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Bidding Information
Lot #    9094
Auction End Date    1/11/2005 2:55:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Letter by Jacob Reifmann
Title (Hebrew)    כתב מיעקב ריפמן
Author    [Ms. - Haskalah]
City    Szczebrzeszyn
Publication Date    1880
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [2] pp., 162:100 mm., light browning, ink on blue paper, neat Ashkenazi script, signed and dated.
   Scholarly letter.

Jacob Reifmann (1818–1895), scholar and writer. Reifmann, born in the Lagow district of Radom, Poland, was raised in Apta and subsequently lived in Lublin, Zamosc, and Szczebrzeszyn. Growing estranged from Hasidim, who were then dominant where he lived, Reifmann turned more to the Haskalah. His field was criticism of the Bible and the Talmud. Highly respected in scholarly circles for his erudition and critical mind, Reifmann also caused antagonism, especially because he was outspoken. His life was spent in great poverty, and he did not receive any official position or recognition. The conflicts in his attempt to merge his traditional East European background with modern Western scholarship are apparent in his writing, and probably also contributed to his difficulties in adjusting to his environment. Reifmann contributed hundreds of articles to the Hebrew periodicals of his time, and wrote 17 books. He covered a wide variety of areas, including Bible, Talmud, rabbinic literature, Aramaic translations of the Bible, liturgy, Jewish philosophy, and biography. He corresponded with such leading scholars of his time as S. J. L. Rapoport, L. Geiger, H. Graetz, M. Steinschneider, and S. D. Luzzatto. His correspondence and some of his unpublished writings are at the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Among Reifmann's work are: Tavnit ha-Bayit (1844) and Pesher Davar (1845), critical studies on talmudic matters; Toledot Rabbenu Zerahyah ha-Levi (1853), a biography; Hut ha-Meshullash (1859), on the familiarity of talmudic rabbis with foreign languages, on the history of fables among the Jews, and notes to the book Mivhar ha-Peninim; Beit ha-Talmud (vol. 3), on the problems concerning the geonic work, She'iltot; Sedeh Aram (1875), on Targum Onkelos; and Or Boker (1879), on talmudic criticism. Some of his works were published by N. Herskovics in Hadarom (1964–69) and by N. Ben-Menahem, Iggeret Bikkoret al Seder ha-Haggadah shel Pesah (1969) and Iyyunim be-Mishnat Avraham ibn Ezra (1962).

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Other:    Haskalah
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Letters:    Checked
Kind of Judaica