Galician scholar; born at Boberka at the beginning of the eighteenth century; died at Brody April, 1772. His father instructed him in Talmud and Hebrew literature; but Israel was more interested in philosophy and mathematics, which he eagerly studied from Hebrew sources. This love for science caused him to leave his native country for Germany in the hope of being able there to devote himself to his favorite studies. After having sojourned in many places, barely earning a livelihood by teaching, he settled in Berlin, becoming teacher of Talmud in the Talmud Torah of Veitel-Heine Ephraim. Among his disciples was Moses Mendelssohn, whom he instructed in mathematics and to whom he imparted his love for philosophy. Israel's sojourn in Berlin, however, was not a long one. Persecutions by the Orthodox rabbis forced him to seek another home, and he returned to Galicia, where he lived in great poverty. The last years of his life were spent at Brody.

Israel was the author of the following works: (1) "Neẓaḥ Yisrael," on the astronomical and geometrical passages in both Talmuds (Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1741); (2) "Eben Yisrael," responsa; (3) "Arubbot ha-Shamayim," on ancient and modern astronomy (mentioned in his commentary on "Ḥobot ha-Lebabot"); (4) "Ṭob ha-Lebanon," commentary on "Ḥobot ha-Lebabot" (Vienna, 1809); (5) "Nezed ha-Dema'," moral tale in rimed prose (anon., Dyhernfurth, 1773); (6) "Perush," commentary on the "Ruaḥ Ḥen" of Jacob Anatoli (ib. 1744); (7) Commentary on the "Cuzari" (Vienna, 1797).

  • Zunz, in Liebermann's Volkskalender, 1853, p. 69;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1169;
  • Carmoly, in Revue Orientale, ii. 333.
D. I. Br.
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