BLUMENFELDT, SIMON (called also Simon Sofer):

Russian calligrapher; born in Mitau, Courland, 1770; died at the same place 1826. He possessed the gift of writing in characters so small that they could be read only by the aid of a microscope. The Lord's Prayer was thus written by him nine times on a piece of paper the size of a square inch. He could write readable letters and words even on the very edge of ordinary vellum paper. He was also a skilful draftsman, and he used to embellish his excellent pencil sketches with all kind of verses and sentences. He traveled extensively through Europe, and received rewards from many sovereigns. Blumenfeldt presented numerous script portraits to Emperor Alexander I. of Russia, and a Pentateuch in Hebrew, of the size of a finger, to Pope Pius VII. He left in manuscript: "Diaries of Travel"; "Pene Shim'on," a commentary on the Bible, published by his son Moses in his work, "Magid Mesharim," Hanover, 1851; "Tenaim u-Ketubah le-Shew'uot we-Purim," a humoristic poem.

  • R. Wunderbar, Gesch. der Juden in Livund Courland. Mitau, 1853;
  • idem, Gesch. der Juden in Courland, in Literaturblatt des Orients, 1849, No. 38, where the year of his birth is given as 1760;
  • Benjacob, Oẓar ha-Sefarim, p. 289.
H. R.
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