Gurland, Ḥayyim Jonah

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GURLAND, ḤAYYIM JONAH (1843–1890), Russian rabbi and scholar. Gurland was born in Kletsk, Belorussia, and was educated at the Vilna rabbinical seminary and at the University of St. Petersburg, where he studied Oriental languages with D. *Chwolson. He wrote his dissertation on the influence of Islamic philosophy, in particular the Mutakallimūn, Muʿatazilites, and Ashʿarians, on Maimonides. While employed at the Imperial Library of St. Petersburg, Gurland worked on the *Firkovich manuscripts, being one of the first to discover his forgeries; he published the results of this research as Ginzei Yisrael beSt. Petersburg (1865–67). In 1873 he was appointed inspector of the Jewish teachers' seminary in Zhitomir; there he published a Yiddish and Russian calendar, entitled in Hebrew Lu'aḥ Yisrael (1878–81), which also contained scholarly articles. After three years in Western Europe, he returned to Russia and founded a Jewish high school in Odessa. In 1888 the government appointed him rabbi of Odessa. In addition to contributing articles to the leading Hebrew periodicals, Gurland published a Hebrew version of D. Chwolson's work on the Tammuz cult in ancient Babylonia, Ma'amar ha-Tammuz (1864), and a seven-volume work on the persecutions of Jews in Russia during the 17th and 18th centuries, Le-Korot ha-Gezerot al Yisrael (1887–89), with a posthumous addendum (1893) to the last volume containing a biography of the author by D. Cahana.


Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 459–60; N. Sokolow, Sefer Zikkaron le-Sofrei Yisrael… (1899), 133–40.