FALK, JOSHUA (1799–1864), U.S. Orthodox rabbi, scholar, and author. Joshua ben Mordechai Hakohen Falk was born in Poland and immigrated to America in 1854. He served as rabbi of two communities in New York, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie, before becoming an itinerant preacher and then retiring from the active rabbinate. Known as "the father of American Hebrew literature," Falk wrote the first book in the Hebrew language to be published in America (aside from the Bible and prayer books): Avnei Yehoshua ("The Stones of Joshua"), a commentary on the Ethics of the Fathers (1860). The interesting colophon to the book reads: "I give thanks that it was my good fortune to be the typesetter of this scholarly book, the first of its kind in America. Blessed be the God of Israel, who surely will not deny us the Redeemer." Falk also wrote Binyan Yehoshua ("The Edifice of Joshua"), novellæ on the Talmud, and Homat Yehoshua ("The Wall of Joshua"), an anthology of sermons.
The Jewish Virtual Library; Jewish Encyclopedia.com.
[Bezalel Gordon (2nd ed.)]
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