GOLDBERG, BAER BEN ALEXANDER (known as BAG ):
Russian scholar; born at Soludna near Warsaw in 1799; died at Paris May 4, 1884. When he was scarcely fifteen years of age his parents contracted a marriage for him, and at eighteen he had to provide for the wants of a family. Having toiled without success for more than twenty-three years, he left his native country for Berlin, where he hoped to earn a livelihood by his knowledge of Hebrew and the Talmud.
The passion for science which prevailed at that time among the German Jews laid hold of Goldberg, and at the age of forty he resumed his neglected education, taking up the study of Oriental languages. During his sojourn at Berlin he published two works: "Ḳonṭres mi-Sod Ḥakamim," a commentary on the Jewish calendar, with chronological tables, Berlin, 1845; and "Ḥofes Maṭmonim," a selection of essays contained in old and rare manuscripts, these essays including: (1) 28 decisions of Solomon ben Isaac (Rashi); (2) letter of Sherira Gaon on the methodology of the Talmud, and the succession of the Amoraim and Geonim; (3) "Hai ben Meḳiẓ" Abraham ibn Ezra's psychology and eschatology, according to Ptolemy; (4) "Milleta de-Sofos," fables of the Geonim; (5) "Piyyuṭ Asher Ishshesh," a liturgic poem of ten strophes on the "Baruk she-Amar" of Isaac ibn Ghayyat.
In 1847 Goldberg went to London, where he remained until 1852, there publishing, in collaboration with his brother, A. L. Rosenkranz, the astronomical work "Yesod 'Olam," by Isaac Israeli of Toledo, with a German summary and mathematical figures (Berlin, 1848). He finally settled at Paris (1852), and there published: (1) "Sefer ha-Riḳmah," Judah ibn Tibbon's Hebrew translation of the Hebrew grammar written in Arabic by Ibn Janaḥ (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1857); (2) "Birkat Abraham," Abraham Maimonides' answers to the criticisms and questions of Daniel the Babylonian (Lyck, 1859); (3) "Sefer Taggin," treating of the crowned letters in the Scroll of the Law, after an old manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris, and containing extracts from "Badde Aharon" and "Migdol Ḥananel" on the same subject, together with "Midrash Ḳaṭon," attributed to the tanna R. Akiba, on the coronation and embellishments of the letters (published at the expense of the abbé J. J. L. Bargès, Paris, 1856);(4) "Risalat R. Judah ben Koreisch Tiharetensis Africani ad Synagogam Judæorum Civitatis Fez" (published in collaboration with the abbé J. J. L. Bargès, Paris, 1867); (5) "Ma'aseh Nissim," a translation from the Arabic into Hebrew of Daniel the Babylonian's critical work on Maimonides' "Sefer ha-Miẓwot" (Paris, 1866); (6) "Iggeret R. Sherira Gaon," a corrected edition of Sherira's letter, with glosses and notes (Mayence, 1873); (7) "Sefer ha-Zikronot," Elijah Levita's Biblical concordance, after a manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1873).
Goldberg contributed to the Hebrew periodicals many valuable articles on Jewish history and literature.
- Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 181;
- Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 1878, ii. 71;
- Univ. Isr. May, 1884;
- Fürst, Bibl. Jud. i. 337.