While learning in Yeshiva, we focused also on clarifying our Mesorah. We are medakdek to know the Chachamim that are discussed in each sefer. One Sefer that helps us in clarifying who the Chachamim we are quoting are, is the Chida's Shem Hagedolim.

So is there a rule of thumb to follow, to automatically know that ibn isnot his father's name. It makes nafka minas for when someone quotes his father. I started checking, and in my little research, I don't think I've found yet one famous Mechaber Sefer that the ibn Ploni was in line with his father's actual name.

Several examples: Both Rabbenu Bachya's, R' Yosef ibn Migash, R' Yehuda ibn Tibbon, Ibn Ezra.

Thank you for your help

  • "בן" has been used the same way. Consider Aharon Ben Asher, who wrote the mesorah in the Aleppo Codex. His father's name was Moshe. Oct 30, 2017 at 23:04
  • Jews not Judaism?
    – DonielF
    Oct 30, 2017 at 23:22
  • @Doniel of course.
    – mevaqesh
    Oct 31, 2017 at 0:18
  • 1
    @NoachMiFrankfurt He's Aharon Ben Moshe Ben Asher. I don't know if "Ben Asher" was his family name or just people started writing only his grandfather's name since he was the famous one. Moshe Ben Asher was already a famous Masorete and hence the Ben Asher school.
    – Double AA
    Oct 31, 2017 at 0:20
  • While the study of various aspects of Jewish history is very important, it remains off topic on this site.
    – mevaqesh
    Nov 3, 2017 at 2:22

1 Answer 1


Known as the first Raavad (ראב״ד הראשון), his name was Abraham b. David, referred to many a time as ibn Daud.

An interesting example can be Joseph b. Shemtob who was also known as ibn Shemtob. However, his father's surname was Shemtob too so it can be argued that Joseph was known by his family name and not his father's first name.


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