The History of the Shor Family
All bearers of this surname are descendants of the famous rabbinic clan who since the middle Ages resided in many Jewish communities of France, Moravia, Galicia, Lithuania and Poland. The rabbinic Shor ("ox" – in Hebrew) family traces its origin back to Yosef ben Yitzhak Behor-Shor who was a renowned 12th century scholar of Orleans, a town south of Paris.
The clan's first representative - Yosef ben Yitzhak Behor Shor was born about 1140 and died about 1200. He was a distinguished French tosafist, exegete, and poet. He was the pupil of the renowned medieval Jewish sages like Jacob Tam, Yosef Caro, and Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam). He has written several great poems and hymns, in particular, those in memory of the Jewish communities tragically killed in the pogroms in Blois and Brie.
This family is considered one of the most ancient Jewish clans. The grandfather of Yosef ben Yitzhak Behor-Shor – Yosef ben Yitzhak m'Chinion claimed to be a descendent of Yosef the son of the Patriarch Yaakov.
The name – Behor Shor is based on the Deuteronomy (Ch.33,17) derivation of the "Firstling Bullock" which became the kinnui (nickname) for Yosef.
The son of Yosef ben Yitzhak Behor Shor is the famous poet and commentator Saadia ben Joseph Shor. He was an author of a frequently published poem on the number of letters in the Bible.