Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Where in rabbinic literature does the word "response" as in "responsum" occur? (And, it seems to me, ever so slightly, a hair inaccurately.)


  1. No. Probably the intent was Latin and it is, of course, in Hebrew letters.

  2. Oh, like שאלמ"ש or whatever, for "psalms", in some French rishon? (Or is it the Rôkeiach, in which case he's Ashkenazic, not French.)

  3. Sort of. I mean, I'm not sure how it wouldn't be like that except that here we're definitely talking about a deliberate use of a Latin word, referring basically to a she-elah teshuva as a response. Also, as it happens, this particular author does *not* spell it with the gershayim thingies - and I checked his edition, published in his lifetime.

  4. Alright, since this garnered about zero interest - apart for the good sport who tried to play along - here is the answer. See סימן מ letter ד in כרתי ופלתי, in the פלתי (link).

    There R. Yonasan refers to the letter he sent to the physicians of Halle (university?) and quotes their response. He calls their response their תשובתם, but his own inquiry "שאלה שקורין רעזפאנזי."



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