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Amelander (also Amlander), Menahem Mann ben Solomon Ha-Levi


AMELANDER (also Amlander ), MENAHEM MANN BEN SOLOMON HA-LEVI (1698–1767?), Hebrew grammarian, publisher, translator, and historian. He was born in Amsterdam, went to a yeshivah in Prague, and was a student of Moses *Frankfurter, a dayyan and publisher in Amsterdam, whose Mikra'ot Gedolot edition of the Bible (1724–27) he proofread. In conjunction with his brother-in-law, Eliezer Zussman Roedelsheim, he published a Yiddish translation of the Bible, together with the Hebrew text and a Bible commentary in Yiddish entitled Maggishei Minḥah (Amsterdam, 1725–29). He also edited the Midrash Tanḥuma (ibid., 1733), together with a commentary consisting mainly of lexicographical glosses, and he published a Bible edition with his own notes, other commentaries, and appended to it Sefer ha-Ḥinnukh (ibid., 1767). His commentary Lada'at Ḥokhmah was appended to Elijah de Vidas' Reshit Ḥokhmah (ibid., 1737). Amelander's most important work, She'erit Yisrael, is an addition to the Yiddish translation of *Josippon. It is written in Yiddish and continues the historical account of the latter with a short history of the Jews from the destruction of the Second Temple to the year 1743. In its first edition (ibid., 1743) the Yiddish translation of Josippon is called Keter Kehunnah and She'erit Yisrael is also entitled Keter Malkhut. A third volume, a Yiddish edition of Tam ve-Yasar, was planned as Keter Torah. Amelander used both Jewish and Christian sources to present a world history of Jewry, interwoven with broader political developments. It was meant for the broader Ashkenazi public and therefore written in Yiddish. She'erit Yisrael was very successful and ran into at least 12 editions in Yiddish, 16 in Hebrew (the first in Lemberg, 1804), and one in Dutch (1855). Often the editions were updated to the date of republication. For example, the 1771 Amsterdam edition brings the history up to the year 1770; the publisher Kosman ben Josef Baruch wrote the addition here. Several subsequent chronicles were written to continue Amelander's magnum opus. The Amsterdam successors also wrote in Yiddish: Avraham Haim Braatbard on Dutch and Jewish history in the period 1740–52 and Zalman ben Moses Prinz on the impact of the Patriotic coup d'état in the Amsterdam Jewish quarter (1784–88). The Bohemian Abraham Trebitsch from Nikolsburg dealt in his Hebrew Korot ha-Ittim with the history of the Habsburg Empire from 1740 until 1801; while a second unpublished volume covered the period until 1833. The chronicle Lezikorn (1795–1812) by Bendit ben Ayzek Wing was the last outburst of Yiddish historiography in the Netherlands.


H. Hominer (ed. and tr.), Sefer She'erit Yisrael ha-Shalem (1964), 17–28 (introd.). add. bibliography: L. Fuks, in: Zeitschrift für Deutsche Philologie, 100 (1981), 170–86; L. Fuks and R. Fuks-Mansfeld, in: Studia Rosenthaliana, 15 (1981), 1, 9–19.

[Ignacy Yizhak Schiper /

Bart Wallet (2nd ed.)]

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