17th Century Gedolim


Rabbeinu David HaLevi was born in 1586 in Cracow. The son in law of the Bach, he authored the Turei Zahav (Taz), one of the major commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch. He passed away in 1667 in Lvov.


Rav Moshe ben Chaim Alshich was born in Turkey in 1508. A student of Rav Yoseif Karo, he authored commentaries on both the Chumash and on Nevi'im, as well as a set of responsa. He is one of the people who allegedly received semicha (official ordination) in the 16th century efforts to revive the ancient tradition. His students included Rav Chaim Vital and Maharitatz. He passed away in 1593 in Tzfat.

Ateret Zekeinim

Rav Menachem Mendel ben Meshulam Zalman Auerbach was born in 1620 in Vienna. A student on the Bach, his work Ateret Zekeinim appears in the margins of current printings of the Shulchan Aruch. He passes away in 1689.

Halachot Ketanot

Rav Yaakov ben Shmuel Hagiz was born in 1620 in Morocco. His main work is the Halachot Ketanot. He was taught by his father and father in law, and his students included the Pri Chadash. He passed away in 1674.


Rav Shabbtai ben Meir HaKohein was born in 1623 in Vilna. His main work Siftei Kohein, is one of the two main commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch (along with Taz). He also authored the Nekudot HaKesef, a response to the Taz (the name of this work is a pun on Shir HaShirim 1:11). He passed away in 1663 in Germany.

Magen Avraham

Rav Avraham Avli ben Chaim HaLevi Gombiner was born in Kalish in 1633. His main work, the Magen Avraham is one of the main commentaries to the Shulchan Aruch. He also authored a commentary to the works of the Ba'alei Tosafot on Seder Nezikin. He passed away in 1683.

Pri Chadash

Rav Chizkiya ben David DiSilo was born in 1659 in Livorno, Italy. His main work, the Pri Chadash, is a commentary on the Shulchan Aruch. He passed away in 1698.

Eliyahu Rabba

Rav Eliyahu ben Binyamin Wolf Shapiro was born in 1660 in Prague. His work Eliyahu Rabba is a commentary to the Shulchan Aruch. He passed away in 1712.

Chacham Tzvi

Rav Tzvi Hirsch ben Yaakov Ashkenazi was born in 1660. His writings are known to us mainly through his responsa, perhaps most famously his responsa ruling that foreigners in Israel need keep only one day of a holiday. His son was Rav Yaakov Emden. He passed away in 1718.

Chok Ya'akov

Rav Yaakov ben Yoseif Richer Bechofen was born in Prague in 1670. He authored several works, included the Chok Yaakov, a commentary to the Shulchan Aruch, Shvut Yaakov, a collection of responsa, and Ein Yaakov, a collection of commentaries on the aggadic sections of the Talmud. He passed away in 1736.

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