציעה , הקדמה. See also the introduction to Eruvin.
  9. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על שבועות , הקדמה
  10. ^ חידושי הריטב"א מוה"ק על נידה , הקדמה
  11. ^ "Jewish Commentators — their Lives and Works". Etz-hayim.com. Retrieved 2011-11-29.

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