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Sabbetai Sevi Apparently Had a Following Even Among Some Karaites..

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While it is certainly strange that Karaites would revere a man whose very being was so enmeshed in Jewish mysticism-a discipline that was largely seen as heretical (even idolatrous) among the vast majority of Karaites (with the rare exception of Karaite Kabbalists such as Simcha Isaac Lutzki of course), I can understand why Sabbetai and later Sabbateans would actually court them. To Sabbetai, the Talmud was no longer relevant. The Frankists would later take it a step further and renounce the Talmud altogether. Something to think about.

My Review of Kosher USA by Roger Horowitz. Please Share and Comment.


Kosher USA by Roger Horowitz is an engaging and often fascinating read about the development of the Kosher food industry in the United States and indeed how Kosher became a staple of Americana.

Did you know that in 1925, about 25% percent of steers that were slaughtered in the United States were done so in a Kosher manner? Did you further know that Jews, in the US at that time, constituted the largest consumer of beef per capita (Horowitz: “In 1909 a national study showed that Jews, regardless of income, ate close to one hundred pounds of beef and veal annually”) ? Did you know that currently the biggest consumers of Kosher food in the US happen to be gentiles. In fact according to Horowitz, by the late 1980s “there were at least three non-Jewish kosher food consumers for every observant Jew”. These consumers range from those who apparently feel that kosher equals healthier and more sanitary; to Muslims who want to be assured that they are not imbibing any products containing pork; others are lactose-intolerant who rely on a given product’s certification that it contains only non-dairy ingredients; still others are vegetarians who rely on the ‘parve’ label to insure that no animal products are included.

Additionally there is a large market for Kosher sweet wine in the African-American community. In fact by 1950, 80 (!) percent of the consumers of Manischewitz Concord Wine were gentiles, the vast majority of them African Americans!

These and other factoids (elaborated upon generously by Horowitz) provide a fascinating read for scholar and laymn alike.

The author describes in interesting detail the trajectory of the Kosher meat industry in America from its heyday in the early decades of the 20th century (did you know that kosher poultry was more expensive than beef?), to its slump in the last decades of that century, only to be resurrected in the 21st century.

The higher standards of Kosher (see “glatt”) that became mandatory, and the resultant spike in price, did indeed cause many Jews who kept kosher, but were otherwise non-observant, to quit buying Kosher meat. I found it interesting that the consternation over kosher meat prices was already a concern in Jewish America of 1902. This report from the New York Times of 1902 amply demonstrates that the last thing you want to do is mess with a Jewish housewife’s briket:

“Jewish housewives on the Lower East Side poured into the streets, breaking windows and throwing meat. The women were protesting a jump in the price of kosher meat from 12 to 18 cents a pound” see here…/…/15/1902/kosher-beef-boycott-of-1902

The author is obviously quite familiar with halakhic (Jewish Religious Law) methodology and cites formulations thereof liberally throughout the book, often but not always following it up with explanatory notes. As a former Rabbinic student, this is of course not a problem for me, but for the average reader this may pose a bit of a challenge. (considering that gentiles make up the largest consumers of kosher products, this is something to keep in mind).

In a future edition, I hope the author would also consider writing more in detail about the “kosher meat wars” that took place in the first several decades of the last century. While only briefly mentioning involvement of organized crime in the booming kosher meat industry, it but scratched the surface of a good if often uncomfortable story.

Equally discomfiting are the instances of fraud wherein cheaper non-Kosher meat was packaged and sold as Kosher. The author cites cases from the 20 and 30s. There were even raids on such illicit operations that I couldn’t help but find tragicomic; in one instance, a team composed of Rabbis, Board of Health Inspectors as well as Dept. of Agriculture operatives stake out an establishment, lie in wait and eventually swoop down to catch the culprits red-handed.

One does not have to look that far back to find instances such as these. As recently as 2006, the New York Times described “Shevach Meats” a large distributor of Kosher meat for the Ultra-Orthodox communities of Rockland County, NY as “passing off [non-kosher] chicken as kosher”
See here:

Other lighthearted moments are had when reading how a Rabbi in California was awakened by State Troopers in the wee hours of the morning, and then rushed at breakneck speed amid flashing lights and sirens in order to “begiss” (a kosher process that is aptly described in the book) a truck of kosher meat that got stuck in a snow storm en route to the east coast.

A sub industry of Kosher that was only briefly touched upon is the involvement of the most conservative (lower case c) elements of Orthodoxy in Kashrut. I am referring specifically to the explosion of the Hasidic populations primarily in the NY Metro areas and what they have fashioned to suit their most stringent kashrut requirements. Halav Yisrael for instance (literally “Israelite Milk”) is not mentioned. Halav Yisrael requires that a reliable Jew be present during the extraction of the milk and that unsupervised milk may not be used. Primarily Hasidic Jews are very stringent in this requirement (the exact background behind this “requirement” and the vehement disagreement it engendered from Ultra-Orthodox non-Hasidic Rabbis is beyond the scope of this review) and will not consume any dairy products that are not marked with the Halav Yisrael tag. Dairy companies like Golden Flow Dairy for instance were founded by-and are under the proprietorship- of Hasidic owners and their products are to be found in most Haredi areas of Metro NY.

While most contemporary Hasidic Jews take these product for granted, they were almost non-existent in pre-WWII America (except for apparently one small farm see here It can be traced to the emigration to the United States of a large group of religiously pious Rabbis (mostly Hasidic and Hungarian Ultra-Orthodox) and their followers from Eastern Europe. While the author does discuss the phenomenon of “glatt” meat (whose origins are the same), it does not devote any space to its dairy counterpart.

One thing I found odd was the passage describing Horowitz’s meeting with the head of the Orthodox Union. I suspect there must have been some kind of misunderstanding as the passage “he radiated disapproval for my evidently non-Orthodox mode of dress and behavior” seems so incongruent with a man who is often described as “Bill Clinton’s Rabbi”. Furthermore, Horowitz informs us in his epilogue that he made sure to show the utmost respect to his interlocutors and interviewees. For instance, “I wore a kippa when entering an Orthodox Person’s home out of respect for their beliefs”.

Milk Store, Toronto, 1903. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Probably NOT Halav Yisrael..

Please Read and Comment on My New Post at the JHI Blog

The Karaites Finally Renovate their Most Ancient Synagogue in Jerusalem– and Museum Adjacent to it.

Video is in Hebrew



This article, in english, is a word-for-word translation (not the best one, I’m afraid).

Check out the site of the Karaite Heritage Center in Israel (Hebrew) for more


On the History of the Anan ben David Synagogue see Brill 

I reproduce here the relevant section:

1. The Karaite Synagogue in Jerusalem

The Karaite synagogue is the oldest one in Jerusalem (Pinkerfeld 1971, p. 15 ). Traditionally, the Karaite community in Jerusalem is said to have been established by ʿAnan ben David, the putative founder of Karaism, in the ninth century. This tradition is unsupported. Based on its appearance and the way it was constructed, with crossed arches in the ceiling, the synagogue building appears to date from the eleventh or twelfth century, when the Karaite community in Jerusalem enjoyed its greatest growth and fame. At first the structure was probably at street level, but over the centuries apartments and rooms “piled up” around it as they were demolished and rebuilt. As a result, the synagogue building became lower than its surroundings. The earliest document attributing the building to the Karaites is from 1561. Until the 1948 war, the synagogue could be approached by a steep staircase that descended about 5 meters (16 feet) from the courtyard. Tradition has it that the Muslims banned the Karaites from cutting windows in the walls so that their voices would not be audible outside the building.

When access was restored in 1967, the synagogue was in a half-destroyed state. It was reconstructed based on a drawing by the architect Jacob Pinkerfeld. The sanctuary, which measures 8 × 10.5 meters (26 × 35 feet), is crossed by a row of two pillars, each measuring 1 meter × 1 meter (3.2 × 3.2 feet) according to Pinkerfeld’s reconstruction (see plan).

Two recesses on the eastern side were apparently used for storing Torah scrolls. The rear currently serves as the women’s section, although there is no proof whatsoever that there ever was a women’s section in the original building. The synagogue apparently had two pulpits, one between the two central pillars and the other near the ark. The sanctuary was surrounded by storerooms. The northeastern room served as a ritual bath and may have been connected underground to the ritual bath of the adjacent Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue.

In any case, this double-stoa room is the oldest such sanctuary known anywhere in the world. Until 250 years ago, it was a dark place, with just a little light provided by qandīls (oil lamps) hanging from the ceiling; then three lighting shafts were cut from the courtyards above into the synagogue. But even then the light that made its way in was dim. In front of the entrance to the sanctuary was a small vestibule for removing shoes and storing personal prayer articles; these practices were probably adopted under the influence of Muslim prayer customs.


See here for some interesting historical documents, of this historic site, from the British-Mandate era

Finally. The Ancient Karaite Cemetery in Hebron Has Been Restored.

עבודות השיפוץ

Shlomo Gabher, a member of the Karaite Council in Ramla along with local Jewish military and civilian leaders.

See here (Hebrew)

Although, no record of any findings have yet been published.

Precious little is known about the Karaites who once resided in this biblical city.

A lecture on this subject in 2016 proved to be a sore disappointment; virtually no new information was disclosed.

See my previous posts about this historic site here and here

Please also make sure to check and publicize our popular group on facebook here

Rabbi Refael Nathan Nata Rabinowitz’s Encounter with the Karaites as Reflected from His Letters

Rabbi Refael Nathan Nata Rabinowitz (1835-1888) was a remarkable Lithuanian Rabbi, philologist and scholar.

His magnum opus Dikdukei Sofrim was one of the most influential projects on Talmud study ever until recently. He traveled all across Europe to collect and compare manuscripts. The grandiose project would eventually cost him his life, as he fell ill and passed away while travelling in Russia in the midst of searching for more Talmudic manuscripts.
I recently came across a collection of letters from him that was published in the Yeshurun periodical. In one of them he describes a visit that he undertook to the Crimean Peninsula. There he was hosted by the famed Karaite Hakham Abraham Firkovich (whom I wrote about innumerable times) at his home near the isolated ancient ruins of Chufut Kale.

What struck me is his description of Firkovich as an am haaretz, literally an ignoramus. He claims that Firkovich, although in possession of thousands of Hebrew books and manuscripts, barely ever saw a copy of the Talmud and did not know how to read it (both of which are assertions that should be taken with a grain of salt).

Now, I am certain that he didn’t make these feelings clear to Firkovich and his anti-Karaite bias certainly played a part. I just found it interesting that a litvak misnaged characterized him in the same manner as the Chassidic Rebbe of Savran did back in Berditchev (only the Chassidic Rebbe called him an ignoramus to his face and was reportedly rewarded with fisticuffs see more about that here ).

In fact in this letter you will see a very warm approbation of Firkowitz from Rabinowitz, where the latter characterized the former as a man full of knowledge and wisdom (although check the comment by the editor).

Firkovich may have been less than schooled in Talmudic knowledge (although he was certainly familiar with and often employed plenty of talmudisms), but he was quite knowledgeable in other facets of Judaism such as tanakh, poetry and philology.
In a different letter, that he wrote from Munich, he responds to a questioner regarding what he believes to be the condition of Firkovich in the hereafter (Firkovich had since passed). He writes charmingly:
אף כי אינני מאמין שהוא בא תכף אחר מיתתו לגן עדן, מכל מקום מדת דרך ארץ הוא כך

(אני משער שהזכיר את החכם והוסיף ז”ל, ע”ה או אולי אפילו נ”ע–יואל)

.ואשכנזי אנכי, ובמדינות אלו לא הורגלו בקללות

What is also interesting to note is his contention that Ben Asher was “undoubtedly” a Karaite.

Here he describes the Karaite Hakhamim of Crimea, in general, as ignorant like oxen and asses. He also reports that he attended the Karaite Beit Knesset where he was the recipient of much honor (an interesting admission perhaps reflective of a pretty liberal and tolerant view). (Also, notice his opinion that the Krymchaks are descended of the Khazar proselytes (a hypothesis now rejected by most scholars).

Interestingly, this contention of his is backed up by none other than Firkovich himself. In this secret letter (that he wanted burned but was saved for posterity and eventually published in the HUC Annual) Firkovich bemoans the spiritual condition of his Crimean compatriots.

In the following letter to an unknown recipient, Rabinowitz blasts the maskil, Ephraim Deinard. Deinard was a Latvian-born mercurial scholar who for reasons of personal animus penned a scathing biography of Firkovich entitled תולדות אב”ן רש”ף

He also wrote about his travels among the Karaites and Krymchaks of Crimea in his משא קרים

Rabinowitz calls Deinard to task for taking advantage of Firkovich’s hospitality while the former was doing his research. Basically, he finds it repugnant that he repaid the good that he was the recipient of with nothing but mean spiritedness and half truths in his screeds.

He wrote as much to Deinard himself (who tried to woo him apparently). In this letter, where he offers him tepid praise, he flat out says “I have received your book [on Firkovich] and it did not find favor in my eyes”.


Parenthetically, in this letter Rabinowitz makes mention of the Polish Sephardic physician Shlomo Calahorra (who I blogged about before here). He writes that the saga of this remarkable family (he uses the corrupted surname kalifari) was written up as monograph entitled Toar Pnei Shlomo by a descendant of the physician, Shlomo Landsberg. Apparently Shlomo’s son Moshe Landsberg of Pozen and his brother-in-law Raphael Segal were keen on distributing this family monograph free of charge (they will not accept remuneration Rabinowitz intones).

On the Main Line Blog has a very interesting post on Rabinowitz here 

Who Was Elyehoanay ben Hakof (or was it Hakots)?

There is an enigmatic individual, a High Priest in the Jerusalem Temple, mentioned in the Mishna, Tractate Parah מסכת פרה פרק ג’ משנה ה by the name of Elyehoanay ben Hakof. He is counted among a select number of High Priests who sacrificed a red heifer.

As mentioned, there is a sole reference to this individual in Rabbinic literature.

However Rambam ‘elevates’ him to the role of one of the transmitters of the mesorah (tradition) in his Introduction to the Mishna:

והחבורה החמישית, חוני המעגל, ואליהועיני בן הקף, ויהודה בן טבאי, ושמעון בן שטח.

And in the fifth group: Honi Ha-meagel and Elyehoanay ben Hakof

This is interesting, since he is not mentioned as such in the Tractate Abhot where the chain of transmission is recorded. In fact, as I mentioned, he gets no mention at all anywhere else in the vast Rabbinic corpus.

Additonally, ‘ben hakof’ is a queer term for a High Priest. And while we do find an Aramaic rendition of ‘kof’ (which means monkey) namely: Caipha or Caiphas of New Testament fame ( See here for other variants of his patronym, also according to one explanation, his name is supposedly derived from the Aramaic word for”the fat of boiled meat” and not monkey). Is it possible that the proper rendering of his name is ‘ben hakoz’ and not ‘hakof’? In other words, there is a supposed to be a tzadi sofit, rather than a peh sofit.

As you can see in attached pic (which is a reconstruction of an archaeological find from a circa 3rd or 4th c. Synagogue in Caesarea. See here
The Hakotz family of Cohanim were one of the 24 Mishmerot Kehuna (Priestly shifts) and are already mentioned in  Ezra (as problematic but they were apparently eventually rehabilitated into the priesthood see here for all other occurrences in Tanach). The Hakotz family is also mentioned in the remarkable Temple Scroll from the Dead Sea Scrolls cache: “In the cave that is next to (illegible), belonging to the House of Hakkoz, dig six cubits. There are six bars of gold.” .We also come across ‘ben Hakotz’ in the Apocrypha; in Maccabees I אבפולימוס בן יוחנן בן הקוץ is one of the peace emissaries sent to Rome at the behest of Judah Macabbee see here)

This is a reconstruction of a stone inscription that was discovered in Caesarea in the 60s

The name Elyehoanay itself is not a very common one either. It appears only several times in Tanakh. It also comes down to us from an epitaph of a Jewish man of priestly lineage from 3rd Century BCE Egypt.


Here’s a really interesting take from Sefer Ma’aseh Merkavah: (see page 21, verse Reish-Nun-gimmel [253]), where his name is spelled

Elijah Unna ben Hakof
אליהו עונא בן הקוף

Beyond the text itself, is the footnote to Reish-Nun-Gimmel connects this to the individual in Rambam’s list and in Tractate Parah, with about a paragraph of other observations.

Paranthetically speaking of Caipha (which is presumably the Aramaic rendition of Qof), Moshe Gil has an interesting theory about the  extremist Islamic canard that Jews descend from monkeys (and pigs), see here

I should also mention that Rabbi Yekutiel Yehuda Greenwals in his biography of Jewish High Priests holds out for the possibility that our High Priest was a son of Joseph Caiphas. see here

On the Caiphas family see Tractate Yebamot here  [ועל משפחת] בית קופאי מבית מקושש [שהן] בני צרות ומהם כהנים והיו מקריבין [לגבי מזבח]

The famed Rabbi Hayyim Yosef David Azulai, known as Chida cites a strange theory wherein he maintains that Eliyahu and Einay were two seperate individuals

Here’s a really wild theory; according the Kabbalist Rabbi Yissakhar Eilenberg in his book Be’er Sheva, our High Priest was the author of the midrash Tanna d’Bei Eliyahu.  The Chida vociferously disputes this.

I reproduce a discussion, I found about this, here

מי הוא מחבר הספר תנא דבי אליהו

איתא בסנהדרין צב, א: “תנא דבי אליהו צדיקין שעתיד הקב”ה להחיותן” וכו’, וכ’ שם הבאר שבע וז”ל:

“אל תטעה לחשוב שזה אליהו הוא אליהו הנביא התשבי, אלא הוא התנא הרשום בהקדמת זרעים לרמב”ם ז”ל אצל חוני המעגל סוף פרק ז’ ובפרק מי שהיה תמצא תנא דבי אליהו רבי נתן אומר כל הישוב כו'”, ע”כ.

וכ”כ בשו”ת שלו סוף סימן נד על הא דאמרינן סוף נדה: “תנא דבי אליהו כל השונה הלכות וכו'”, וז”ל: “ועדיין צריכים אנו למודעי דהאי תנא דבי אליהו אינו אליהו הנביא כמו שחשבו רבים מן התלמידים אלא הוא תנא הנזכר בהקדמת הרמב”ם ז”ל מסדר זרעים בפרק שביעי”.

קצת תימה מדוע מציין לפרק שביעי, – והרי כבר מוזכר בפרק שלישי, ומפורש יותר בפרק רביעי, דהיה בזמן חוני המעגל עיי”ש.

והנה הא דמביא דתנא דבי אליהו אמר בשם רבי נתן (פסחים צד, א) – כוונתו לכאורה להוכיח מזה שלא יתכן דהוא אליהו הנביא.

אך מה שכ’ דהוא אליהו שהזכיר הרמב”ם – לא הרויח בזה כלום. דהרי הרמב”ם כ’ שם שהיה בזמן חוני המעגל, והיה זה קודם לרבי נתן.

ועיין סדר הדורות ערך תנאים, “אליהו” – “תנא דבי אליהו”, דמביא דעת הב”ש.

ולאחר שמביא מפסחים קיב, א: “תנדב”א בשם ר’ עקיבא”, כ’: “ואם כדברי הרמב”ם כי תנדב”א היה קדמון כו’ איך אומר בש”ר נתן ור”ע ובש”ר יהודה בן תימה, ועוד דאם תנדב”א היה בזמן ר’ יהושע בן פרחיה שהיה ג’ אלפים תק”ס לבריאת העולם גדלה תמיהת הזקוקין דנורא במ”ש תנדב”א “ששה אלפים הוי עלמא ב”א תהו, ב”א תורה, ב”א ימות המשיח ובעוונותינו שרבו יצאו מה שיצאו”, שהרי אז היה קודם התחלת ב”א ימות המשיח ת”מ שנים”. עיי”ש.

ומ”ש “ואם כדברי הרמב”ם” – צ”ע, דהרי הרמב”ם לא כ’ כלום מענין תנא דבי אליהו, וכבר תמה עליו החיד”א להלן.

והנה החיד”א בפתח עינים (וכפל כל דבריו בס’ שם הגדולים שלו מערכת ספרים ערך סדר אליהו) סתר דברי הב”ש וכדאי להביא לשונו וז”ל:

“וזה לי למעלה משלשים שנה (בשם הגדולים כ’ “למעלה משלשים וחמש שנה” ומכאן אולי להוכיח ששם הגדולים כ’ קודם ספרו פתח עינים) שתמהתי על זה דמה שהזכיר הרמב”ם בהקדמתו הוא אליהועיני בן היקף והוא שם אחד אליהועיני ואינו אליהו לחוד ועיני בן הקף לחוד וכן הוזכר שם בהקדמת הרמב”ם הנזכר פ”ב ופ”ד ופ”ג.

“ועוד הדבר ברור מאד דתנא דבי אליהו הוא אליהו הנביא זכור לטוב והוא מאי דתני לרב ענן סדר אליהו רבא וסדר אליהו זוטא כדאמרינן בכתובות דף קו, א, ונדפס ספר זה בויניציא שנת ישמ”ח ואח”כ נדפס בפראג עם פירוש רחב הנקרא זקוקין דנורא, וזה נקרא תנא דבי אליהו ומתחיל ויגר”ש בגי’ תנא דבי אליהו כמ”ש רבנו הרוקח בריש ספרו.

“ועוד נעלם מהם מ”ש רבנו הערוך ערך סדר וז”ל: “סדר אליהו רבא וסדר אליהו זוטא בריש גמרא דפ”ב דייני גזילות וכו’ ודאמרינן בגמרא תנא דבי אליהו כלהון בגוויהו”, עכ”ל, וכן הוא האמת כי הרואה יראה דכל תנא דבי אליהו דמייתי הש”ס או רובם שם הם, ובפרטיות הני בי תרי דעלייהו קאי הרב ב”ש הא דשמעתין הוא בסוף סדר אליהו רבא, אלא שיש שנוי בסוף ותנדב”א כל השונה הלכות דעל זה דיבר בתשובה הוא בס’ אליהו זוטא פ”א”, עכ”ל החיד”א.

והנה החיד”א כאן נזהר וכ’: “דכל תנא דבי אליהו דמייתי הש”ס או רובם שם הם”, והיינו כנ”ל משום דתלוי בשינוי גירסאות.

עוד כ’ שם החיד”א: “ותימה עוד על הרבנים, הרי הרמב”ם שם אינו מזכיר כי אם התנאים שהוזכרו במשנה, והיכן מצאו במשנה שם אליהו בתנאים”.

והרמב”ם כ’ ‘אליהועיני בן הקוף’, ונמצא שמו פעם אחת בפאה פ”ג מ”ה שהיה כהן ועשה פרה אדומה. ועיי”ש תוי”ט, דיש הגורסים אליועיני ויש הגורסים אליהועיני, ושתי השמות נמצאים בתנ”ך (אליועיני – עזרא י, כב; נחמיה יב, מא; ובדה”י. ואליהועיני – עזרא ח, ד; ובדה”י).

והנה יש להוסיף ולומר דלא נמצא שם אליהו אפילו אצל האמוראים, ומה שמביא בסדר הדורות ערך “אליהו”, דנמצא במדרש רבה במדבר פרשה ד מאמר אליהו בענין כל המרבה כבוד שמים, ובסוף הסדר פ”ה בענין נתקבצו ויצאו למלחמה, – הנה יש לומר דשם הכוונה למאמר אליהו הנביא, ואכן נמצאים המאמרים בתנא דבי אליהו רבה פרשה יד ופרשה יב, עיי”ש, וכדאיתא בסנהדרין דף צז: “אמר ליה אליהו לרב יהודה”, דבוודאי פירושו שזה מאמר אליהו הנביא, עיי”ש.

דרך אגב יש להעיר דזה קצת פלא דלא ימצא שם אליהו בתנאים ואמוראים, והוא ע”ד הפלא שלא נמצא שם משה. – וכבר כ’ החיד”א בשם הגדולים ערך “רב משה גאון” וז”ל: “מצאתי כתוב בס’ כת”י לא היה שום תנא או אמורא שנקרא משה והוא פלא וסוד, והיינו דאמרי אינשי על הרמב”ם “ממשה ועד משה לא קם כמשה”, שלא היה תנא או אמורא שנקרא משה”.

וכן לא נמצא שם “אברהם” בתלמוד, ובגיטין נ, א איתא: “תני אברם חוזאה”, אך כבר כ’ סה”ד ד “לולא דמסתפינא אמינא דצ”ל אבימי חוזאה”, ולכאורה נראים דבריו דמדוע יקרא אברם ולא אברהם. ואכמ”ל בזה.

והנה מלבד שמוכרח כדברי החיד”א שנעלם מהבאר שבע דברי הערוך, יש להקשות טובא על הב”ש, דהרי בספר עצמו מוכח בכמה מקומות שזהו אליהו הנביא, וכמו בפי”ח סעיף מט דהכי איתא התם:

“פעם אחת היו אבותינו ושאר חכמים … חולקין מהיכן אליהו בא … באתי אליהן ועמדתי לפניהן ואמרתי להן רבותי אין אני בא אלא מזרעה של רחל”.

ומחומר הקושיא נראה אולי לומר, דהב”ש לא דיבר אודות הספר כלל – כי יתכן ולא ראהו (דהרי נדפס לראשונה שנת “ישמח” והב”ש הדפיס ספרו רק כחמש עשרה שנים לאח”ז בשנת שע”ב), ואולי אם היה רואה, היה מסכים למ”ש הערוך – אלא אמר דבריו אודות תנא דבי אליהו המובא בגמרא. ועדיין צ”ע בכל זה.