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Joseph Samuel ben Ẓevi of Cracow


JOSEPH SAMUEL BEN ẒEVI OF CRACOW (d. 1703), rabbi and talmudist. After having served for 26 years as a member of the Cracow bet din, he was in 1689 appointed rabbi in Frankfurt. There he established a yeshivah and headed charitable institutions. In his approbation (haskamah) to Ḥayyim Krochmal's Mekor ha-Ḥayyim (1697), he protested against the excessive publication of rabbinic literature in Germany, accusing the writers of many such works of "writing books not for the sake of Heaven… but seeking only their own benefit and advantage." He himself wrote several works on halakhah and aggadah but refrained from publishing them. His annotations to the Talmud were published by his son Aryeh Loeb in the Frankfurt and Amsterdam editions of the Talmud (1714–21), and appeared afterward in the Vienna and Sulzbach editions. Only one of his responsa has been published (in Enoch b. Abraham's Ḥinnukh Beit Yehudah, 137 (Frankfurt, 1710)).


M. Horovitz, Frankfurter Rabbinen, 2 (1883), 56–57; Fuenn, Keneset, 505; H.N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi, 1 (1888), 72a, n. 8; 2 (1893), 144b–151a; R.N.N. Rabbinovicz, Ma'amar al Hadpasat ha-Talmud, ed. by Habermann (1952), index.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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