ISAAC BEN ELEAZAR HA-LEVI (surnamed Segan Lewiyah):

German Talmudist and liturgical poet; flourished at Worms; died, according to Abraham Zacuto ("Yuḥasin ha-Shalem," p. 217), in 1070. Zunz says ("Literaturgesch." p. 155) that he died between 1070 and 1096. He was a pupil of R. Gershom "Me'or ha-Golah" and one of the teachers of Rashi; the latter mentions him often in his commentary on the Talmud (e.g., to Yoma 39a; Suk. 35b; Meg. 26a), and twice in his commentary on the Bible (to I Sam. i. 24 and Prov. xix. 24). Conforte ("Ḳore ha-Dorot," p. 8a) confounds Isaac b. Eleazar ha-Levi with another teacher of Rashi, Isaac b. Judah, while Abraham Zacuto (l.c.) calls him "Isaac b. Asher ha-Levi." He was one of the "scholars of Lorraine" ("Ha-Pardes," p. 35a; "Asufot," p. 150a, Halberstarm MSS.); Isaac b. Moses relates ("Or Zarua'," ii. 75b) that Meïr of Ramerupt sent a responsum, signed by his father-in-law and teacher Rashi, to Isaac ha-Levi of Lorraine. The occurrence of "Vitry" as the birthplace of Isaac ha-Levi in Asheri to Ḥul. iv. is, according to Gross ("Gallia Judaica," p. 197), a mistake for "Lotar" (Lorraine). It is stated in the Maḥzor Vitry (quoted by Zunz, "Literaturgesch." p. 626) that Jacob b. Yaḳar, Isaac ha-Levi, and Isaac b. Judah, all three teachers of Rashi, directed the yeshibah of Paris.

Isaac ha-Levi had four sons, all great Talmudic scholars: Asher, the father of the tosafist Isaac b. Asher ("Ha-Pardes," p. 19a); Eliezer; Jacob, known under the name of "Ya'beẓ" (Mordecai to Meg. 3); and Samuel ("Ha-Pardes," pp. 16b, 18b, 45c). He was the author of four wedding piyyuṭim: "Yoẓer," in a double alphabet and signed "Isaac ben R. Eleazar Ḥazaḳ"; "Ofan," alphabetically arranged; "Zulat," in tashraḳ order; "Reshut," in four parts, the first riming in , and the other three in , the whole giving the acrostic "Isaac ben R. Eleazar ha-Levi."

  • Conforte, Ḳore ha-Dorot, pp. 8a, 17a:
  • Abraham Zacuto, Yuḥasin, p. 217, London, 1857;
  • Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, i.;
  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 507;
  • Zunz, Literaturgesch, pp. 155-157, 626;
  • idem, Z. G. pp. 63, 192, 326, 404, 566, 567;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, pp. 627-628;
  • Weiss, Dor, iv. 317-320.
G. M. Sel.
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