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Fraenkel-Teomim, Baruch ben Joshua Ezekiel Feiwel


FRAENKEL-TEOMIM, BARUCH BEN JOSHUA EZEKIEL FEIWEL (1760–1828), rabbi in Poland and Moravia. Frankel-Teomim studied under Liber Korngold of Cracow, known as "Liber Ḥarif," and *David Tevele of Lissa. On the death in 1778 of Naphtali Herz Margolies, the av bet din of Wisznice, he was appointed his successor and served in this office until 1802. In that year he was appointed rabbi of Leipnik (Moravia), remaining there until his death. In Leipnik he founded a yeshivah which became renowned. Among his pupils were Ezekiel Panet, author of the Mareh Yeḥezkel, and Ḥayyim *Halberstamm, later his son-in-law (resp. Ateret Ḥakhamim, eh no. 9). During Fraenkel-Teomim's younger years *Ḥasidism began to spread in Poland and Galicia; at first he belonged to the circle of its opponents but later his opposition gradually diminished. Among the outstanding scholars with whom he was in contact may be mentioned Moses *Sofer (ibid., Ḥm nos. 12–15), with whom he was on intimate terms, David *Deutsch (ibid., oḤ nos. 2,3), Ephraim Zalman *Margolioth (ibid., eh no. 21), and Mordecai *Banet of Nikolsburg.

Fraenkel-Teomim saw his main task in the strengthening of his yeshivah and the education of many pupils. He did not devote himself to the same extent to the writing of books, for fear of dissipating his time. Only individual pamphlets by him are extant. These were written by his pupils, who noted down his novellae and homilies. Among the first to collect his teachings and publish them were his son Joshua Hoeschel and Ḥayyim Halberstamm. They published his Barukh Ta'am (1841), a selection of his novellae to which Halberstamm added glosses. Fraenkel is often referred to by the name of this book. Among his other works may be mentioned: (1) Ateret Ḥakhamim (1866) in two parts: pt. 1, responsa on the four sections of the Shulḥan Arukh; pt. 2, novellae and *pilpulim on talmudic themes; (2) Margenita de-Rav (1883; 2nd ed. with additions, 1957), a work on aggadah arranged in the order of the weekly scriptural readings, published by Menahem Eliezer Mahler from a manuscript in the possession of the author's grandchildren; (3) Barukh she-Amar (1905, 19662), novellae on many tractates and talmudic themes.

Fraenkel-Teomim left glosses written in the margin of his books of the rishonim and aḥaronim, and there is a list of 53 such works. His numerous glosses on the Shulḥan Arukh (oḤ, 1836; Ḥm, 1860; yd, 1865; eh, 1904) under the title Imrei Barukh are highly regarded. His glosses to the Babylonian Talmud were published first in the Lemberg edition of the Talmud of 1862 and thereafter in all later editions; to the Jerusalem Talmud in Vilna in 1922; and to the Mishnah under the name Mishnot Rav in Lemberg in 1862. His Derushei Barukh Ta'am (edited by B.S. Schneersohn and E. Heilprin, 1963) contains homilies for the festivals, and eulogies. Other works remain in manuscript.

His responsa and pilpulim on talmudic themes are based on the rishonim, and penetrating deeply into their meaning he arrives at the halakhah. Although he indulged in pilpul, a simple answer was more important to him than casuistic exercises. Even though he showed himself in his responsa to be a great authority he mentions in various places that he "fears to give directives" (Ateret Ḥakhamim, eh 18, 22). In certain cases he did not wish to rely on his own opinion and sought the consent of other outstanding scholars for his view, stressing: "I am afraid to give expression to new ideas" (ibid., yd 2:24).


S.M. Chones, Toledot ha-Posekim (1910), 123; J.A. Kammelhar, Dor De'ah (1935), 143–9; J. Eibeschuetz, Ohel Barukh (1933); J.L. Maimon, in: Sinai, 44 (1959), 117–26, 204–12, 408–19; 45 (1959), 16–22, 97–106, 275–83; idem, Middei Ḥodesh be-Ḥodsho, 5 (1959), 49–57; Z. Horowitz, Le-Korot ha-Kehillot be-Polanyah (1969), 216f.; B. Fraenkel-Teomim, Barukh she-Amar (19662), introd. 13–28 (biography).

[Josef Horovitz]

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