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Joseph ben Moses Phinehas

JOSEPH BEN MOSES PHINEHAS

JOSEPH BEN MOSES PHINEHAS (1726–1801), Polish talmudic scholar and author. Joseph was a son-in-law of Ezekiel *Landau, who described him as the "unrivaled" scholar of his generation. He was renowned for his piety and is usually referred to as "Joseph the Righteous." His insistence on imposing punishment on members of his community in accordance with Jewish law brought him into conflict with the authorities, who had withdrawn this privilege from the Jewish communities.

Joseph carried on an extensive correspondence with scholars, including his father-in-law; his scholarly exchange of letters with Akiva *Eger is particularly noteworthy. A large part of his writings was destroyed by fire in Dubno, where his widow had taken up residence; the remainder was collected and published by his grandson, Samuel Schoenblum, under the title Zikhron She'erit Yosef (1881). Some of his decisions and novellae are quoted in the Noda bi-Yhudah (e.g., to eh 63, ḤM 25–28) and Ẓiyyun le-Nefesh Ḥayyah (1783, 1855) of his father-in-law; a number of his novellae appear in the Beit Shemu'el Aḥaron (1816) of his brother.

bibliography:

J.A. Kamelhar, Mofet ha-Dor (19342), 89–92, 113–5 (New York, 1966), 24, 30; J. Perles, Geschichte der Juden in Posen (1865), 74–75, 126; I.T. Eisenstadt and S. Wiener, Da'at Kedoshim (1897–98), 69; A. Heppner and J. Herzberg, Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Juden… in den Posener Landen (1904–14) 782–3.

[Elias Katz]

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