Auerbach, Isaac Eisig ben Isaiah

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AUERBACH, ISAAC EISIG BEN ISAIAH (also known as Reis ; early 18th century), German grammarian and commentator. Auerbach's father was known as "ha-kadosh" ("the martyr"). Ignorant of grammar, Auerbach was unable to understand Rashi's commentary and as a result became interested in philology. The scholars of Fuerth (his place of residence) ridiculed this interest. Auerbach thereupon went to Amsterdam where he studied Hebrew grammar under Samuel Posen and wrote a Hebrew grammar entitled Girsa de-Yenuka ("A Schoolboy's Study," 1718). The book consists of excerpts from grammar books and the principles of grammar. The popularity of the work in Frankfurt, where Auerbach had settled, encouraged him to write another Hebrew grammar, Shuta de-Yenuka ("Schoolboy's Talk," 1725). Having meanwhile devoted himself "to interpreting and explaining … Rashi's grammatical comments on the Pentateuch," he published his work, Be'er Reḥovot (Sulzbach, 1730; a supercommentary on Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch). In his introduction, Auerbach states that he followed in the footsteps of Elijah *Mizraḥi and that his purpose was not "to criticize the great scholars but rather to comprehend and understand the literal and true meaning of Rashi's grammatical comments." He also translated into Yiddish *Jedaiah ha-Penini's Beḥinat Olam under the title of Ẓafenat Pa'ne'aḥ (1743).


Benjacob, Oẓar, 65, no. 174; A. Walden, Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash, 2 (1864), 5b, no. 11; Fuenn, Keneset, 589; Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 908–9, no. 4910.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]