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HALBERSTADT, ABRAHAM, BEN MENKI:

German Hebraist and Talmudic scholar; died at Halberstadt about 1780. His "Pene Abraham" (unpublished), a treatise on the most difficult halakot of the Talmud, shows him to have been an authority in Talmudic matters. Besides this there exists a collection of very interesting letters written by him to his friend R. Jeremiah at Berlin. A German translation of these letters was published by Auerbach in his "Gesch. der Israelitischen Gemeinde Halberstadt," pp. 187-197. In a long letter dated 1770 Halberstadt defended warmly the memory of Jonathan Eybeschütz, whose pupil he was. In another letter, dated 1774, he defended the study of synonyms, which study was deprecated by R. Jeremiah; and in one dated a year later he expressed his admiration for Wessely and Mendelssohn. In the same letter he severely censured rabbis who have no knowledge of mathematics or astronomy, without which it is impossible to explain many passages in the Talmud.

Bibliography:
  • Auerbach, Gesch. der Israelitischen Gemeinde Halberstadt, pp. 78, 99, 187-197.
K. M. Sel.
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