Ben-zeb Jehuda Leb

Ben-Zeb Jehuda Leb a Jewish philologist, was born not far from Cracow, in 1766, and died at Vienna, Feb. 25, 1811. Having devoted himself entirely to the study of philosophy and philology, in which latter department he especially distinguished himself, he resorted in 1787 to Berlin, where, at the age of twenty-one, he published the work of Saadia Gaon (q.v.), וָדֵעוֹת אמֵוּנוֹת, or Religion and Philosophy, with a two-fold commentary (Berlin, 1798). He then went to Breslau, where he remained about ten years, and published in 1796 his highly esteemed תִּלמוּד לשׁוֹן עַברַי, a Hebrew grammar, written in Hebrew, of which improved editions appeared at Vienna, 1806, 1818, 1825; Konigsberg, 1859. Two years later (1798), he issued from the press חָכמִת יהוֹשֻׁעִ בֶּןאּסַירָא, The Wisdom of Joshua the Son of Sirach in Syriac with Hebrew letters, a Hebrew and German translation, and a Hebrew commentary, of which improved editions appeared in Vienna, 1807, 1818, 1828, and 1844; and twelve months after, his מגַלִּת יהוּדַית, The Book of Judith, translated into Hebrew and German, with a Hebrew commentary (Vienna, 1799), of which another edition appeared in 1819. He then went to Vienna, where he published his famous school-book, בֵּית הִסֵּפֶר, composed of two parts (a) מסַלִּת הִלַּמּוּד, Method of Learning Hebrew, and (b) לַמּוּדֵי מֵישָׁרַים, Ethics, of which improved editions appeared in 1809, 1825, and 1842. All his labors were, however, preparatory for his great work, his אֹוצִר הִשָּׁרָשַׁי, Hebrew Lexicon, which he published, taking Kimchi's lexicon for his basis, in 1797-98, in 3 vols. Improved editions of it appeared in 1804, 1807, 1816, 1839-40, and 1862- 64, after the edition of M. Letteris. He also wrote מָבוֹא אֶלאּמַקרָאֵי קֹדֶשׁ, An Introduction to the Old Testament (Vienna, 1810, and since printed in the Vienna Bible Work, ibid. 1832-36, 19 vols.). See Furst, Bibl. Jud. i, 105 sq.; Steinschneider, Bibl. Handbuch, p. 20 sq.; Kitto, Cyclop. s.v.; Gratz, Gesch. d. Juden. 11:133; Delitzsch, Zur Geschichte der jiid. Poesie, p. 106, 110; Kalisch, Hebrew Grammar, ii, 40; Benjakob, Ozar Ha-Sepharim, i, 23, No. 458; ii, 287, No. 308; 293, No. 450; iii, 155, No. 613 (Wilna, 1880); Zuchold, Bibl. Theol. i, 107. (B. P.)

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