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What do different sources state regarding the authenticity of the commentary to the Torah attributed to Rosh?

I remember seeing people claiming that it is missatributed. If I recall, the suggested argument is utilized: "Rosh's son, the Tur, never mentions that the Rosh wrote a Torah commentary".


Note: I am only looking for sources which provide empirical evidence. One example of what I am not looking for is: "the commentary is quoted by R._____ who was so holy, so it must have been authored by Rosh."

One example of the sort of argument I am looking for could be a confirmation of the argument I mentioned above: "Indeed, Rosh's son never quotes the Torah commentary attributed to his father in his own Torah commentary, although he frequently cites his father's Halachic rulings in his own Halachic rulings."

  • Why would non-citation by his son prove its non-existence more than some holy rabbis' support for it proves its existence? – Seth J Aug 27 '15 at 14:46
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    Because 1)we know that the Tur was in the habit of quoting his father's writings and 2) Holy rabbis tend to quote things because they're worth quoting and take the bylines at face value. See the "Ritva" on bava basra for one. – Yitzchak Aug 27 '15 at 15:31
  • Since we're on the topic, you might find it interesting that Saul Berlin once forged a book called "Besomim Rosh" in the Rosh's name in order to combat traditional Judaism... His scam was fortunately found out! – ezra Jan 15 '18 at 15:42
  • @ezra I am well aware. – mevaqesh Jan 15 '18 at 15:52
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In his book HaRosh [i], Avraham Freiman quotes R. Maurice Liber who wrote in Revue des Études Juives [ii] that this commentary was written by a student of Rosh, based mostly on a commentary of Rosh.

Freiman, however, questions the degree to which this commentary is based on Rosh and notes that R. Ya'akov ben HaRosh does not quote ideas from it.[iii]

It is likely, however, that R. Asher did write a commentary to the Torah, as R. Yitshak di Latis [iv] implies that he wrote one.


[i] pg. 75.

[ii]

Vol. 54 (1907) pg 82-3.

[iii] HaRosh pg. 93.

[iv] Shaarei Tsiyon (1885) pg. 47.

  • Re. Liber's opinion, interesting to note that in his book 'Rashi' (Hermon Press, 1970; p. 257 note 149) he names works of the Rosh and omits mention of a biblical commentary. – Oliver Jan 8 '18 at 1:46
  • @Oliver interesting. I was having some trouble with his French. If any French speakers want to summarise – mevaqesh Jan 8 '18 at 2:02
  • I linked the English ed. ;) – Oliver Jan 8 '18 at 3:28
  • @Oliver I meant the French of Revue des Études Juives. – mevaqesh Jan 8 '18 at 4:11
  • @Oliver That was the quote. – mevaqesh Jan 15 '18 at 8:16
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Here is the likely source of what you heard.

In Shem Hagedolim (Erech Rav Asher Ben Yechiel), Chida says directly that Rosh did author a Peirush Al Hatorah. In Note Gimmel there, he says that he heard from a reliable source that had seen the Peirush in Ketav Yad. However, he says that he questions this statement, as the Tur in his Peirush Al Hatorah says he quotes from the Ramban and adds some of his own thoughts, but does not even mention his father's Sefer, which would be very strange for him to do! He also notes that it would be very highly unlikely that the Tur would not have seen a copy of has father's Sefer, but does not make any concrete conclusions...

Also, anyone interested can see the Kesav Yad here.

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