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al-Fāsī, Isaac ben Jacob

(737 words)

Author(s): Ezra Chwat
Isaac ben Jacob al-Fāsī (1013–1103) is commonly known by the acronym Rif (Rabbi Isaac of Fez). A native of Qalʿat Banī Ḥammād in the central Maghreb (now Algeria), he received the talmudic tradition from R. Ḥananel ben Ḥushiel of Qayrawān, the premier post-gaonic authority in North Africa. This gave him access to the talmudic discourse and exegesis of the gaonic academies of Iraq, the source of the Babylonian Talmud, as well as to the Palestinian Talmud. Al-Fāsī migrated to Al-Andalus around 1078. Soon after the death of its incumbent master, Isaac Ibn Ghiyyāth, he became head of the acad…