Moreinu Rabbi Joseph ben Solomon Trabotto Colon, (Maharik)

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Moreinu Rabbi Joseph ben Solomon Trabotto Colon, Traboto

Also Known As: "Maharik"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Chambéry, Savoie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
Death: circa 1490 (56-72)
Pavia, Province of Pavia, Lombardy, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Rabbi Solomon Zorfati Colon and ? Trabot
Husband of Hadassa Colon
Father of ? Treves; Wife of Rabbi Abba Mari Chalfan; Perez Colon, made Aliyah; Daughter Colon, died young; ? Treves and 1 other

Occupation: Rabbi, Talmudist In Bologna, Mantua, Pavia.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Moreinu Rabbi Joseph ben Solomon Trabotto Colon, (Maharik)

aka Maharik Morenu Ha Rav

MaHaRIK, RIK

Rabbi Joseph Kolon (Colon)

French-Jewish descent. Lived 1469 in Mestre, near Venezia.

from Jewish Encyclopedia: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4553-colon-joseph-b-solomon

COLON, JOSEPH B. SOLOMON:

   

By: Louis Ginzberg Table of Contents His Responsa. His Dispute with Capsali. The foremost Talmudist of Italy in the second half of the fifteenth century; born probably at Chambéry, Savoy, about 1420; died at Padua 1480. Colon (whose name is probably identical with the French "colombe," dove) belonged to the scholarly family of the Trabots, who emigrated from France to Italy in the fifteenth century. The teachers of the boy were his father—himself an eminent Talmudist—and a certain Mordecai b. Nathan. Colon left his home at an early age—not, however, as Grätz says ("Gesch." 3d ed., viii. 253), in consequence of the expulsion of the Jews from Savoy, which took place in 1471. For a time he led a wandering life, and was forced to gain his living by teaching children.

About 1469 he officiated as rabbi in Pieve de Sacco, in Venetian territory, whence he went to Mestre, near Venice. There he became acquainted with a pupil of Israel Isserlein, and was influenced by him in favor of the German Talmudists. Subsequently Colon was rabbi at Bologna and Mantua, and he became involved in a quarrel with Messer Leon, both being banished by the authorities. Thereupon he was made a rabbi at Pavia, and there he became the center of Talmudic learning in Italy. At the same time Colon's decisions in civil as well as religious questions were sought from far and wide—from German cities, such as Ulm and Nuremberg, as well as from Constantinople. He wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch, and novellæ on the Talmud and on the legal codex () of Moses of Coucy; but the responsa, collected after his death by his son-in-law Gershon and by one of his pupils, Ḥayya Meïr b. David, are all that have been printed of Colon's works (ed. princeps, Venice, 1519; several later editions).

His Responsa. Colon's responsa, which are among the classical productions in this field of rabbinical literature, exercised a great influence on the development of rabbinical law. One of the most important was his responsum No. 1, in which he decided that no one could be forced to take a case to an outside court when there was a court in the place where the defendant () was living; for it often happened that rich people took their cases to foreign rabbis in order to make the poor surrender. His responsum No. 4, addressed to the congregation of Regensburg, is also highly important. A number of Jews of that community having been falsely accused, and a sum of money having to be raised for their ransom, the surrounding places and neighboring communities refused to contribute, at least in so far as it was a question of paying a fixed tax instead of making voluntary contributions. Colon decided that te communities in question could not refuse to pay their share, since the same false accusation () might be made against them also, and if the accused in this case were proved innocent and ransomed, they would then be safe from danger.

In his responsa Colon endeavored not only to decide the case in hand, but to establish general principles according to which similar or related cases might be decided. In addition to an astonishing range of reading in the entire rabbinical literature, Colon displays a critical insight into the treatment of the Talmud that is remarkable for his time. This is all the more noteworthy since he was entirely under the influence of the German Talmudists, which preponderated in northern Italy. Colon's great selfconfidence is remarkable; he paid little attention to Jacob ben Asher's "Ṭurim," even then considered the most authoritative law codices; and he cared as little for mere custom (Responsa, No. 161, end). He had, besides, an inflexible regard for right and justice, and never stopped to consider persons. This becomes especially evident in the sharp yet duly respectful manner in which he reproved Israel Bruna, the foremost Talmudist of Germany of his time, when the latter presumed to act as judge in a certain dispute, though he was himself one of the contending parties.

His Dispute with Capsali. It was natural that a man of Colon's stamp should sometimes be carried too far in his zeal for truth and justice; and this happened in his dispute with Capsali, the ḥakam-bashi of Turkey. Having been falsely informed by an emissary ("meshullaḥ") in behalf of the people of Jerusalem that Capsali was very lax in divorce decisions, that he had declared that the betrothed () of a man who had become converted to Christianity should be considered as single, and that he had declared an engagement () void because it had not been entered into according to the laws of the community, Colon, in order to establish the sanctity and inviolability of marriage beyond the power of any individual rabbi, wrote three letters (Resp. Nos. 83, 84, 85) to the president and leaders of the community of Constantinople, threatening to place Capsali under the ban if he did not recall his decisions and do public penance; and at the same time making it understood that in no case would Capsali ever again be allowed to fill the office of rabbi (Resp. No. 83). This decree of an Italian rabbi pronounced against a Turkish colleague was àn unprecedented attack on the rights of the community, and provoked the righteous indignation of the Constantinople community—all the more as it proved to rest upon a groundless and vulgar calumny. Capsali, conscious of having been maligned, did not mince matters in answering Colon's letters; and a bitter discussion arose between the two men, in which the leading rabbis of Germany, Italy,and the Orient took part. It is characteristic of Colon that as soon as he became convinced that he had been the victim of an intrigue, and so had done injustice to the ḥakam bashi, he did not hesitate to make amends. On his death-bed he commissioned his son Perez to go to Constantinople and ask, in his father's name, the forgiveness of Capsali.

Bibliography: Fränkel, in Litteraturbl. d. Orients, 1848, pp. 365-368, 379-384; Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, pp. 502-503: Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., viii., passim; Güdemann, Gesch. des Erziehungs wesens und der Cultur der Juden in Deutschland, pp. 246-251; Gross, Gallia Judaica, pp. 221-223; Zunz, Z. G. p. 106.

from Wikipedia:

Early years

Colon (whose name is related to the French word colombe, or 'dove') was a scion of the Trabotto family, which was known for its large number of scholars. After the final expulsion of Jews from the French Kingdom in 1394, his family emigrated first to the Franche-Comte and subsequently settled in the city of Chambéry, the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, which was home to a significant population of rabbinic scholars. Among these were Yohanan Treves, the last chief rabbi of France and Jacob HaLevi, renowned as Maharil Jacob ben Moses Möln.

The exact year and place of Joseph Colon's birth cannot be determined, but is estimated to be at the beginning of the 1420s in Chambéry, a city whose Jewish population was overwhelmigly made up of individuals of French, rather than German, origin. It was within this ambience that the young Joseph Colon received his Talmudic education, which was heavily imbued with the style, traditions and Talmudic methodology of medieval French Jewry. Chiefly, he studied under the tutelage of his father, Solomon Trabotto, a noted Talmudist and Kabbalist, though he does refer to others as his teachers, and recalls participating in learned discussion with other local scholars. Colon left Chambéry in the early 1450s and settled in the Italian Piedmont, which had become part of the Duchy of Savoy. This move was the result of a combination of new opportunities on the other side of the Alps, combined with increasing anti-Judaism in Trans-Alpine Savoy. It was not, however, as Grätz claims ("Gesch." 3d ed., viii. 253), a consequence of the expulsion of the Jews from Savoy, which only occurred in 1471. For a time he led a wandering life, and was forced to gain his living by teaching children.

Travels and growing fame as scholar

About 1469 Colon officiated as rabbi in Pieve de Sacco, in Venetian territory and continued on to Mestre, near Venice. Subsequently he was rabbi at Bologna and Mantua and, according to a report in Gedaliah Ibn Yahya's Shalshelet ha-Qabbalah, became embroiled in a quarrel with Rabbi Judah Messer Leon, both being banished by the authorities. Thereupon he relocated to Pavia. At the same time Colon's decisions in civil as well as religious questions were sought from far and wide-from German cities, such as Ulm and Nuremberg, as well as from Constantinople. He wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch, and novellæ on the Talmud and on the legal codex of Moses of Coucy, the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol. His major legacy were, however, his responsa. These were collected after his death by his son-in-law Rabbi Gershon Treves, and by one of his pupils, Hiyya Meïr ben David and were published in Venice in 1519 by Daniel Bomberg. They were subsequently republished many times. In 1984, E. D. Pines published fifty new responsa from manuscript. Many more of his responsa remain unpublished.

Responsa

Colon's responsa are among the classic productions in this field of rabbinic literature and exercised tremendous influence on the subsequent development of Jewish Law or Halakhah. His decisions had massive influence upon all subsequent legal development. His influence is particularly notable in the Ashkenazic orbit, as reflected in Moses Isserles' glosses on the Shulhan Arukh. Colon's responsa were the central pillar of later Italian halakhah, and there is scarcely an Italian rabbi of the 16th, 17th and 18th century who does not quote him. These responsa are distinguished by his encyclopedic knowledge and methodical analysis of sources. He attempts to identify the basic principles underlying his sources and to elucidate the conceptual framework within which he renders his rulings. His legal method also resembles the mode of analysis known as pilpul. Established custom (or minhag) played a unique place in his thinking and he defines its authority. In this context, he served as the defender of a uniquely French school of Ashkenazic Law and Lore. The Mishneh Torah of Maimonides enjoys a preeminent place in his writings. His extensive comments thereupon, scattered throughout his responsa and lecture notes, helped to set the agenda for later scholars. Colon's responsa are marked by tremendous deference to authorities of the past. Hesitating to decide between them, he resorted to methods of legal determination which removed or minimized this necessity (e.g. Halakha k'Bathra'i).

Colon's self-confidence is remarkable. He had a strong regard for right and justice. Firmly, though respectfully, he reproved Rabbi Israel Bruna, the foremost German talmudist of his time, for overstepping the bounds of his authority. Responsum No. 4, addressed to the congregation of Regensburg, is highly important. A number of Jews of that community having been falsely accused, and a sum of money having to be raised for their ransom, the surrounding places and neighboring communities refused to contribute, at least insofar as it was a question of paying a fixed tax instead of making voluntary contributions. Colon decided that the communities in question could not refuse to pay their share, since the same false accusation might be made against them also, and if the accused in this case were proved innocent and ransomed, they would then be safe from danger.

Trabotto died in Padua at the age of about sixty. Most references agree on his year of death, although one lists it as 1484, four years later than generally accepted.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Joseph_Colon_Trabotto&oldid=179050088

from his Responsa:

Question:

Do parental objections to a child's choice of marital partner carry any halakhic weight?

Response

There are three reasons why, if the match is to an appropriate person, that the parent's objections need not be heeded.

1. A child is not obligated to suffer the pain that not marrying someone fitting in order to honor his parents. The Gemara discusses who is responsible for footing the bill for parental honor and concludes that the son is not responsible to spend his own money. A child may feed, clothe, and care for the parent using the parent's own money. If a child does not have to expend money, he certainly does not have to go through a painful marriage to honor his parents.

2. A parent forbidding a child to marry a desired mate is tantamount to telling him to transgress a mitzva. The Talmud says (beginning of the second chapter of Kiddushin) that a man may not betrothe a woman before seeing her, lest he not be attracted to her. This is based on, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Other rabbinic sources also emphasize the importance of marital love. A father who forbids his son to marry the bride of his choice is in effect telling him not to observe "Love your neighbor as yourself." The Gemara in Yevamot 5 rules that since both parent and child are obligated to honor G-d, if parental honor entails transgressing a positive or negative mitzva the child may not follow the parental command. The Rosh (Teshuvot HaRosh 15:5) applied this rule to a father interested in his son prolonging a feud. The son, who was interested in reconciliation, was told that in this instance he must ignore the parental command for it contradicts the Divine one.

3. The Torah commands honor and reverence of parents, but does not legislate parental authority. Honor and reverence are limited to acts that benefit the parent. The Gemara speaks of honor as feeding, clothing and attending to the parent's other needs; reverence means not contradicting him, not standing in his special place, not detracting from his status. However, the mitzva is not a blanket obligation for a child to obey all of his parent's commands. Determining whom the child marries is outside the scope of parental authority. [The Sefer Hamakneh holds that a child is obligated to fulfill any parental commands as long as they do not contradict Torah or Rabbinic ones. A number of Rishonim seem to go against this approach.]

Ruling: grandchildren could say Kaddish for grandparents provided the parents did not object38.

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Moreinu Rabbi Joseph ben Solomon Trabotto Colon, (Maharik)'s Timeline

1426
1426
Chambéry, Savoie, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France
1490
1490
Age 64
Pavia, Province of Pavia, Lombardy, Italy
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