R. Jehiel b. Jekuthiel b. Benjamin ha-Rofe Anav lived in the second half of 13th century, little is known of his life. He was a member of the Anav family of copist. He is the author of this significant work, additionally, R. Jehiel also wrote Hilkhot Shehitah on the laws of ritual slaughter still in manuscript.
Some manuscripts which R. Jehiel copied have been preserved. The number of errors which they contain is not at all surprising in view of the great speed at which he worked. The only complete extant manuscript of the Jerusalem Talmud, now in the Leiden Library, from which the 1523–24 Venice edition was published, was copied by him in 1289. He completed the orders of Nashim and Nezikin in a month and twelve days. This manuscript has proved of great importance for research into the text of the Jerusalem Talmud. It contains his own notes and emendations, as do other manuscripts which he copied (in some instances he inserted various annotations into the text itself). His share, if any, in Tanya Rabbati (Mantua, 1514) has not been convincingly demonstrated, and there are divergent views on this score. There are also differences of opinion concerning the similarity between large sections of this work and the Shibbolei ha-Leket, written by his relative Zedekiah b. Abraham Anav. There are two principal views on this subject. In addition to the poems mentioned above, R. Jehiel wrote another at the end of the Jerusalem Talmud manuscript and a kinah on the destruction of a synagogue and of 21 Torah scrolls in a fire that broke out in Trastevere, Rome, in 1268. Other piyyutim are ascribed to him (see Davidson, Ozar, 4 (1933), 409).