Philippsohn, Moses

Philippsohn, Moses a noted Hebraist, was born May 9, 1775, in Sandersleben, a small town on the Wipper, and was destined for a rabbinate by his parents, who began to initiate him into Hebrew when he was scarcely four years of age. In 1787 he was sent to a rabbinic school at Halberstadt, where he was instructed in the Talmud and other branches of rabbinic literature. He then went to Brunswick, where he devoted himself to the study of the sciences generally, and in particular Hebrew philology, acquiring a most classical and charming style in Hebrew composition. In 1799, when only four-and- twenty, he was appointed master of the noted Jewish school at Dessau, where the celebrated historian Jost and the philosopher Mendelssohn, were educated. Here Philippsohn prosecuted more zealously than ever the study of Hebrew and the Hebrew Scriptures, and determined to continue, with the aid of his three colleagues, the great Bible work commenced by Mendelssohn (q.v.), selecting the minor prophets for their conjoint labor. Philippsohn undertook to translate and expound Hosea and Joel, being the two most difficult books of the twelve minor prophets; his colleague Wolf the translation and exposition of Obadiah, Micah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah; his colleague Solomon undertook Haggai and Zechariah; while Neuman undertook Amos, Nahum, and Malachi; Jonah having already been published by Liwe (q.v.); and the whole was published under the title

מנחה טהורה, a Pure Offering, at Dessau, in 1805. Three years later Philippsohn published a Hebrew Grammar and Chrestomathy, entitled מודי לבני בינה, Friend of Students (Dessau. 1808; 2d improved ed. ibid. 1823); and a Hebrew Commentary on the Book of Daniel, with a translation by Wolf (ibid. 1808). He also wrote essays on various subjects connected with Hebrew, literature in the Hebrew periodical called המאסŠ. The Gatherer, and died April 20, 1814. See Steinschneider, Cataloqus Libr. Hebr. in Bibliotheca Bodleiana, col. 2099, and the interesting biographical sketch by Dr. Ph. Philippson, in his Biographische Skizzen (Leips. 1864); Jost, Geschichte des Juden. und seiner Sekten (see Index in volume 3).

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