Aharon HaLevi

Aharon ben Joseph ha-Levi (Hebrew: אהרון הלוי; 1235 c. 1290), known by his Hebrew acronym Ra'aH (רא"ה), was a medieval rabbi, Talmudic scholar and Halakhist.

Aaron ha-Levi was born in Girona, Spain in 1235 to his father Rabbi Joseph ha-Levi, son of Rabbi Benveniste ha-Levi, son of Rabbi Joseph ha-Levi, who was the son of Rabbi Zerachiah ha-Levi of Girona Baal Hamaor. The Ra'ah's mother Clara, was a granddaughter of Rabbi Aaron of Lunel who was the son of Rabbi Meshullam ben Jacob of Lunel ("Rabbenu Meshullam hagadol").

Aaron ha-Levi studied under his father Rabbi Joseph ha-Levi and brother Rabbi Pinchas ben Joseph ha-Levi, as well as Nachmanides and was a colleague of Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (1235–1310). He published critical notes on the Rashba's Torat HaBayith, which he entitled Bedek HaBayith. He also wrote a commentary on the Talmud, select parts of which have been published.

The sixteenth century author Gedaliah ibn Yaḥyah also credited ha-Levi as the author of the anonymous Sefer ha-Chinuch ("Book of Education"), although this claim has been rejected by many scholars due to discrepancies between opinions expressed in Bedek HaBayith and the Chinuch.[1][2] This has led to the conclusion that the true author of the Sefer ha-Chinuch was a different "Aaron ha-levi of Barcelona", who was a student of Shlomo ben Aderet, rather than his colleague.[3][4] More recently, Professor Israel Ta-Shma of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has presented that the author of "Sefer ha-Chinuch" was in fact Aaron's brother, Pinchas ben Joseph ha-Levi, who had written the work for his son, Joshua.[5] Rabbi Yom Tov Asevilli was one of his students.


  1. Chida, Shem HaGedolim.
  2. Rosin (1871), Ein Compendium der Jüdischen Gesetzeskunde, pp. 131–134
  3. Rabbi Chaim Dov Chavel, appendix to Mossad HaRav Kook edition of Sefer HaChinuch.
  4. The 613 mitzvot: a contemporary guide to the commandments of Judaism R. L. Eisenberg - 2005 "Sefer ha-Chinuch (Book of Education), which is attributed to the 13th- century Aaron Ha-Levi of Barcelona,"
  5. Israel Ta-Shma (1980), "Mehabbero ha-'amitti shel Sefer ha-hinnukh," Kiryat Sefer 55: 787-90

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Aaron ben Joseph ha-Levi". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. 

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