The Meiri in his writings gives each Rabbi whom he quotes an alternative name, based on the main contribution that particular rabbinic authority made. Why does he do so, for it seems he goes against all talmudic and rabbinic tradition of specifically quoting the name of the exact rabbi by which the law originated or was codified.

For those who read Hebrew, see this list of examples quoted from the Hebrew Wikipedia page (from Chulin Volume page 9).

גדולי הרבנים" הוא הכינוי הקבוע לרש"י "גדולי המפרשים" - לראב"ד (או "גדולי המגיהים" כאשר מצוטטות השגותיו על הרמב"ם או הרי"ף) "גדולי הפוסקים" - לרי"ף "גדולי המחברים" - לרמב"ם "גאוני ספרד" - לר"י מיגאש "חכמי הצרפתים" - לרשב"ם "חכמי הדורות שלפנינו" - לההשלמה ולעיתים לרמב"ן "גדולי המדקדקים" - לריב"ג (מלבד פעם אחת שזה הובא על רבי יוסף קמחי) "ראשוני הרבנים" – לרבנו גרשום מאור הגולה "אחרוני הרבנים" – לרבנו תם "גדולי הדור" – לרשב"א "גדולי קדמונינו"- לראב"י או לר' נתן בר' מאיר

See Yabia Omer 11 OC34:1, end

  • While it is strange, I'm not sure why this violates "omer davar beshem omro" - he's still saying who said it, he just gives them an honorable name... Dec 28, 2021 at 14:05
  • 1
    @רבות but he's not make it easy. But you're right
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Dec 28, 2021 at 15:40
  • Could some authors have different opinions between books? Referencing the book not the author avoids this confusion. Dec 31, 2023 at 4:38

2 Answers 2


See @רבותמחשבות for the body question.

As for why Meiri may have done so, as it sounds like from the title question, here are some guesses:

  • As he was a masterful writer with style he may have just done it as a literary flourish (may have been in vogue then).

  • May have taken the edge off any perceived disrespect when disagreeing with them as their identities were somewhat shielded.

  • Alternatively, it is intended to raise the level of the work to one that accomplished talmudists would have a little something to appreciate among themselves.

  • These theories don't really fit if you are familiar with his style.
    – N.T.
    Dec 31, 2023 at 15:15
  • @N.T. I don't consider myself an expert in his works but am a big fan and fairly large consumer of his writings. Care to be more specific?
    – Nahum
    Dec 31, 2023 at 15:21
  • I haven't seen any evidence that it was in vogue. 2. He does so even without disagreeing. 3. The work speaks for itself.
    – N.T.
    Dec 31, 2023 at 15:24
  • @N.T. I fail to see what those have got to do with "his style". (As for 2.—if correct he would obviously do it across the board.)
    – Nahum
    Dec 31, 2023 at 16:12

Rav Aharon Lopiansky recently did his biographical sketch of the Meiri, in which he is meramez that the reason may be due to the purpose and structure of the sefer. The Beis Habechira is not a normal sefer of chiddushim, rather, it is a summation of all the relevant points in the whole sugya neatly packaged for quick reading. Therefore, it may be the case that he did not think it was necessary to provide names of opinions, because he just wanted to give a quick summary. "The is the mishna, this is the gemara, some explain like this, some explain like this, and the halacha is like this".

  • 5
    But in truth the Meiri does give names to the opinions, he just uses made up titles instead of names. The OP question is why?
    – mbloch
    Dec 30, 2023 at 17:28

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