Considered the greatest of all Jewish writers, he gained immortality through his commentary on the Mishnah, the collection of religious and civil laws studied every day throughout Judaism. He was born in Bertinoro around 1450, probably to Abraham son of Solomon, who had a money-lending business in the via Mainardi part of the town. It was here that he started his studies and wrote his first works
In 1487 he left his home town and travelled to Palestine and Jerusalem, where he died in 1500. He was buried at the foot of the Mount of Olives and the writing on his tomb reads: Ovadyah, the Great Bertinoro.