Siftei Chachamim (שפתי חכמים) is a super-commentary on Rashi's commentary on the Torah, written by the 17th-Century CE Polish scholar Shabbethai Bass. It tends to be included in Mikraot Gedolot editions of the Torah.

Ikar Siftei Chachamim (עיקר שפתי חכמים) is a more concise super-commentary on Rashi that tends to appear in smaller, often one-volume, synagogue and school editions of the Torah. In general, it reads like an abridged version of Siftei Chachamim, but it sometimes includes non-trivial ideas that don't appear in the larger work (e.g. the one discussed here).

Even without the additional ideas, the editorial decisions involved in abridgement would have required a careful editor. The additional ideas make the identity of the editor/author even more interesting. However, I haven't yet found an attribution. Who wrote this commentary?

Answers that get part of the way there, such as by identifying the first known publication of this commentary or relating informed speculation, are welcome. Please include as much precision as you can about the source of your information, whether the source is documentary or oral.


1 Answer 1


According to this Wikipedia article: https://he.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/פירוש_רש%22י_לתורה (Under ״מפרשי רש׳י)

The writer of ikar siftei Chachamim is anonymous, but it was first printed in Vilna (widow and brothers Romm) printing press in 5635 (1874/ 1875).

  • ... and this question was inspired by a question I answered in the previous Answerathon.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 5, 2019 at 1:10

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