Lipmann, Jomtob

Lipmann, Jomtob (of Mühlhausen), also called Tab-Jomi (טביומי = יום טוב), a Jewish writer and rabbi of the Middle Ages, was born, according to some, at Cracow, Poland, but most authorities are now agreed that he flourished at Prague about the middle of the 14th century. While a resident of the Bohemian capital he brought forward his Nitsachon (נצחון, Victory), an important polemical work. It consists of seven parts, divided, he tells us himself in his preface, "according to the seven days of the week," and of 354 sections, "'according to the number of days in the lunar year, which is the Jewish mode of calculation to indicate that every Israelite is bound to study his religion every day of his life, and to remove every obstruction from the boundaries of his faith." In his treatment of the subject, the denial of the authenticity of the Christian religion, Lipmann does not adopt any systematic plan, but discusses and explains every passage of the Hebrew Bible which is either adduced by Christians as a Messianic prophecy referring to Christ, or is used by skeptics and blasphemers to support their skepticism and contempt for revelations, or is appealed to by rationalistic Jews to corroborate their rejection of the doctrine of creation out of nothing, the resurrection of the body, etc., beginning with Genesis and ending with Chronicles, according to the order of the books in the Hebrew Bible, so that any passage in dispute might easily be found. The work, which, as we have seen from its divisions, partook both of the character of a Jewish polemic and an O.-T. apologetic, was, until near the middle of the 16th century, entirely controlled by Jews. They largely transcribed and circulated it in MS. form among their people throughout the world; and in the numerous attacks which they had to sustain both from Christians and rationalists during the time of the Reformation, this book constituted their chief arsenal, supplying them with weapons to defend themselves. About 1642 the learned Hascapan, then professor in the Bavarian University at Altdorf, was engaged in a controversy on the questions at issue between Judaism and Christianity with a neighboring rabbi residing in Schneitach, who in his dissertations frequently referred to this Nitsachon (a MS. copy made in 1589), which Hascapan asked the privilege to examine. Refused again and again, he at last called with three of his students on the rabbi, when he pressed him in such a manner to produce the MS. that he could not refuse. He pretended to examine it, and when the students had fairly surrounded the rabbi, the professor made his way to the door, got into a conveyance which was waiting for him, had the MS. speedily transcribed, and only returned it to the rabbi after much earnest solicitation. The professor enriched it by valuable notes and an index and then presented the work procured in such a dastardly manner to the Christian world (Altdorf, 1644). It was rapidly reprinted, translated into Latin, corrected and refuted by Blendinger, Lipmanni Nizzacahon in Christianos, etc., Latine conversum? (Altdorf, 1645); Wagenseil, Tela ignea Saltane (Altdorf, 1681) ; Sofa, Liber Mischnicus de Uxore Adulterii Suspecta (Altdorf. 1674), Appendix, and others (see Wolf, Bibl. Jud. 1:347 sq.). Lipmann's personal history is to our day very obscure. Jewish historians represent him as having been among the prisoners arrested at Prague (August 3, 1399) for irreverent mention, etc., of the name of Jesus. What punishment he suffered is not known; certain it is that he was not one of the seventy-seven Jews who were executed on the day of the dethronement of kingWenceslaus (August 22, 1400), for he mentions the fact himself in the Nitsachon. See Gritz, Gesch. der Juden, 8:76 sq.; Fürst, Biblioth. Judaica, 2:403 sq.; Steinschneider, Catalogus Libr. Hebr. in Biblioth. Bodleiana, col. 1410-1414; Geiger, Proben Jüd. Velrtheidigung gegen Christliche Angriffe im Mittelalter in Liebermanzn's Deutscher VolksKalender (Brieg, 1854), page 9 sq., 47 sq.; Kitto, Cycl. Bibl. Lit. volume 2, s.v.

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