BISTRITZ, MEÏR KOHN:
Hungarian Neo-Hebraic poet and author; born in Vag-Bistritz, Hungary, 1820; died in Vienna Sept. 7, 1892. He lived the greater part of his life in Vienna, where he published most of his works. The first of these was his notes and German translation of Mordecai b. Meïr Ḳalman's didactic poem, "Tabnit ha-Bayit" (The Shape of the House) (1858). In the following year he published "Ḳol Rinnah" (The Voice of Rejoicing), a Hebrew poem with a German translation, both composed by him on the occasion of the dedication of the new temple in Budapest. In 1863 he produced a new and improved edition of the anonymous "'Aruk ha-Ḳaẓer" (Abridged Dictionary). A year later he edited and published "Ẓiyyun le-Zikron 'Olam" (Sign of Eternal Remembrance), a work in honor of the seventieth birthday of Isaac Noah Mannheimer, containing addresses, songs, essays, etc., in Hebrew and German. He wrote other minor poems, and a humorous essay on the proverb "Wenn die Chassidim reisen, regnet es" ["Jüdisch-Deutsches oder Deutsch Jüdisches Sprichwort," Vienna, 1880]. He was also the author of a lengthy article in the Hebrew periodical "Bet Talmud" (iv. 140, 177, 206), to explain the difficult passages in Midrash Tanḥuma, which were pointed out by Jacob Reifman.
Bistritz's last and largest work was the "Bi'ur Ṭiṭ ha-Yawen" (The Cleaning up of the Mire; Presburg, 1888), a vindictive attack on the radical criticism of Osias H. Schorr in explaining the Talmud.The book is full of diatribes against Schorr's personality, and is written in abusive and bombastic style. Schorr's pupils or followers, and all Polish Jews who have adopted modern dress or modern views, come in for their share of abuse. The work, which is, however, not without merit as a contribution to the lexicography of the Talmud, closes with sixteen epigrams aimed at another alleged follower of the liberal editor of "He-Ḥaluẓ," Asher Simḥaḥ Weissmann, author of "Ḳedushat ha-Tanak."
- Lippe, Bibliographisches Lexicon, i. 243, 621;
- Zeitlin, Bibliotheca Hebraica, pp. 178, 179;
- Kayserling, in Winter and Wünsche, Jüdische Litteratur, iii. 896.