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Berlin, Noah Ḥayyim Ẓevi Hirsch


BERLIN, NOAH ḤAYYIM ẒEVI HIRSCH (1734–1802), German rabbi and halakhist. Berlin was born in Fuerth and was the son of Abraham Meir Berlin, the communal leader of Franconia. He became a dayyan at Fuerth in 1764 and later served as rabbi in Bayersdorf and Bayreuth. In 1783 Berlin was appointed rabbi of Mainz and the surrounding district. His appointment was ratified by the prince elector. He established a yeshivah at Mainz, and lived there until 1799 when he succeeded Raphael ha-Kohen as the rabbi of the united communities of Altona, Hamburg, and Wandsbeck. Berlin showed skill and tact in uniting the various elements in these communities. Wolf *Heidenheim was his most outstanding pupil. Berlin wrote Aẓei Almuggim (1779), a commentary on the hand-washing ritual, eruvei ḥaẓerot, and marriages forbidden by rabbinical enactment; Aẓei Arazim (1790), a commentary on the Shulḥan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer; Ma'yan ha-Ḥokhmah (1804), on the 613 commandments (in verse and with a commentary). This work, unfinished by Berlin, was completed by his brother Aryeh Loeb *Berlin. Two further works, Aẓei Besamim and Aẓei Levonah, remained unpublished. He wrote glosses to the tractates of Berakhot (1829), Shabbat (1832), and Shevuot. The last was published in the Vilna edition of the Talmud. There is a rational basis to his explanation of the halakhah, and he makes use of the Jerusalem Talmud.


Fuenn, Keneset, 346; E. Duckesz, Ivah le-Moshav, 1 (1903), 74–77, 139–40, xxvi; I. Wolfsberg, in: Arim ve-Immahotbe-Yisrael, 2 (1948), 33; idem, Die Drei-Gemeinde (1966), 66; A. Eckstein, Nachtraege zur Geschichte der Juden im ehemaligen Fuerstbistum Bamberg (1899), 5; Loewenstein, in: jjlg, 3 (1905), 233; ibid., 8 (1910), 72.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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