Isaac ben Jacob Benjacob

Isaac Ben Jacob Benjacob

Isaac ben Jacob Benjacob

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Isaac ben Jacob Benjacob (January 10, 1801, Ramygala–July 2, 1863, Vilnius) was a Russian bibliographer, author, and publisher. His parents moved to Vilnius when he was still a child, and there he received instruction in Hebrew grammar and rabbinical lore.

Biography and Works

Benjacob began to write early, and composed short poems and epigrams in pure Biblical Hebrew which are among the best of their kind in Neo-Hebraic literature. For several years he lived in Riga, where he was engaged in business, always studying and writing in his leisure hours. Later he became a publisher and book-seller and went to Leipzig, where he published his first work, Miktamim ve-Shirim (Epigrams and Songs), which also contains an important essay on epigrammatic composition (Leipzig, 1842). Of the other works which he published there, his corrected edition of R. Bahya ibn Pakuda's Chovot ha-Levavot, with an introduction, a short commentary, and a biography of the author, together with notes and fragments of Joseph Kimhi's translation by H. Jellinek, is the most valuable (Leipzig, 1846; Königsberg, 1859, without the introduction).

In 1848 Benjacob returned to Vilnius, and for the next five years he and the poet Abraham Bär Lebensohn were engaged in the publication of the Bible with a German language translation (in Hebrew type) and the new Biurim (Vilius, 1848-53, 17 vols.), which did much good as a means of spreading the knowledge of German and a proper understanding of the Hebrew text...
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