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I'm reading(/trying to read) the introduction to the Vilna Gaon's איל משולש (his geometry textbook). The first two words are ריש חזית.

What does ריש חזית mean?

If it helps, the phrase is immediately followed by a passuk from kohelet and then a midrash.

http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=20365&st=&pgnum=155&hilite=

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Extremely closely related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/6094/3 –  WAF Mar 29 '13 at 2:05
    
Welcome to Mi Yodeya, user67187, and thanks for bringing your question here. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. –  msh210 Mar 29 '13 at 5:42
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

"ריש חזית" means "the beginning of מדרש חזית". The Midrash Rabbah on Shir Hashirim and Kohelles is often called מדרש חזית because it begins with derashos on the pasuk "חָזִיתָ אִישׁ, מָהִיר בִּמְלַאכְתּוֹ" (Mishlei 22:29). The author of the introduction you are reading begins by quoting Shir Hashirim Rabbah (1:8).

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Is it common for it to stand alone the way it does here i.e. for the text to simply say ריש חזית and not בריש חזית כתוב or something like that? –  user67187 Mar 29 '13 at 2:14
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@user67187, I don't know. What I'm more used to when someone starts by quoting something like this is to introduce it with a "ב" prefix as in "בריש מדרש חזית" or with "איתא ב" as in "איתא בפ"ק דערובין". I don't recall seeing this format too much, but I suppose it's not uncommon. –  jake Mar 29 '13 at 3:59
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