Gershom ben Judah


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Gershom ben Judah

(gr`shəm bĕn jo͞o`də), c.965–c.1040?, rabbi, religious poet, and scholar. He was also called Me'or ha-Golah [light of the exile]. He lived his entire adult life in Mainz, Germany (now in France), where he founded a Talmudic academy. He played an important role in the formation of an Ashkenazic tradition of learning and communal organization. He wrote commentaries on the Talmud, liturgical poetry, and numerous responsa. He is famous for his highly influential edict against polygamy.
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In the 11th-century CE, Rabbi Gershom ben Judah promulgated an express prohibition against polygamy for Ashkenazic Jews of Europe.