Jonah Gerondi

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Jona ben Abraham Gerondi (* 1200 in Girona ; † 1263 or 1264 in Toledo ) was a medieval Spanish rabbi and moralist .

In his youth, Gerondi studied in Yeshivot in southern France with Moses ben Schneur and his brother Samuel von Evreux, later with Solomon ben Abraham von Montpellier . When he attacked the philosophical works of Maimonides in the context of the Maimonides dispute in 1232 , Jonah followed his teacher and became one of the fiercest opponents of these works, which, according to tradition , were burned by the Dominican Inquisition . Jonah returned from Provence to his birthplace Girona and there began his Torat ha-Musar in public ("Doctrine of Moral Conduct") to preach. He later left Girona and settled in Barcelona, ​​where numerous students studied with him, including Solomon Adret , who later became the rabbi of Barcelona. At an advanced age he wanted to go to Eretz Israel , but was stopped on the way in Toledo by members of the local community and asked to spend a year or two in their city. He complied with this request, set up a large yeshiva in Toledo and died there.

Jonah was famous both as a scholar and as the "father of virtues" piety, humility and asceticism . In his ethical books he criticized the numerous Spanish Jews who neglected the religious commandments , and proclaimed a " ban on concubines ". He condemned the acts of despots and tyrants as well as the large Jewish landowners in Spain who had small farmers evicted from their properties by force. His works include a commentary on the Book of Proverbs , a commentary on the sayings of the fathers, and short stories on various Talmudic treatises. Gerondi was in contact with important Jewish scholars of his time. With Itzhak Sagi Nahor , the son of Abraham ben David of Posquières , he talked about questions of Kabbalah .

His most important work were the Scha'are T e schuba ( gates of penance ).

Jonah Gerondi was a relative of Nachmanides .


  • Encyclopedia Judaica , Vol. 10, pp. 179-181.
  • Angel Sáenz-Badillos; Judit Targarona Borrás: Diccionario de autores judios (Sefarad. Siglos X-XV). Estudios de Cultura Hebrea 10. Córdoba 1988, pp. 177-178.

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