Goslar, Naphtali Hirsch ben Jacob

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GOSLAR, NAPHTALI HIRSCH BEN JACOB

GOSLAR, NAPHTALI HIRSCH BEN JACOB (c. 1700–?), rabbi and philosopher. Goslar acted as dayyan in his native *Halberstadt, but later moved to Amsterdam. Only in his 50th year did he begin to study Maimonides' Guide and religious philosophy in general. In his Ma'amar Efsharut ha-Tivit (Treatise on Natural Potentiality, Amsterdam, 1762), composed in dialogue form and partly in rhymed prose, he criticizes the doctrine of an uncreated prime matter and polemicizes against deism. The appendix to the Ma'amar contains talmudic novellae under the title Meromei Sadeh. Goslar addressed two letters, dealing with theological problems, to his son Samuel who too was dayyan at Halberstadt (published in German translation by B.H. Auerbach, Geschichte der israelitischen Gemeinde Halberstadt (1866), 100ff., 199ff.).

[Moshe Nahum Zobel]