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Tam, Jacob Ben Meir

TAM, JACOB BEN MEIR (1100-1171), a grandson of Rashi (q.v.), was the most famous French glossator (tosafist) on the text of the Talmud. In 1147 he was attacked and injured by a disorderly band who had attached themselves to the Crusaders. He escaped to the neighbouring Troyes, where about 1160 was held the first of the Jewish Synods, for which the Rhinelands became celebrated. At this meeting it was laid down that disputes between Jew and Jew were not to be carried to a Christian court, but were to be settled by fraternal arbitration. New conditions of life had arisen owing to the closer terms on which Jews and Christians lived, and Jacob Tam was foremost in settling the terms which were to govern the relations, from the Jewish side. Many others of his practical ordinances ( Takkanoth), connected with marriage and divorce, trade and proselytism, as well as with synagogue ritual, had abiding influence, and bear invariably the stamp of enlightened independence within the limits of recognized authoritative tradition and law. Of his legal work the most important was collected in his Sefer ha-yashar. He was also a poet and grammarian.

See Gross, Gallia Judaica (index); M. Schloessinger in Jewish Encyclopedia, vii. 36-39. (I. A.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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