Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham ibn Adret, known by the abbreviation RaSHBA, one of the greatest codifiers and Talmudists of his time, was born in Barcelona, Spain in the year 4995 (1235), and died at the age of 75 (in the year 5070, or 1310 c.e.). He was a disciple of the Ramban (Nachmanides), and of Rabbi Jonah Gerondi. The RaSHBA became famous as a great Talmudic authority, and numerous questions on points of Jewish law flowed to him incessantly from various Jewish communities in Europe, Africa and Asia. Thousands of these 'Responsa' have been preserved and published. These questions and answers dealing with various phases of Jewish life are of great historical interest, since they give a clear picture and a better understanding of Jewish life seven hundred years ago.

Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham became recognized as "The Rabbi of Spain" (El Rab d'Espana), and many great scholars flocked to him to be his disciples. The RaSHBA founded a great Yeshivah in Barcelona, which became very famous for the outstanding scholars it produced.

The RaSHBA was alert to defend his brethren and his faith against attacks, both from within and without. Thus, when a certain Dominican monk (Raymond Martini) published two books, in which texts from the Talmud were misinterpreted with a view to inciting hate against the Jews, the RaSHBA immediately wrote a defense of Judaism, refuting the attacks of the monk. A similar attack by a Mohamedan author against the Jewish faith was likewise promptly refuted by the RaSHBA.

Although the RaSHBA had a great knowledge of philosophy, he was not in favor of premature study of these subjects. He firmly believed that only after a profound knowledge of Judaism and careful preparation through devout worship, was it advisable to delve in philosophical teachings. It so happened that in those days many Jewish youths were tempted to study various books and teachings of philosophy, with the result that they were led astray, because they were not prepared for such study. And so when the Rabbinical authorities of France appealed to the RaSHBA to help them combat the heretic tendencies which began to make inroads into the Jewish homes and houses of learning, the RaSHBA promptly came to their aid. At a solemn assembly in which his two sons, Rabbis Isaac and Judah, his students, the communal leaders of Barcelona and a large gathering of Jews, participated, the RaSHBA announced a strict ban against the study of philosophic books before the age of 25, and then only after a thorough knowledge of the Talmud had been acquired. In his many pastoral letters to his colleagues in various parts of the world, the RaSHBA urged them to stand guard, and to take great care of the education and training of the Jewish children and youths.

His writings include, in the first place, his numerous responsa, of which five volumes have been printed and reprinted many times. These are but a small part of the responsa he wrote during his lifetime, and are extant in manuscript.

The RaSHBA is the author also of Torath Habayis (Law of the House), dealing with laws concerning shechita, trefa and similar subjects.

He wrote several volumes of commentaries on the Talmud, and two treatises entitled Piske Chala and Avodas Hakodesh, the latter, in part, about Shabbos.

The RaSHBA was also an accomplished poet, though he did not write much poetry, presumably, because he devoted all his time to his studies.

The RaSHBA succeeded in bringing about the Hebrew translation of a great part of Maimonides' commentary on the Mishnah, originally written in Arabic, and also in the dissemination of the teachings of his master Nachmanides among the Spanish Jews.