Joseph Solomon Zalman ben Meir

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JOSEPH SOLOMON ZALMAN BEN MEIR (18th cent.), Hungarian rabbi and author. Joseph Solomon Zalman was born in Pressburg in 1727. At the age of 19 he married the daughter, apparently, of Ezekiel *Landau, but he separated from her after 13 years of domestic unhappiness (he refers to his wife as "more bitter than death"; Minḥat Ani, introd.; cf. Eccles. 7:26). His life as a whole was one of suffering. In the introduction to his book he alludes to the baseless hatred of his enemies who "deprived me of property and of lives," and to the three of his children "sweet and pure" whom he buried in his lifetime. He wandered from place to place but found no peace. He was in Prague, Frankfurt on the Main, and Fuerth, and everywhere was welcomed with respect and love by the great scholars of his time. He writes (Minḥat Ani, 2nd ed., p. 29b) that he did not succeed in clarifying a certain subject "because of lack of strength and brokenheartedness, for I have not yet succeeded in returning in peace to my father's house and my native land, and if I succeed in this I shall fulfill my vows." It is not known where he died or was buried. In 1780 Joseph Solomon published in Prague his Minḥat Ani, novellae on talmudic themes; it was republished with additions in Fuerth in 1787. On the title page he mentions his book Kunteres Aḥaron, on Maimonides and Abraham b. David of Posquières, that he wanted to publish. Some of his novellae were published at the end of the Noda bi-Yhudah Mahadura Kamma (Prague, 1801) of Ezekiel Landau and in his Ẓiyyun le-Nefesh Ḥayyah (Ẓelaḥ) to Pesaḥim (Prague, 1783). His son, gabriel isaac pressburger, served as secretary to Ezekiel Landau, and his son samuel was a teacher in Prague and also published Religioese Gespraeche (1825) and Asefat Ḥakhamim (1846), a collection of explanations of verses in the Pentateuch in Hebrew and German. Pressburger is also mentioned in the Noda bi-Yhudah, Mahadura Tinyana (E.H. nos. 67 and 120).


J.J.(L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Ha-Yehudim be-Ungarya (1913), 42 no. 22; P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Ereẓ Hagar, 3 (1915), 25a no. 71.

[Naphtali Ben-Menahem]

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Joseph Solomon Zalman ben Meir

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