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SOLOMON BEN MEÏR:

French grammarian and Biblical commentator of the twelfth century, grandson of Rashi and brother of the great tosafists Isaac ben Meïr (RIBaM), Samuel ben Meïr (RaSHBaM), and Jacob Tam, though the old and many modern authorities (including Zunz and I. H. Weiss) affirm that Meïr, Rashi's son-in-law, had only three sons, the tosafists just mentioned. There is an allusion to the four sons of Meïr in a responsum which Eliezer ben Nathan addressed to Meïr ("Eben ha-'Ezer," p. 148). Zunz ("Z. G." p. 32) holds that the so called "fourth" son of Meïr was Joseph Porat, Rashbam's son, and Weiss ("Bet Talmud," iii 228) explains the disputed expression in the responsum as referring to Meïr and his three sons. But in 1874 A. Berliner discovered in the Vatican Library many fragments of Abraham b. Azriel's commentary on the Bible, in which the latter often quotes a commentary of Solomon, to whom he refers sometimes as Solomon ben Meïr, sometimes as Solomon the brother of R. Tam. Berliner published also in his "Magazin" (ii. 45) an extract from the Parma, De Rossi, manuscript No. 181, in which Solomon is clearly said to have been the brother of Jacob Tam and the son of Meïr ben Samuel, and in which Solomon is termed "father of grammarians" ("abi ha-dayḳanim").

An extract from the Vitry Maḥzor, published by Neubauer ("R. E. J." xvii. 67), also shows that Solomon was the brother of Jacob Tam, and that he was a "sheliaḥ ẓibbur" at Ramerupt. It may be added that Abraham b. Azriel quotes Solomon () in a fragment of his "'Arugat ha-Bosem," published by J. Perles in "Monatsschrift" (xxvi. 369); Porges (ib. xxxii. 168), however, interprets this quotation to mean that the Solomon mentioned was Abraham's own brother. There having been four sons of Meïr, Solomon must have been the third, as Jacob Tam refers to himself as the youngest brother (Weiss, l.c.; comp. Eliezer b. Nathan, l.c.). That Solomon was a Talmudic authority is indicated by the occurrence of his signature with those of his brothers under the taḳḳanot of Jacob Tam (Goldberg, in "Ha-Lebanon," ii. 91-92; but comp. Halberstam, ib. ii. 267). It is likely that it is this Solomon who is quoted as a rabbinical authority in the tosafot to Pes. 105b. It must be said, however, that there was an older Solomon b. Meïr, who is mentioned by Rashi (on Ḥul. 116b; see J. Müller, "Teshubot Ḥakme Ẓarefat," p. xxx.).

Bibliography:
  • Berliner's Magazin, i. 3;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 162;
  • Kaufmann, in Berliner's Magazin, xiii. 152 et seq.;
  • Sokolow, in Ha-Asif, ii. 376.
T. M. Sel.
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