Samson ben Abraham

(c. 12th - 13th century)

Samson ben Abraham,of Sans, France, was one of the great Talmudic scholars in the late 12th-early 13th centuries. In his youth, he studied under Rabbenu Tam. He wrote a significant commentary on the Mishnah.

He is best-known, however, for his involvement in the first Maimonidean Controversy. When Meir Abulafia complained to French Jewry about RaMBaM's Mishneh Torah, Samson ben Abraham agreed with him. He wrote a lengthy critique of the Mishneh Torah and, like Abulafia, focused on RaMBaM's view of resurrection. He recommended that it not be used as an authoritative source. However, like many French scholars, Samson ben Abraham was so impressed with RaMBaM's scholarship, that he urged study of the great work. His wishy-washy response discouraged Abulafia, and he ceased to get involved in the Controversy.

Sources: Gates of Jewish Heritage

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