Filipowski, Ẓevi Hirsch

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FILIPOWSKI, ẒEVI HIRSCH (Herschell Philip ; 1816–1872), Hebraist, editor, actuary, and mathematician. Born in Virbalis, Lithuania, Filipowski was instructed secretly by a Polish schoolteacher in mathematics and languages. In 1839 he emigrated to London, where he taught at a Jewish school while continuing his studies. Filipowski's first work, Mo'ed Mo'adim (1846), deals with the various calendars of the Jews, Karaites, Christians, and Muslims. He was the editor of the Hebrew annual Ha-Asif (2 vols., London, Leipzig, 1847–49), to which he contributed essays on Hebrew literature and mathematics. Later Filipowski, while working as an actuary in Edinburgh, pursued his interest in mathematics, publishing Anti-Logarithms in 1849. In addition, he translated Napier's Canon of Logarithms from Latin into English (1857) and edited Baily's Doctrine of Life Annuities and Assurance (1864–66). In 1851 Filipowski founded a Jewish antiquarian society, "Me'orerei Yeshenim" (a forerunner of the *Mekiẓe Nirdamim), for the purpose of publishing medieval Hebrew texts. Among the important works which he edited and published for the society (in type designed by himself) are Solomon ibn Gabirol's Mivḥar ha-Peninim, Abraham b. Ḥiyya's Sod ha-Ibbur (1851), Azariah dei Rossi's Maẓref la-Kesef (from the author's own manuscript), Menahem ibn Saruq's Maḥberet (1854), Dunash b. Labrat's criticism of Saruq's work (1855), and Abraham Zacuto's Sefer Yuḥasin ha-Shalem (1857). This edition of the Yuḥasin is still the best available; it was reissued by A. Freimann with an introduction, indices, etc. (Frankfurt, 1924; Jerusalem, 1963). In 1862 Filipowski printed a pocket edition of the prayer book, including his own English translation, for which he designed a special Hebrew type in which the vocalization is attached to the letters. In 1867 he founded the Hebrew National, but the journal ceased publication after six months. His last work was a pamphlet called Biblical Prophecies (1870) discussing the Jewish view of prophecy and messianism.


Goldberg, in: Ha-Maggid, 16 (1872), 530ff. (repr. in: Beit Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 1 (1887), Oẓar ha-Ḥokhmah section, 72–74); Fuerst, Bibliotheca, 3 (1863), 85; Zeitlin, Bibliotheca, 83–85.