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Bialeh, Ẓevi Hirsch ben Naphtali Herz


BIALEH, ẒEVI HIRSCH BEN NAPHTALI HERZ (1670–1748), German rabbi and rosh yeshivah. Bialeh was born in Lemberg. He served as rabbi of Biała (hence his name) and then as head of a yeshivah in Lemberg. In 1718 he was appointed to Halberstadt (hence his other appellation Ẓevi Hirsch Halberstadter) where he remained until his death. Because of his acumen he was also called Hirsch Ḥarif ("sharp"). He established a large yeshivah in the town and among its pupils were such outstanding rabbis of the following generation as Akiva *Eger, Isaiah *Berlin, and Mordecai *Halberstadt. He refused to publish his novellae on the grounds that through the continual publication of works by aḥaronim, students would neglect the rishonim, but glosses and responsa by him can be found scattered in various works of his contemporaries. His works, which were published only after his death, are Ateret Ẓevi (1804), comprising responsa, sermons, eulogies, and novellae; Kos Yeshu'ot (1902), Part 1 novellae on Bava Kamma and Shevu'ot, Part 2 on Bava Meẓia and other material. He preferred to penetrate deeply into the understanding of the sources, stress the plain meaning of the Talmud, and avoid excessive pilpul. Five of his children were rabbis: Solomon Dov Berush in Glogau; Naphtali Herz in Dubno; Abraham in Rawicz; Samuel in Halberstadt; and Simḥah in Dessau. His brother, Israel b. Naphtali Herz (d. 1744) lived in Cleves, Offenbach, and Hanau. His talmudic novellae are contained in his brother's Ateret Ẓevi.


Michaelson, in: Ẓevi Hirsch Ḥarif, Kos Yeshu'ot, 1 (1902), appendix (Toledot ha-Meḥabber); Israel Moses b. Ḥayyim Joshua, ibid., 2 (1910), appendix (Toledot ha-Meḥabber); B.H. Auerbach, Geschichte der israelitischen Gemeinde Halberstadt (1866), 64–70; S. Buber, Anshei Shem (1895), 196, 240, 247f., I.T. Eisenstadt and S. Wiener, Da'at Kedoshim (1897–98), 141f.; Loewenstein, in: jjlg, 14 (1921), 19; Frankel, in: Naḥalat Ẓevi, 7 (1937), 321f.; Meisl, in: Reshumot, 3 (1947), 190; Sefer Biala-Podlaska (1961), 19, 270.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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