One of the most mysterious and haunting of all medieval halakhic figures must certainly be the fourteenth-century sage Rabbi Jeruham b. Meshullam. During the sixteenth century, he was known as “Tamiri”—“the concealed one”—a moniker given to him by Joseph Karo's heavenly interlocutor, the Maggid. Years later, David Azulai, the eminent eighteenth-century rabbinic bibliographer, reported that “a number of Rabbis who had composed commentaries on his work … were summoned to the heavenly academy [i.e., they died prematurely] or their work was lost.” Even today, scholars who have never opened Jeruham's books are nevertheless aware of the “curse” hanging over the work of this medieval author.
|Harvard Theological Review
|Published - 2007