Ranschburg, Bezalel ben Joel

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RANSCHBURG, BEZALEL BEN JOEL (1760–1820), rabbinical author. In accordance with the imperial decree of 1787 (see *Names) he adopted the name "Daniel Rosenbaum" but was later called Ranschburg, the Yiddish pronunciation of the town Ronsperg, the German name for *Pobezovice where he was born. He attended yeshivot at Schwabach, Fuerth, and Prague, where he was a pupil of Leib Fischels and also studied under Ezekiel *Landau. He never held an official appointment and was supported by his wife and her father, but acted as rosh yeshivah in Prague. Ranschburg fought Reform (Resp. Ḥatam Sofer). Among his pupils was Zacharias *Frankel (mgwj, 45 (1901), 220).

He devoted himself to commenting on those tractates of the Talmud on which there are few commentaries, such as his Horah Gever on *Horayot (Prague, 1802) and Pitḥei Niddah (1957; published in Jerusalem 1928 under the title Hokhmat Beẓalel). His Sedeh Zofim on *Asher b. Jehiel's halakhot was appended to the Prague Talmud edition (1839–46). His Ma'aseh Rav (Prague, 1823) deals partly with tractate Nazir. *Haggahot based on it are included in all subsequent editions of the Talmud. Many letters on halakhic subjects which he wrote to the censor Carolus Fischer (partly signed "Ilan Shoshan") are preserved in the Prague University Library (mgwj, 62 (1918), 49–56).


B. Ranschburg, Horah Gever (1802), introd.; idem, Ma'aseh Rav (1823), introd.; S. Kauder, Ahavat Emet (1828), 47b–50b; O. Muneles, Bibliographical Survey of Jewish Prague (1952), index.

[Meir Lamed]