Hanau, Solomon Zalman ben Judah Loeb Ha-Kohen

views updated

HANAU, SOLOMON ZALMAN BEN JUDAH LOEB HA-KOHEN

HANAU, SOLOMON ZALMAN BEN JUDAH LOEB HA-KOHEN (1687–1746), Hebrew grammarian. Born in *Hanau where his father served as cantor, Solomon Hanau taught at Frankfurt. There, in 1708, he published Binyan Shelomo, a Hebrew grammar written in the form of casuistic criticism of earlier grammarians. The criticism led to resentment, and the leaders of the Frankfurt community demanded that he add to his work an apology to those whom he had "offended." Hanau moved to Hamburg. There he taught for a number of years and continued his linguistic research. He published Sha'arei Torah (Hamburg, 1718). The book was based on "natural inquiry" (i.e., on independent investigation of the language, deviating from traditional grammar wherever the author deemed it necessary). A brief essay on the scriptural accents, "Sha'arei Zimrah," was added to the book. Yesod ha-Nikkud (Amsterdam, 1730) is another minor work on the subject. His most famous work, Ẓohar ha-Tevah (Berlin, 1733), published in at least 12 editions, includes all his grammatical innovations. It influenced numerous grammarians of the Haskalah and the Revival period of the Hebrew language and was the book which set *Ben Yehuda (according to the latter's own statement) on the course which made him revive spoken Hebrew. Hanau answered the attacks of his adversaries in Kurei Akkavish (Fuerth, 1744).

In Binyan Shelomo, Hanau had already mentioned the linguistic "errors" (i.e., non-biblical-forms) contained in contemporaneous prayer books, and in Sha'arei Tefillah (Jessnitz, 1725, and three other editions) he recorded a number of these errors with his corrections. Apparently the book aroused the anger of the conservatives, and Hanau was compelled to leave Hamburg. He went to Amsterdam; a few years later he returned to Germany where he wandered from city to city (among others, Fuerth and Berlin), and died in Hanover. In 1735, while in Copenhagen, Hanau was engaged as a private tutor to Naphtali Herz *Wessely, then aged 10; Hanau, it seems instilled in his pupil an affection for the Bible and the study of the Hebrew language. Several essays by Hanau have survived in manuscript form, including Ma'aseh Oreg, an explanation of the grammatical passages in Rashi's commentary on the Torah, Mishpat Leshon ha-Kodesh, philosophical writings and commentaries on the Bible, and Shivah Kokhevei Lekhet, a work in Yiddish on the calendar.

[Chaim M. Rabin]

About this article

Hanau, Solomon Zalman ben Judah Loeb Ha-Kohen

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article