Rabbenu Gershom

Rabbenu Gershom or, more properly, Rabbi GERSHOM BEN-JEHUDA, the reputed founder of the Franco-German Rabbinical school, in which the studies of that of Babylonia were earnestly revived, was born about 960, and died in 1028. He was called "The Ancient," "The Light of the Exile," and was the founder of monogamy and other "institutions" among the Jews, which were for a long time disputed and rejected, and himself wvas placed under ban for attempting to abrogate the Mosaic precept respecting the marriage of a man with the childless wife of his deceased brother. Gershom also wrote a commentary on the Talmud, and some hymns and penitential prayers, which are extant in the Machzor. For reasons unknnown he went to Mayence, where he founded a college, which soon attracted the youth of Germany and Italy. See Furst, Bibl. Jud. i, 328: De Rossi, Dizionario Storico (Germ. transl.), p. 114; Griitz, Gesch. der Juden (Leips. 1871), v, 364 sq.; Braunschweiger, Gesch. der Juden in den romanischen Staaten, p. 32 sq.; Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth, at. s. Sekten, ii, 388; Dessauer, Gesch. d. Israeliten, p. 310; Etheridge, Introd. to Heb. Literature, p. 283 sq.; Steinschneider, Jewish Literature, p. 69; Zunz, Literaturgesch. d. synagogalen Poesie, p. 238; id. Synagogale Poesie, p. 171-174; Delitzsch, Zur Gesch. derjiid. Poesie, p. 51, 156; Adams, Hist. of the Jews, i, 226; Frankel. Monactsschrift, 1854, p. 230 sq. (B. P.)

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