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Elisha ben Abraham


ELISHA BEN ABRAHAM (d. 1749), rabbi and author. Elisha was born in Leczyca, Poland. He also lived in Frankfurt and Altona in Germany and in Grodno in Lithuania. In his youth he was a pupil of Joseph Samuel of Cracow, the rabbi of Frankfurt, in whose home he was brought up. In 1697 he published in Amsterdam Kav ve-Naki, a short commentary to the Mishnah, which was brought out together with the text in one compact volume and has been frequently republished. He was appointed head of the bet din of Grodno, but in his old age returned to Germany, staying for some time in the home of Joseph Oppenheimer (son of David *Oppenheim). Oppenheimer placed at Elisha's disposal a manuscript of *Asher b. Jehiel's commentary to the Mishnah on the order Zera'im, which he published together with his own notes and glosses under the title Pi Shenayim (Altona, 1735). The work received several approbations, including that of Moses Hagiz and his opponent Jacob *Emden, who rarely gave approbations. The manuscript of Asher b. Jehiel's commentary is now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and an edition of Pi Shenayim (1966) collated anew with the manuscript was published in 1966.


J. Emden; Megillat Sefer, ed. by D. Kahana (1896), 120; S.A. Friedenstein, Ir Gibborim (1880), 58; S.Z. Horowitz, Reḥovot Ir (1891), 30–32; Michael, Or, no. 472.

[Shlomoh Zalman Havlin]

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