SIRKES, JOEL B. SAMUEL:
Polish rabbi; born at Lublin in 1561; died at Cracow, 1640. At the age of fourteen he was sent to the yeshibah of Solomon ben Judah. After remaining there some time he went to Brest-Litovsk, where he attended the yeshibah of R. Phoebus. While still a youth he was invited to the rabbinate of Pruszany, near Slonim. Later he occupied the rabbinates of Lubkow, Lublin, Miedzyboz, Beldza, Szydlowka, and finally Brest-Litovsk and Cracow, succeeding in each of the two last-mentioned places his teacher R. Phoebus. He was an adherent of the Cabala and an opponent of both pilpul and philosophy.
Sirkes wrote: "Meshib Nefesh," commentary on the Book of Ruth (Lublin, 1616); "Bayit Ḥadash," commentary on the "Arba'ah Ṭurim" of Jacob ben Asher (Cracow, 1631-40); "She'elotu-Teshubot Bayit Ḥadash" (Frankfort, 1697); "She'elot u-Teshubot Bet Ḥadash ha-Ḥadashot" (Koretz, 1785); "Haggahot," on all the tractates of the Babylonian Talmud; and "Rosh," first published, from a manuscript, in the Warsaw (1860) edition of the Talmud, and included in almost every subsequent edition thereof.
In the "Bayit Ḥadash" the evident intention of the author is to present and elucidate the fundamental principles of the Law as recorded in the Mishnah, the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, and the chief codes.
- J. M. Zunz, 'Ir ha-Ẓedeḳ, p. 62, Lemberg, 1874;
- Güdemann, Quellenschriften zur Gesch. des Unterrichts, p. 232, Berlin, 1891;
- R. N. Rabbinoviez, He'arot we-Tiḳḳunim, p. 9, Lyck, 1875;
- B. Friedberg, Gesch. der Hebr. Typographie in Krakau, p. 27, Cracow, 1900;
- idem, Epitaphien von Grabsteinen des Israelitischen Friedhofes zu Krakau, Nebst Biographischen Skizzen, p. 14, Drohobycz, 1897;
- Ch. N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi, part ii., p. 18b, Cracow, 1893;
- B. Katz, Le-Ḳorot ha-Yehudim, Berlin, 1899.