Often, Rabbis will question why different Tosafot (even in different Mesechtas) disagree with each other, finding a way to make them congruent.

If Tosafot was written by multiple authors (at least 100 by name), why would this be an issue?

  • 1
    Although Tosafot is composed of the ideas of many, in my experience, people treat the compilation as a uniform work. That is, they treat the compiler as a single person (which is incorrect), who should come to the same conclusion everywhere.
    – magicker72
    Mar 10, 2023 at 18:54
  • Often, Rabbis will question... It might help to include some examples.
    – shmosel
    Mar 10, 2023 at 23:30
  • @magicker72 Even the same person doesn't come to the same conclusion everywhere; internal contradictions can be "resolved" by saying he changed his mind. And even two different people from the same school can agree on things. Most Jews agree on most things in fact. "Rules" about when there can or can't be a contradiction are stupid.
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2023 at 0:55
  • @DoubleAA Your disagreement isn't with me but with the people described in this question/my comment.
    – magicker72
    Mar 12, 2023 at 1:17
  • 2
    @Elie All differences are bothersome. Every time there's an apparent machloket in Judaism you have to double check and think if straight machloket is the only or best way to approach the sources.
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2023 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


While there were many sages in the times of the Tosafot, the main Tosafot printed in the Gemara to most tractates were mostly written by R' Eliezer of Toques, based on the Tosafot of R' Shimshon of Sens. So it is assumed that they are generally the same opinion.

However, there can be contradictions due to the variant opinions, so a contradiction in Tosafos is not as problematic as a contradiction in works known to be by a single author.

  • Written or edited? This answer seems to mention R' Eliezer as the compiler of a number of tractates, but using multiple sources (RaSH of Sens being one).
    – Elie
    Mar 12, 2023 at 0:02
  • You could also say edited.
    – N.T.
    Mar 12, 2023 at 7:13
  • I would accept the answer, but if R' Eliezer was the compiler, the source material may still be different enough where contradictions wouldn't remain an issue (looking at Baba Kama, Metzia, and Basra, at least two of three seem to source from different Baalei Tosfot).
    – Elie
    Mar 12, 2023 at 12:56
  • 1
    That is what I said in my answer.
    – N.T.
    Mar 12, 2023 at 18:25

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