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Rav Yitzchak Alfasi – ר’ יצחק אלפס(י) – known as the Rif (1013–1103), author of the immensely important Halachot ha-Rif, a proto-code and abridgement of the legal portions of the Talmud. The Rif was born in Algeria, studying in Qayrawan (Kairouan), and established himself in Fez, though he was impelled to flee and made his […]
R. Yom Tov ben Avraham Ishvili (“of Seville”) – ריטב”א – ר’ יום טוב בן אברהם אשבילי (c. 1250–1330) is one of the foremost Sefardi commentators on the Talmud. Life Though his family was apparently from Seville in southern Spain, Ritva is associated with Zaragoza (Saragossa) in Aragon, where he was a dayan (rabbinical court […]
Shabbat ha-Gadol (שבת הגדול) is the Shabbat before Pesach, during which it is traditional for the rabbi to deliver a special derash (sermon). The haftarah is Malakhi 3:4-24.
Shabbat Machar Chodesh
The Shabbat immediately preceding Rosh Chodesh is called Shabbat Machar Chodesh (שבת מחר חודש) and the haftarah is 1 Shemuel 20:18-42. It is distinct from Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, Shabbat Mevarkhim, and Shabbat ha-Chodesh.
The Shabbat before a week in which Rosh Chodesh falls is called Shabbat Mevarchim (שבת מברכים) and the blessing on the new month, Birkat ha-Chodesh (ברכת החודש), is said. It is distinct from Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, Shabbat Machar Chodesh, and Shabbat ha-Chodesh.