Rabbi Azariah De Rossi wrote a very controversial sefer called Meor Einayim. While earlier authorities did oppose it (see above link), are there any recent American rabbanim who have offered opinions as to whether it is an appropriate work? For example, have Rabbi Avigdor Miller or Rabbi Moshe Feinstein commented on it anywhere?

  • Why do you specifically care about R Avigdor Miller?
    – Double AA
    Nov 18, 2021 at 21:01
  • 1
    I don't........ Nov 18, 2021 at 21:16
  • Rav Meiselman writes that he wrote historical works that achronim found useful and quote but he was misguided in his approach to Chazal
    – robev
    Nov 19, 2021 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


R. Joseph Messas (1892-1974) seems to take a relatively positive view of it. He discusses it with two different correspondents in Otzar Hamichtavim. In one of them (#894) he was asked when the practice of counting years from creation began, and he responded by referring to R. Azaria De Rossi's treatment of the topic. The words he uses to describe both the man, and his accomplishment in this topic, are very positive. He then preempts the question of how he could utilize such a book if the earlier authorities forbade it, and provides two answers. The first is that once R. Azaria responded to the criticisms many great people used the book. The second is that you can take the good and leave the bad.

In the other letter (#1,213) his correspondent had evidently mentioned that R. Joseph Karo had, in his Shulchan Aruch, forbidden reading Meor Einayim. R. Messas told him that he was mixing it up with the Book of Emmanuel which is indeed forbidden in the Shulchan Aruch, and that Meor Einayim was forbidden by R. Karo elsewhere. R. Messas then noted that R. Yom Tov Lippman Heller and other greats had used Meor Einayim, and that you should take the good but leave the bad.

  • Don't think he's quite an "American" Rabbi, but an interesting answer nevertheless. (I recently cited this teshuvah of his in a shiur on dressing up on Halloween - hebrewbooks.org/…) Nov 19, 2021 at 2:27
  • I only noticed the word "American" after I posted it. Though I suppose you could also debate whether he qualifies as "recent" or "gadol".
    – Alex
    Nov 19, 2021 at 2:30
  • You certainly could (even his wiki page quotes Rav Ovadiah's comments about him). Nov 19, 2021 at 2:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .