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Kamelhar, Jekuthiel Aryeh ben Gershon


KAMELHAR, JEKUTHIEL ARYEH BEN GERSHON (1871–1937), Galician rabbi and author. Kamelhar was born in Kolaczyce, Galicia. During his youth, his parents moved to Tarnow, where he received a thorough talmudic education, and in 1897 took up residence in Rzeszow. In 1906 he was appointed head of the yeshivah Or Torah in the town of Stanislav, Eastern Galicia. At the outbreak of World War i he went to Vienna as a refugee, returning to Rzeszow after the war. In 1926 he accepted an appointment as rabbi of the congregation Reisha-Kurtshin in New York. In 1933 he emigrated to Ereẓ Israel, and lived in Jerusalem for the rest of his life. He wrote a number of biographies of rabbis: Mofet ha-Dor (1903), on Ezekiel *Landau; Em le-Binah (1909), a life of Ẓevi Hirsch of Romanov; Ḥasidim ha-Rishonim (1917), on *Samuel he-Ḥasid and his son *Judah he-Ḥasid; Dor De'ah (1933–35; new ed. under the title Arba Tekufot ba-Ḥasidut ha-Beshtit), biographies of the leaders of the modern hasidic movements; and another work of the same name (1935), which contains a survey of the activities of great talmudists and a methodology of their systems. His talmudic works are Boker Yizraḥ (1896), on the order of service for the blessing of the sun at the beginning of its cycle; a commentary on Rosh ha-Shanah attributed to Maimonides (1906, 19552, published by his son Moses); Hedvata di-Shemateta in 2 parts (1912–13), whose purpose was "to resolve doubts and problems in halakhah by means of authoritative sources and examples from the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds." He wrote Ha-Talmud u-Madda'ei ha-Te-vel (1928), comprising a kind of methodology of the Talmud, and appended to it Netivot ha-Talmud, on tractate Berakhot of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, giving general rules and principles derived from the Gemara, Rashi, and tosafot of the tractate. Among his other works was Ma'amar ha-Avodah ve-Ishei Yisrael (1935–36), a blueprint for the renewal of the Temple service in Jerusalem. Kamelhar was also the editor of Ohel Mo'ed – a talmudic periodical that appeared between the years 1898 and 1901. A complete bio-bibliography of the works of Kamelhar in the possession of the Jewish National and University Library, including unpublished manuscripts, incomplete works, projects and notes, has been published by Binyamin (Tel Aviv, 1978).


Y.A. Kamelhar, Ahavat ha-Kadmonim (1938), introd.; H. Malachowsky, Kitvei Hillel… Malachowsky, 7 (1939), 150–4; M. Kamelhar (ed.), Perush La-Rambam al Massekhet Rosh Ha-Shanah im Ḥiddushim u-Mekorot me'et Y.A. Kamelhar (19552), 151f.; idem, in: Rzeszów Jews Memorial Book (1967), 95–99.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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