Hyman, Aaron

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HYMAN, AARON (1862–1937), Russian-born London rabbi and scholar. Hyman, born in Slutsk, Belorussia, studied at various yeshivot and in 1885 he settled in London. There he officiated as rabbinical supervisor and head shohet of the London community. He also served as an unsalaried rabbi of a congregation. Active in communal life, he helped found the Mizrachi organization of Great Britain and in 1909, the Etz Chaim Yeshivah of London. In 1933 he moved to Tel Aviv.

Hyman's first published work was Beit Va'ad la-Ḥakhamim (1901), a large collection of sayings from talmudic and rabbinic literature alphabetically arranged according to the catchword. An enlarged edition of the work appeared in 1934 in Tel Aviv under the title Oẓar Divrei Ḥakhamim u-Fitgameihem. His major work, which took him 12 years to complete, was Toledot Tanna'im ve-Amora'im (3 vols., 1901–11; repr. 1964), a biographical dictionary of the sages of the Talmud. His addenda to this work included R. Sherira Gaon's "Epistle" with a commentary, Patshegen ha-Khetav. Torah ha-Ketuvah veha-Mesurah (3 vols., 1937–40) is a comprehensive index of all biblical references found in the Talmud, Midrash, and early rabbinic literature, the last two volumes being edited by his son Arthur and published posthumously. All his books have become indispensable aids to rabbis and scholars, and a number of new editions of them have appeared.

Of his sons, the eldest, marcus (1884–1944), a lawyer, was private secretary to the Maharajah of Baroda. He then went to Canada, taught law at the University of Winnipeg, and was elected to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. He was responsible for a law, the first of its kind and known as the Hyman Law, making community libel a criminal offense. cecil (1899–1981) served with the Jewish battalions of the Royal Fusiliers in World War i, and settled in Jerusalem. After the establishment of the State he served as Israel minister plenipotentiary to South Africa and consul general in New York. arthur b. (dov) hyman (1905– ), born in London, was professor of dermatology at New York University and was a rabbinic scholar. He wrote Mekorot Yalkut Shimoni (1965), on the sources of Yalkut Shimoni on the Prophets and Hagiographa.


A.B. Hyman, in: A. Hyman, Toledot Tanna'im ve-Amora'im (repr., 1964), introd.

[Tovia Preschel]