Firkowitsch, Abraham

Firkowitsch, Abraham a Karaite scholar, was born September 27, 1786, at Lootsk, in Volhynia, and died June 7, 1874, at Shufut-Kale, in the Crimea. He is known for his zeal in collecting old manuscripts concerning the history of the Karaite Jews. The collected material he published in Massa, u-Meriba (Eupatoria, 1838), and Abne Sikkaron (Wilna, 1872). Many of his manuscripts and epigraphs he sold to the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg. Although Firkowitsch was highly esteemed among his co-religionists, yet some doubts were raised as to the genuineness of some of his pretended dates, said to be found on tombstones and in manuscripts. What was a mere supposition while he was alive became a certainty after his death. Scholars like Strack and Harkavy examined his investigations, and proved that Firkowitsch was guilty of wilful forgeries, by which he deceived the literary world. See Jellinek, Abraham Firkowitsch (Vienna, 1875); Harkavy, Abr. Firkowitsch's Altudische Denkmaler in der Krim (St. Petersburg, 1876); Deinard, Biography of Firkowitsch [in Hebrew] (Warsaw, 1875); but especially Strack, A. Firkowitsch und Seine Entdeckungen (Leipsic, 1876). (B.P.)

 
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