Marmorstein, Arthur

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MARMORSTEIN, ARTHUR (1882–1946), rabbi, scholar, and teacher. Born in Miskolc, Hungary, Marmorstein was descended from a long line of Hungarian rabbis known not only for their talmudic learning but also for their familiarity with secular literature. He studied at the yeshivah of Pressburg and the rabbinic seminaries of Budapest and Berlin. After visiting libraries for some time in England, Italy, and France, transcribing manuscripts, Marmorstein served for six years as rabbi at Jamnitz (Jemnice), Czechoslovakia. From 1912 until his death he taught at Jews' College, London. Marmorstein's scholarship embraced many subjects. His initial training at the universities was in Semitics, with special emphasis on Assyriology. He was particularly fascinated by the aggadic sections of the Talmud and by liturgy. Though Marmorstein contributed to many areas of Jewish scholarship, he is noteworthy for his studies in rabbinic theology, the subject of his two important volumes Doctrine of Merits in Old Rabbinic Literature (1920) and Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God (2 pts., 1927); both were reprinted in one volume with an introduction by R.J. Zwi Werblowsky (1968). Other important essays on rabbinic theology by Marmorstein were collected and published under the title Studies in Jewish Theology (1950). Marmorstein's work is characterized by painstaking detail in the collection of sources, which are important for the study of rabbinic religion.


E. Marmorstein, in: A. Marmorstein, Studies in Jewish Theology: Marmorstein Memorial Volume (1950), xv–xlvi (incl. bibl.).

[Alexander Tobias]