Blau, Ludwig Lajos

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BLAU, LUDWIG LAJOS (1861–1936), scholar. Blau studied at yeshivot, the Jewish Theological Seminary of Budapest, and the University of Budapest. As a student he was invited to teach at the Seminary where in 1889 he became a full professor. In 1914 Blau became director of the Seminary. For 40 years he was the editor of the Hungarian Jewish scholarly journal, Magyar Zsidó Szemle. In 1911 he founded the Hebrew review Ha-Ẓofeh le-Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ereẓ Hagar, which he edited until 1931. Blau was a prolific Jewish scholar who contributed to almost every aspect of Jewish learning. He was a regular contributor to most of the Jewish and non-Jewish scholarly periodicals dedicated to theology and philology. His bibliography includes 887 items and in the Zsidó Szemle he reviewed 1,383 books. He was among the first to evaluate the talmudic information on the Bible and the masorah (Masoretische Untersuchungen, 1891; Zur Einleitung in die Heilige Schrift, 1894). He also investigated the information contained in traditional literature on ancient Hebrew booklore (Studien zum althebraeischen Buchwesen, 1902). His works subsequently gained added importance in light of interest in old Hebrew scrolls. Blau enriched general folklore by his book Das altjuedische Zauberwesen (1898). Equally his Juedische Ehescheidung und der juedische Scheidebrief (2 vols., 1911–12) broke new ground; with the discovery of divorce documents among the Bar Kokhba finds, this work takes on new relevance. Blau was among the first to make use of Greek papyri for the evaluation of talmudic law (Papyri und Talmud in gegenseitiger Beleuchtung, 1913; "Prosbul im Lichte der griechischen Papyri und der Rechtsgeschichte," in Festschrift der Landesrabbinerschule, 1927). He also published the letters of Leone *Modena (Leo Modenas Briefe und Schriftstuecke, 2 vols., 1905–06).


S. Hevesi, in: Ve-Zot li-Yhudah (1926), 1–9; D. Friedman, in: Jubileumi emlékkönyv Blau Lajos… 65. születésnapja… alkalmából (1926), 14–90 (bibliography); D.S. Loewinger, Zikhron Yehudah (1938), 5–45; J. Bakonyi and D. Friedman, ibid., 18–34.

[Alexander Scheiber]