Moses ben Jacob of Coucy

Moses ben Jacob of Coucy (Hebrew: משה בן יעקב מקוצי) was a French Tosafist and authority on Halakha (Jewish law). He is best known as author of one of the earliest codifications of Halakha, the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol.


"Moses of Coucy" lived in the first half of the thirteenth century, and was a descendant of a family of distinguished scholars. He studied under Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg (Yehudah HeHasid).

In 1240 he was one of the four rabbis who were required to defend the Talmud, in a public disputation in Paris, and it is likely that the need for a work like the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol was driven by the decrees against the Talmud which had been promulgated in France, and had led to the confiscation and burning of all Talmud manuscripts in 1242.


The "Sefer Mitzvot Gadol" (ספר מצוות גדול; Hebrew: Large Book of the Commandments; abbreviated סמ"ג "SeMaG" ) deals with the 365 negative commandments and the 248 positive commandments, separately discussing each of them according to the Talmud and the decisions of the Rabbis. "SeMaG" also contains much non-legal, moralistic teaching. References to the "SeMaG" are by Section (Positive or Negative) and Commandment Number within each section.

Rabbi Moses' arrangement and presentation are heavily influenced by Maimonides' discussion of the commandments in the Sefer Hamitzvot and by his codification of the Halakha in the Mishneh Torah. However unlike Maimonides, Rabbi Moses presents lengthy discussions of the different interpretations and legal opinions. He also makes extensive use of other codes, and particularly of the commentaries of Rashi and the Tosafot, usually favouring these Ashkenazi traditions over Maimonides.

Traditional commentaries on SeMaG include Tosefe SeMaG by Elijah Mizrachi (Re'em) and Ammude Shlomo by Solomon Luria (Maharshal). Mitzvot Gadol is a recent commentary by the 20th century rabbi Avraham Aharon Price.


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  • MOSES BEN JACOB OF COUCY — (13th century), French scholar and tosafist. His father Jacob is mentioned a number of times in the printed tosafot (Kid. 43b; et al.). Moses was the maternal grandson of the tosafist Ḥayyim ha Kohen and brother in law of samson of coucy . His… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Moses ben Jacob of Coucy — (fl. 13th cent)    French scholar. An itinerant preacher, he began his ministry in Spain in 1236, where he preached sermons that attracted a huge audience. Later he visited other countries, and participated in the Disputation of Paris in 1240.… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • SAMSON BEN SAMSON OF COUCY — (called ha sar mi Coucy; 13th century), French tosafist. Samson, a descendant of joseph bonfils , belonged to a distinguished family of French scholars. Judah of Corbeil was his uncle and moses of Coucy his brother in law. He was one of the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • HESCHEL, ABRAHAM JOSHUA BEN JACOB — (d. 1664), talmudic scholar of Lithuania and Poland. His father was rabbi of the community of Brest Litovsk and head of its yeshivah, where Abraham Joshua became a teacher as a young man. In 1630 his father was appointed rabbi of Lublin and head… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • HEZEKIAH BEN JACOB — (of Magdeburg; 13th century), tosafist. Hezekiah, one of the last of the tosafists, was apparently a pupil of Samson of Coucy and eliezer b. joel ha levi . His appointment as reader of the Magdeburg community while still in his youth aroused… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • JOSHUA HOESCHEL BEN JACOB — (1595–1663), Polish rabbi, also called the Rebbi Reb Hoeschel. Joshua Hoeschel was apparently born in Lublin. He studied under his father jacob b. ephraim naphtali hirsch . Because of his many talents, his father brought him into the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • JACOB BEN JUDAH OF LONDON — (13th century), English rabbinical scholar. Either he or, more probably, his father, Judah b. R. Jacob he Arukh (perhaps corresponding to Le Long in secular records), was ḥazzan of the London community. Jacob of London was the author of Eẓ Ḥayyim …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Isaac ben Joseph of Corbeil — (13th century) (Hebrew: יצחק בן יוסף מקורבי ל) was a French rabbi and Tosefist who flourished in the second half of the thirteenth century. He was the son in law of R. Jehiel ben Joseph of Paris, whose school he attended, and the pupil of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg — See Judah he Hasid for other people who used this name. Judah ben Samuel of Regensburg (12th 13th centuries), also called He Hasid or the Pious in Hebrew, was the initiator of the Chassidei Ashkenaz, a movement of Jewish mysticism in Germany.… …   Wikipedia

  • BARUCH BEN ISAAC OF WORMS — (late 12th–early 13th century), German tosafist. Although Baruch lived in Worms, he probably came from France and is sometimes referred to as Ha Zarefati ( the Frenchman ). Baruch was a pupil of isaac b. samuel the Elder of Dampierre, and after… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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