15th Century Gedolim

Terumat HaDeshen

Rav Yisrael Isserlin was born in Regensburg, Germany in 1390, but was forced to flee first to Italy and ultimately to Austria, where he settled in Weiner Neustadt. He wrote many responsa, and this halachic work is written as 354 responsa (the numerical value of deshen), although he himself actually wrote both the questions and the answers. He is frequently cited by his student Mahari Bruna and others, and among his teachers was Maharil. He passed away in 1460.



The son of Tashbetz, Rav Shlomo Duran succeeded his father as the Chief Rabbi of Algiers. He wrote many responsa, as well as a defense of the Talmud in the face of an apostate attack. His sons authored the responsa "Yachin U'Boaz." He passed away in 1467.


Mahari Bruna

Rav Yisrael Bruna was born in Germany in 1400 and passed away there in 1480. His responsa are known to us mainly through the writings of Ramo and others. He studied under Mahari Weil and Rav Yisrael Isserlin.


Mahari Abuhav

Rav Yitzchak Abuhav lived in Spain and Tzefat, Israel from 1433 until 1493. His wrote an ethical work, Menorat HaMaor, as well as two halachic works which have been lost to us. He studied under Rav Yitzchak Kanapton, and was the teacher of Rav Yoseif Azriel and Rav Yom Tov Azriel.


Mahari Weil

Rav Yaakov Weil, who passed away in Germany around mid-century, was one of the main students of Maharil, and served as Rabbi of both Augsburg and Erfurt. His responsa, known as Sha'alot U'Teshuvot Mahariv, include an index on the laws of ritual slaughter. He was the teacher of Mahari Bruna and Maharam Mintz.

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