chapter
I
Pages 13

Solomon ibn Adret was the most important rabbinical authority in Spain in his period, and one of the most important of all time. We possess from his pen several volumes of commentaries on most of the tractates of the Talmud and several more volumes of legal responsa numbering in the thousands. All of these are a major source of information on the history of the period, of both Jews and non-Jews. He was the student of two great masters, both of Barcelona—Rabbi Jonah Gerundi and Moses ben Naḥma Naḥanides; not a rabbi)—and succeeded them as chief authority of the Aragón-Catalonia Jewish community. He had many famous students, almost all of whom became outstanding legal authorities and rabbis of the next generation in Aragón-Catalonia, Tudela, and Castile. Aside from Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides), who left Muslim Spain in his youth, no other Spanish Jewish scholar had as lasting an influence as Ibn Adret. (Nevertheless, scholars have made incredible errors in naming his students, and Scholem attributed to him the founding of a “school” of qabbalah based on his confusion of two sources with similar names, one written by a student of Ibn Adret but having nothing to do with qabbalah and the other written centuries later.)