Samuel David Luzzatto

Samuel David Luzzatto

Samuel David Luzzatto

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Samuel David Luzzatto () was an Italian Jewish scholar, poet, and a member of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement. He is also known by his Hebrew acronym, Shadal (שד"ל).

Luzzatto was born at Trieste on 22 August 1800 (Rosh Hodesh, 1 Elul, 5560); died at Padua on 30 September 1865 (Yom Kippur, 10 Tishrei 5626). While still a boy he entered the Talmud Torah of his native city, where besides Talmud, in which he was taught by Abraham Eliezer ha-Levi , chief rabbi of Trieste and a distinguished pilpulist, he studied ancient and modern languages and science under Mordechai de Cologna, Leon Vita Saraval, and Raphael Baruch Segré, whose son-in-law he later became. He studied the Hebrew language also at home, with his father, who, though a turner by trade, was an eminent Talmudist.

Early ability

Luzzatto manifested extraordinary ability from his very childhood, so that while reading the Book of Job at school he formed the intention to write a commentary thereon, considering the existing commentaries to be deficient. In 1811 he received as a prize Montesquieu's "Considérations sur les Causes de la Grandeur des Romains," etc., which contributed much to the development of his critical faculties. Indeed, his literary activity began in that very year, for it was then that he undertook to write a Hebrew grammar in Italian, translated into Hebrew the life of Aesop, and wrote exegetical notes on the Pentateuch (comp. "Il Vessillo Israelitico," xxv. 374,...
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