Who were Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura (BERTINORO) and Radbaz?

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These are the biographies as provided by the Bar Ilan Responsa project


R. Ovadiah Yare was born in Bertinoro (in northern Italy) circa 5200 (1440 CE). He was a prominent student of the Maharik, the greatest Italian Torah scholars of the generation. In 5248 (1488 CE) R. Ovadiah arrived in Jerusalem, where he was appointed head of the Jewish community; in this capacity he strengthened the community both spiritually and physically. A commentary on Rashi on the Torah called Amar Naka has been attributed to him, but apparently was authored by his nephew and disciple, R. Obadiah b. R. Zecharya Hamone of Bertinora. Part of it was published as explanations attributed to R. Ovadiah of Bertinoro in the volume entitled Ba’alei haTosafot al Chamisha Chumshei Torah, with the commentaries of Tosafot and Riva (Warsaw, 1904) and has been entered into the data banks. He died in Jerusalem circa 5290 (1530 CE). His commentary on the Mishna is based primarily on Rashi’s commentary on the Talmud; on the Rambam’s commentary on the Mishna; and, in the orders of Zeraim and Taharot (where there is no corresponding tractate in the Talmud) on the commentary of RaSh MiShantz. From the time of its first publication (Venice 5308/9 – 1548/9 CE) it has become the primary commentary on the Mishna, and has been printed in virtually all editions of the Mishna. Two well-known super-commentaries were composed in the generation immediately following R. Ovadiah – the Tosafot Yom Tov, by R. Yom Tov Lipman Heller of Prague; and the Melechet Shlomo of R. Shlomo Adani of Yemen and Jerusalem.


Rabbi David ben Solomon ibn Avi Zimra was born in Spain in 1479 and died in Israel in 1573. He left Spain in 1492, as a result of the Spanish expulsion of the Jews. Like many other scholars, he emigrated to Safed, which had become an important center of Jewish life. In 1513, he left Israel for Cairo, where he became head of the local Jewish community, chief rabbi, head of the rabbinic court and yeshivah, and executor of the charity fund. Radbaz served in all these posts without pay, due to his success in business. He was also famed for his large library. Radbaz returned to Israel in 1553, and once again settled in Safed. He is noted for his commentary on Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah and for his responsa, of which more than 10,000 are extant. Rabbi Betzalel Ashkenazi (q.v.) was his student.

For those who have not read my post: According to Current DNA Analysis It Is Unlikely That The Beta Israel (Falasha) Community from Ethiopia is From the Tribe of Dan the main goal for presenting the two biographies was to prove a point about The Beta Israel (Falasha) Community from Ethiopia.