Joseph Trani

Joseph Trani

Joseph Trani (1538-1639) or Joseph di Trani (the Elder) was a Talmudist of the latter part of the 16th century who lived in Greece. By contemporary scholars he was called Mahrimat (Hebrew: מהרימ"ט), and regarded as one of the foremost Talmudists of his time. Today he is more widely known as Maharit (Hebrew: מהרי"ט).

He was the author of "She'elot u-Teshubot", a work in three parts: part i comprises 152 "responsa", together with a general index (Constantinople, 1641); part ii consists of 111 "responsa" in the order of the first three parts of the ritual codex (Venice, 1645); part iii contains "responsa" to the fourth part of the ritual codex, together with "novellæ" to the tractate "Ḳiddushin," and supercommentaries on RaN's and Alfasi's commentaries on the tractates "Ketubot" and "Ḳiddushin" (ib. 1645). The entire work appeared in Fürth in 1764. Joseph also published "novellæ" to the treatises "Shabbat," "Ketubot," and "Kiddushin" (Sudzilkov, 1802), and the "responsa" which were embodied in Alfandari's "Maggid me-Reshit" (Constantinople, 1710). He left several commentaries in manuscript on Alfasi, on Maimonides' "Yad," and on R. Nathan's "Aruk".

In 2008, Trani's grave was discovered in Zefat (Safed) by the noted bibliophile and book dealer R. Shlomo Epstein, near the grave of Rabbi Moshe Alshich. [See article by [ Shnayer Leiman] .] Although the Maharit died and was buried in Constantinople, his sons later transferred his remains to Safed as he had requested so that he could be interred near his father, R. Moshe Trani (1500-1580), the Mabit (Hebrew: מבי"ט).



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