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Kasovsky, Chayim Yehoshua

KASOVSKY, CHAYIM YEHOSHUA

KASOVSKY, CHAYIM YEHOSHUA (1873–1960), Israeli rabbinical scholar. Kasovsky received his early education at the Eẓ Ḥayyim Talmud Torah in Jerusalem where his father Abraham Abele Kasovsky was an instructor. At the age of 20, he was contributing articles to various periodicals on such subjects as Hebrew language and grammar, geometry, and talmudic themes.

Kasovsky's reputation rests upon the concordances which he compiled of the Mishnah, the Tosefta, Targum Onkelos, and the Babylonian Talmud (the last of which he was unable to complete). He undertook this task alone and under difficult conditions. He finally evolved a scheme which served as the "key" to the compilation of the concordances. Unable to afford a publisher, Kasovsky acquired a primitive press and set and printed the first volume of the concordance of the Mishnah himself. Its appearance in 1914 caused a sensation in the scholarly world. A committee was established to provide the necessary means to enable Kasovsky to continue his work: the four-volume Oẓar Leshon ha-Mishnah (1957–60); the six-volume Tosefta concordance (1933–61); and the four-volume Onkelos (1933–40). Kasovsky's works subsequently became indispensable to all scholars in those fields. His Talmud concordance (1954– ) consisted of 24 volumes by 1970, up to the letter Mem. After his death, his youngest son Benjamin continued the work (from vol. 10, 1962). His oldest son, Moshe, prepared a concordance of the Jerusalem Talmud under the auspices of the Israel Academy for Sciences and Humanities and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. Kasovsky was active in the religious Zionist movement.

[Mordechai Hacohen]

The continuation of the Talmudic Concordance of Kasovsky by his son Benjamin, mentioned in the original article, reached volume 39 up to the letter ש, before Benjamin's death in 1978. In 1981 the concordance was completed with the publication of volume 40. The remainder of the concordance of the names in the Talmud of which 3 volumes have appeared, from Abba to Othniel (א to ע), has yet to be published.

Benjamin also published a concordance to the Mekhilta (4 vols., 5725–6), the Sifra (4 vols., 5726–9), and the Sifrei (5 vols., 5731–5).

bibliography:

Y. Werfel (Raphael), in: Sinai, 12 (1943), 3–9; Y. Raphael, Rishonim ve-Aḥaronim (1957), 421ff.; I. Goldschlag, in: Shanah be-Shanah 5721 (1960), 366–8; Aresheth, 3 (1961), 430–2.

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