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Abraham Abele ben Abraham Solomon


ABRAHAM ABELE BEN ABRAHAM SOLOMON (1764–1836), talmudic scholar in Lithuania. Abraham, who was known as Abele Poswoler, was a pupil of Solomon of Wilkomir. In his youth he became rabbi in Poswol (near Kovno) and in 1802 was appointed head of the Vilna bet din, a position which he held for 30 years. In 1835 he intervened in the dispute between the publishers of the Romm Talmud and those of the Slavuta Talmud. The Slavuta publishers had started their enterprise first and claimed that the Romm family had intruded on their domain. When the Jewry of Ereẓ Israel was in financial straits in 1822, Abraham appealed to the wealthy Jews of Poland and Lithuania to aid the yishuv but the appeal was of limited success. Abraham did not publish many responsa and talmudic novellae, but some were preserved in the works of his contemporaries. Of particular interest is the fact that Abraham, although a devout Jew, gave his approbation to the Te'udah be-Yisrael by Isaac Baer Levinsohn, one of the leading Russian maskilim.

His novellae and responsa appeared in a book called Be'er Abraham from a manuscript with the Be'er ba-Sadeh commentary by Rabbi Shmuel David Movshowitz (Jerusalem Institute, Jerusalem, 1980). The book contains a commentary on tractate Berakhot, novellae and halakhic rulings (from different books), and 112 responsa on different subjects in the four parts of the Shulḥan Arukh.


S.J. Fuenn, Kiryah Ne'emanah (19152), 244–5; H.N. Maggid-Steinschneider, Ir Vilna, 1 (1900), 19–29; A.M. Luncz (ed.), Yerushalayim, 5 (1898), 222; 9 (1911), 7–8; H.N. Dembitzer, Meginnei Ereẓ Yisrael (19042), 4–5; I. Klausner, in: Arim ve-lmmahot be-Yisrael, 1 (1946), 168; Yahadut Lita (1959), 87, 271–3, 298; S.D. Movshowitz, Introduction to Be'er Abraham, 11–19; D. Zaritzki, Be'er Abraham, 21–30.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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