Or-sarua, Isaac Ben-moses

Or-Sarua, Isaac Ben-Moses of Vienna, by way of abbreviation also called ר8יאז , i.e. Rabbi Isaac Or- Sarua, and by his contemporaries styled רבינו הגדול, i.e. "our great Master," while others called him הדור מופת, i.e. "the wonder of the age," or רבינו הקדוש, i.e. "our holy Master," is one of the greatest Talmudical authorities of the 13th century. Or-Sarua witnessed the awful treatment of his coreligionists in France, who were obliged to wear some kind of mark on their clothes. He witnessed the persecutions against the Jews of Germany, which seem to have been the order of the day, and speaks of the horrible massacres that took place at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1241, where many suffered martyrdom. Or-Sarua attained to a great age, for he flourished about 1200-1270. To satisfy his thirst for learning, he undertook great journeys, in order to hear the greatest teachers of the German and French academies. He was probably before 1217 at Regensburg, where he attended the lectures of the famous R. Jehuda the Pious, the author of the ethical work entitled חֲסַידַים ס8. About 1216-17 Or-Sarua was at Paris, where the Jewish academy was in a very flourishing condition under the presidency of the famous R. Jehuda ben-Isaac Sir Leon. Or-Sarua was one of the most prominent of Leon's pupils, in whose spirit he lived and labored. From France Or-Sarua returned to Germany, living and laboring at different places, especially at Vienna; hence he is called Isaac ben-Moses of Vienna. He is the author of a great Talmudical work entitled אור זרוע, a ritual codex and commentary. He is also said to have written a commentary on the Pentateuch, which is still extant. The works of Or-Sarua were published for the first time at Scytomir (1862, 2 vols. fol.). See De Rossi, Dizionario storico degli autori Ebrei, p. 332 (German transl. by Hamburger); Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. 1:654 sq; 3:561, No. 1167; Dr. H. Gross, R. Isaak ben-Mose OrSarua aus Wien, in Frankel- Gratz, Monatsschrift, 1-871, p. 248-264. (B. P.)

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