Walden, Aaron ben Isaiah Nathan

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WALDEN, AARON BEN ISAIAH NATHAN (1838–1912), ḥasidic author and bibliographer in Poland. Born in Warsaw, Walden was a Ḥasid of R. Menahem Mendel of Kotsk and R. Isaac Meir Alter of Gur. For many years he worked as proofreader at Ephraim Baumritter's publishing house in Warsaw. He became particularly well known for his bio-bibliographical work, Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash, following the same structure and augmenting the Shem ha-Gedolim of Ḥ.J.D. *Azulai. It was published in several editions and widely circulated. The first part of the work is an alphabetical list of over 1,500 rabbis and authors, the second part lists over 1,600 works, also in alphabetical order (1864; 18702; 18793; with additions and corrections by Walden's son joseph aryeh leib, and subsequent editions).

Walden also published Simeon b. Isaac ha-Levi Oshenburk's Devek Tov on *Rashi's commentary on the Pentateuch with many emendations (1895); a new edition of *David b. Solomon ibn Abi Zimra's (Radbaz) responsa, Parts 1–7 (1882); Moses *Alshekh's commentary on the Five Scrolls (1862); and Mikdash Me'at (1890–93), an anthology of the aggadah on the Psalms in five parts. He died in Kielce.

Walden's son moses menahem published several works on the history of Ḥasidism in Poland: Ohel ha-Rabbi (1913), including tales about Jacob Isaac ha-Ḥozeh ("the Seer") of Lublin; Beit ha-Ḥayyim (1930–31) on rabbis who died in Kielce; Ve-Khabbed Av, supplements to Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash (1923); Nifle'ot Yiẓhak (1914), on the brothers Mordecai Menahem and Jacob David Kalish; and Nifle'ot ha-Rabbi (1911), also on Ha-Ḥozeh of Lublin.


M. Steinschneider in: Ha-Mazkir, 8 (1865), 108–9; J.H. Kalman, in; Ha-Karmel, 6 (1866), 181–2, 190–1; B.Z. Eisenstadt, Dor Rabbanav ve-Soferav, 3 (1901), 13–14; M.M. Walden, Beit ha-Ḥayyim (1931), 110–1; H.D. Friedberg, Toledot ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Polanyah (19502), 113; J. Rubinstein, in: Hadorom, 16 (1963), 140–50.

[Naphtali Ben-Menahem]