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Epstein, Baruch Ha-Levi

EPSTEIN, BARUCH HA-LEVI

EPSTEIN, BARUCH HA-LEVI (1860–1942), Russian talmudic scholar. Born in Bobruisk, Epstein received his early education from his father, R. Jehiel Michal *Epstein, author of Arukh ha-Shulḥan. In his youth he distinguished himself by his unusual diligence and his phenomenal memory. He continued his studies under his uncle, Naphtali Ẓevi Judah *Berlin, who, recognizing his outstanding abilities, devoted special attention to him. Berlin later married Baruch's sister. Epstein declined offers to occupy rabbinical positions in such great communities as Pinsk, Moscow, and Petrograd, preferring to work in a bank and to devote all his spare time to his studies. His correspondence with many leading scholars brought him wide recognition. Epstein is best known for his Torah Temimah, a compilation of quotations from the oral law arranged according to the scriptural verses to which they refer and annotated by a brilliant commentary which attests to his vast and profound knowledge of Talmud.

bibliography:

B. Epstein, Mekor Barukh (1928); H. Seidman, Elleh Ezkerah, 1 (1956), 142–9; Sefer Yahadut Lita, 1 (1959), 293, no. 5; 3 (1967), 31, under his father's name; A.Z. Tarshish, R. Barukh ha-Levi Epstein (1967).

[Mordechai Hacohen]

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