||Biographical novel about the medieval sage R. Samson ben Samson of Coucy by Dr. R. Marcus Lehmann. Origianlly written in German as Der sar fun Kutsi, the novel proved sufficiently popular so that it was translated into Hebrew and into Yiddish, this Hebrew translation by Bernard Irrgang. The volume has a dedication, to Baron Willy de Rothschild and Baronin Mathilde de Rothschild from Irrgang. There is an introduction and then the text of the novel.
The subject of Ha-Sar mi-Coucy is R. Samson ben Samson of Coucy (called ha-sar mi-Coucy; 13th century), a French tosafist. Samson, a descendant of Joseph Bonfils, belonged to a distinguished family of French scholars. Judah of Corbeil was his uncle and Moses of Coucy his brother-in-law. He was one of the younger pupils of Isaac b. Samuel of Dampierre, but his main teacher was Judah b. Isaac, Judah Sir Leon of Paris. His words are quoted frequently in the standard tosafot on several tractates and many citations from his rulings and responsa, as well as remnants of his tosafot, have been preserved in the works of rishonim. Samson was a teacher of Isaac b. Moses Or Zaru'a, and also, apparently, of Hezekiah b. Jacob of Magdeburg.
The author, R. Marcus Lehmann, (Meir; 1831–1890), German Orthodox rabbi, scholar, and writer, was born in Verden, Germany, and studied with R. Israel Hildesheimer in Halberstadt, with S. L. Rapoport in Prague, and at Halle. In Prague he was friendly with the writer Solomon Kohn, who may have influenced Lehmann's future work as a writer. In 1853 an organ was introduced in the synagogue of Mainz and in 1854, when the Orthodox members formed a separate congregation, Lehmann was elected their rabbi and, eventually, one of the leaders and spokesmen of modern German Orthodoxy. In Mainz he founded a religious school which from 1859 was an elementary day school for boys and girls. Lehmann wrote polemically against Reform and founded the weekly Israelit (1860–1938) to counter the influence of Ludwig Philippson's Reform periodical, Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums; the Israelit became the principal voice of German Orthodoxy. Lehmann was the main contributor to the Israelit and his many historical novels, including Rabbi Joselmann von Rosheim (translated into English as Tales of Yore, 1947), and short stories were first published in it. His stories were collected in Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (6 vols., 1872–88), and many were translated or adapted into Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, French, Hungarian, English, and other languages. Lehmann's stories have no great literary merit, but as juvenile literature they have religious and educational value. Of more scholarly importance, though also primarily intended for popular instruction, are his German edition of the Haggadah (1906, 19142, 19265), anonymously revised and enlarged by H. Ehrmann and translated into English (1969), and his Sabbath lectures on Avot, collected as Die Sprueche der Vaeter (in installments, in: Israelit, 1895–1905; 3 vols., 1921/23) in which Lehmann made use of earlier commentators, particularly of Samuel b. Isaac's Midrash Shemu'el, and thus made the commentators accessible to the German reader. Lehmann also published the tractate Berakhot of the Jerusalem Talmud with the commentary of Solomon Sirillo and his own notes, Meir Nativ (1874). Lehmann translated the Pentateuch (1873, 19136) in the Bible translation initiated by the Orthodox Bible Institute to counter the translation of Zunz and others. As editor of the Israelit, Lehmann inclined increasingly to S. R. Hirsch's intransigent line in Hirsch's differences with R. Hildesheimer, Lehmann's friend and teacher.