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YESHU'AH (JESHUAH) BEN JOSEPH HA-LEVI:

Algerian Talmudist of the fifteenth century; born at Tlemçen. In 1467, owing to the massacres of the Jews of Tlemçen committed by the Spaniards at that time, Yeshu'ah, still a young man, fled from his native town, with the intention of returning thither when the troubles should be over. He arrived at Toledo about 1469, and there received the hospitality of Don Vidal ibn Labi, the head of a flourishing school in that city. Perceiving that the young Algerian possessed a profound knowledge of the Talmud, Don Vidal requested him to write a methodology of the Talmud, which he would establish as the standard manual for the yeshibot. Yeshu'ah accordingly wrote the "Halikot 'Olam" (Lisbon or Spain, c. 1490), a methodology of the Talmud in five "gates" ("she'arim") or parts, each divided into chapters. The first gate treats of the order of the Mishnah and the manner of its composition; the second, of the method of the Gemara; the third, of the method of the Mishnah; the fourth, of the hermeneutic rules; and the fifth, of the method of the halakic decisions. In his preface Yeshu'ah praises his principal teacher, Jacob ha-Kohen Ashkenazi, and his benefactor, Don Vidal, whom he also eulogizes in a metrical poem at the end of the preface. This work was republished several times; and in 1634 an edition was issued in Leyden with a Latin translation made by L'Empereur. Later, Henry Jacob Bashuysen reedited it with L'Empereur'sLatin translation and with notes of his own (Hanau, 1714). Finally, an adaptation from it was made by J. J. Struve under the title "Logicæ Hebraicæ Rudimenta" (Jena, 1697).

Bibliography:
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 672;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 64-65;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1392-1393.
E. C. M. Sel.
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