Rabbi Shmuel ben Meir (1085-1174), more commonly known by the acronym RaSHBaM, was the grandson of Rashi, and was a biblical commentator and Talmudist.

Rashbam was born in France, in the vicinity of Troyes.   He learned from his grandfather (Rashi) and from the Riva.   He was the teacher of his brother, Rabbeinu Tam.   Known for his piety, he defended Jewish beliefs in public disputes arranged by church leaders to demonstrate the inferiority of Judaism.

His commentary on the Torah stresses the plain meaning (p'shat) of the text, and this approach often led him to state views that were somewhat controversial (thus resulting in the omission of his commentary on the first chapters of Genesis in many earlier editions of the Pentateuch).   Parts of his commentary on the Talmud have been preserved, and they appear on the pages of most of tractate Bava Batra (where no commentary by Rashi is available) as well as the last chapter of tractate Pesachim.

Rashbam was a sheep farmer.   He earned a living by tending livestock and growing grapes, following in his family tradition.

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