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BÖHMER, ISRAEL B. JOSEPH:

Russian Neo-Hebraist and lexicographer; born about 1820; died in Slutzk, government of Minsk, April 4, 1860. His father, R. Joseph Böhmer (1796-1864), was a prominent Talmudical authority, one of the firstgraduates from the yeshibah of R. Ḥayyim of Volozhin, and rabbi of Slutzk for thirty-five years. Israel traveled in western countries and knew several European languages. His works abound with Latin, German, and French quotations, and show a familiarity with scientific methods of investigation. His chief work is "Kitbe Israel Böhmer" (The Writings of Israel Böhmer), part i. or letter i., Warsaw, 1849, a treatise on the Essenes, containing many etymological explanations of Hebrew and Talmudical terms. His "Keẓad Ma'arikin" (How to Arrange) is a contribution to Talmudical or rabbinical lexicography, and was published as a specimen of a large work on the subject (Berlin, 1855). Böhmer edited, in conjunction with G. Polak of Amsterdam, "Eẓba' Elohim" (The Finger of God), a sketch of the life of R. Isaac Tirnau, with notes and appendix (Königsberg, 1857). He also published, together with E. L. Silberman, for whose "Ha-Maggid" he worked about nine months, a new and annotated edition of Samuel Shullam's Hebrew translation of Josephus' work, "Contra Ap." (Lyck, 1858). His lexicographical articles appeared in "Kerem Ḥemed," iii. 13-22, 116-149 (of which the above "Keẓad Ma'arikin" is practically a reprint). There also appeared from his pen "Lexicalische Beiträge zum Talmud," in "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1850, ii., Nos. 25, 27, 39. His Hebrew is far from being pure or classical, and contains many curious Germanisms ("Reformer and Jewish Times," New York, vol. x., No. 20).

Bibliography:
  • Ha-Maggid, iv., No. 15;
  • Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. p. 36;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 493.
H. R.P. Wi.
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