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KORNFELD, AARON:

Austrian Talmudist; born Aug. 2, 1795, at Goltsch-Jenikau, Bohemia; died there Oct. 26, 1881. His only teacher was his father, Rabbi Mordecai Bär Kornfeld, head of a yeshibah, who taught him both the Talmud and the profane sciences. Kornfeld was only eighteen years old when he took over the direction of the yeshibah at his father's death. The fame of the school was so great that sometimes as many as eighty pupils were in attendance. When Sir Moses Montefiore was passing through Bohemia on his return from Damascus, he undertook the difficult journey to Goltsch-Jenikau purposely to become acquainted with the celebrated Talmudist.

In 1864, when Kornfeld suffered from an affection of the eyes and was not allowed to read until an operation had been performed, he composed from memory a compendium of 300 commandments which he skilfully clothed in the gemaṭriot of their Biblical verses. It appeared under the title "Ẓiyyunim le-Dibre ha-Ḳabbalah," Prague, 1865. Besides a short article, printed in "Shomer Ẓiyyon ha-Ne'eman," this is Kornfeld's only publication.

Bibliography:
  • M. H. Friedländer, Das Leben und Wirken der Hervorragendsten Rabbinischen Autoritäten Prags, pp. 51-59, Vienna, 1902.
S. A. Ki.
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