Isaac ibn Ghiyyat

Isaac ben Judah ibn Ghiyyat (or Ghayyat) (Hebrew: יצחק בן יהודה אבן גיאת‎, Arabic: ﺇﺑﻦ ﻏﻴﺎثibn Ghayyath) (1030/1038–1089) was a Spanish rabbi, Biblical commentator, codifier of Jewish law, philosopher, and liturgical poet. He was born and lived in the town of Lucena, where he also headed a rabbinic academy. He died in Cordoba.

Etymology of nameEdit

As most Spanish Jewish surnames, Ibn Ghiyyat is patronymic, meaning "the son of Ghiyyat." "Ghiyyat" is a name of Arabic origin, meaning "salvation." The word "Ghiyyat" is also found in Saadia Gaon's Judeo-Arabic translation of the Hebrew word ישע‎, in Psalm 20:17.


According to some authorities he was the teacher of Isaac Alfasi; according to others, his fellow pupil. His best-known students were his son Judah ibn Ghayyat, Joseph ibn Sahl, and Moses ibn Ezra. He was held in great esteem by Samuel ha-Nagid and his son Joseph, and after the latter's death (1066), Ibn Ghayyat was elected to succeed him as rabbi of Lucena, where he officiated until his death.

He was the author of a compendium of ritual laws concerning the festivals, published by Bamberger under the title of Sha'arei Simḥah (Fürth, 1862; the laws concerning Passover were republished by Zamber under the title Hilkhot Pesaḥim, Berlin, 1864), and a philosophical commentary on Ecclesiastes, known only through quotations in the works of later authors.[1]

Ibn Ghayyat's greatest activity was in liturgical poetry; he was an author of hundreds of piyyutim, and his hymns are found in the Maḥzor of Tripoli under the title of Siftei Renanot.

One of his major contributions was his collection and arrangement of the geonic responsa which had hitherto been scattered among world's Jewry.[2]


  1. ^ Dukes, in Orient, Lit. x. 667-668
  2. ^ Pirush Shishah Sidrei Mishnah (A Commentary on the Six Orders of the Mishnah), ed. Mordechai Yehudah Leib Sachs, p. 11, appended at the end of the book: The Six Orders of the Mishnah: with the Commentaries of the Rishonim, vol. 1, pub. El ha-Meqorot: Jerusalem 1955 (Hebrew); Alfasi, Y. (1960). Yosef Qafih (ed.). R. Yitzhak al-Fasi's Commentary on Tractate Hullin (Chapter Kol ha-Basar) (in Hebrew). ha-Agudah le-Hatzalat Ginzei Teiman. p. 8 (Introduction). OCLC 745065428.

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGotthard Deutsch and M. Seligsohn (1901–1906). "Isaac ben Judah ibn Ghiyyat". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) Its bibliography:

  • Joseph Derenbourg, in Geiger's Wiss. Zeit. Jüd. Theol. v. 396–412;
  • Michael Sachs, Religiöse Poesie, pp. 259–262;
  • Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., vi. 61, 77;
  • Zunz, Literaturgesch. pp. 194–200;
  • idem, in Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1839, p. 480;
  • L. Dukes, in Orient, Lit. ix. 536–540; x. 667, 668;
  • Landshuth, 'Ammude ha-'Ahodah, pp. 111–116;
  • De Rossi, Dizionario, pp. 173–174;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1110–1111.

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