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KALONYMUS BEN SHABBETHAI (called also Kalonymus of Rome, ):

Halakist, exegete, and liturgical poet; born at Rome about 1030. His father was president of the Jewish community, and his reputation as a Talmudic authority extended far beyond the boundaries of his native country. Halakic questions were submitted to him from Worms, Arles, and many other places ("Pardes," p. 48b; "Mordekai," ii. 1175). At the death of Jacob bar Yaḳar, in 1070, Kalonymus was called to the rabbinate of Worms, which he held until 1096, in which year he seems to have fallen a victim to the persecutions of the Crusaders (comp. Kohut, "Aruch Completum," Introduction, p. xxxviii., where are described the relations that existed between Kalonymus and Jehiel of Rome). Conjointly with Eleazar ben Judah, Kalonymus directed the rabbinical school of Worms, and had among his pupils Yaḳar ben Samuel ha-Levi and the French exegete Joseph Kara.

Kalonymus wrote commentaries on the Talmud which are now no longer in existence, but are quoted by Rashi (Beẓah 24b; Pes. 74a), Samuel ben Meïr (Tos. 'Er. 65a), Jacob Tam ("Sefer ha-Yashar," 16a, § 116), Eliezer ben Nathan ("Eben ha-'Ezer," §§ 24, 243, 281), and by many other rabbinical authorities. He was the author also of commentaries on the Bible, from which citations are made by Rashi (Deut. xxxviii. 2; I Sam. xxv. 18; Isa. vii. 8), Joseph Kara (Job xxxii. 25), and Samuel ben Meïr (Num. xi. 35). A seliḥah by Kalonymus in thirteen strophes, beginning , is incorporated in the Maḥzor.

Bibliography:
  • Zunz, Literaturgesch. p. 250;
  • idem, S. P. p. 203;
  • Luzzatto, Naḥalat Shadal, in Berliner and Hoffmann, Oẓar Ṭob, v. 39;
  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 1175;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, i. 255, and Index.
G. I. Br.
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