ASHKENAZI, MOSES DAVID:
Talmudist and author; born in Galicia about 1778; died at Safed, Palestine, in 1857. After holding the office of rabbi at Tolcsva, Hungary, from 1803 to 1843, he emigrated to Palestine, settling permanently at Safed. In 1844 he published at Jerusalem his chief work, "Toledot Adam" (Generations of Adam; "Adam"  being the initial letters of his name), containing novellæ on several treatises of the Babylonian Talmud and two decisions on complicated legal questions. "Toledot Adam" is prefaced with an approbation by Jacob of Lissa, and with another by Jacob Orenstein. Both of these eminent Talmudists regarded Ashkenazi as their peer; Orenstein speaks of him as "schoolmate."
Ashkenazi's second work, "Beer Sheba" (Well of the Oath), is a collection of homiletic disquisitions on the Pentateuch (Jerusalem, 1852). In the preface he says that he had been in the Holy Land for nine years, consequently the date given by Benjacob ("Oẓar ha-Sefarim," p. 618) is incorrect. An approbation to it was written by Abulafia, Ḧakam bashi of Jerusalem.
Ashkenazi's father, Asher, was a prominent Talmudist; and the two sons of Ashkenazi, Joel and Solomon, were rabbis in Galicia. The former son, who left no work, is quoted in "Toledot Adam," 2a and 98a; while Solomon wrote a book entitled "Kotnot Or" (Garments of Light). Solomon died in Jerusalem, February, 1862.
- Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 618.