||Responsa. The extant collection numbers over 1,000 responsa, arranged in 108 chapters, subdivided into sections. They are of the utmost significance in the study of halakhic development and give an insight into the cultural life of Spanish and German Jewry. The responsa sometimes reflect the modesty and humility that typified the German school, and at others, the firmness and authority of one speaking in the name of the supreme political and judicial body of Spanish Jewry. When the rabbi of Valencia insisted on his view in defiance of accepted practice and the opinion of R. Asher, the latter threatened him with capital punishment, if all the other deterrents enumerated in a letter to one of the scholars of the community should prove of no avail (Responsa, 107, 6). Despite his reservations and doubts as to the right of the rabbis to impose capital punishment, he nonetheless permitted them to act according to the custom prevalent in Spain, and consented to sentences of mutilation, particularly in the case of informers.
R. Asher b. Jehiel (Rosh; c. 1250–1327), talmudist. His first teachers were his father, one of the Hasidei Ashkenaz, who was a follower of R. Judah b. Samuel he-Hasid, and his elder brother. He spent some time in France, apparently in Troyes and then lived in Cologne and Coblenz. From there he moved to Worms, where his teacher R. Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg had been appointed rabbi in 1281. R. Meir esteemed his pupil, and appointed him a member of the local bet-din. After the imprisonment of R. Meir, R. Asher became the acknowledged leader of German Jewry and headed the unsuccessful efforts to obtain his master's release, toward which he was prepared to contribute a considerable portion of his assets. He distinguished himself for his activities during the period of the Rindfleisch massacres (1298), and for his decisions on matters arising from the resulting disruption of family and communal life. Fearing a similar fate to that of R. Meir of Rothenburg, R. Asher left Germany in 1303. The following year, he reached Barcelona, via north Italy and Provence, where he was welcomed with great honor by R. Solomon b. Abraham Adret. In 1305 he accepted the position of rabbi in Toledo. His son, R. Judah, relates that shortly thereafter, R. Asher turned down a request of the German authorities that he return to his native country, for which they were prepared to provide an imperial letter of safe-conduct and an escort of 50 soldiers.