WEISSMANN, ASHER (ARTHUR) SIMḤAH:
Austrian scholar and publicist; born at Zelynia, Galicia, April 21, 1840; died at Vienna May 14, 1892. He received a rabbinical training in his native town and in the yeshibah of Rzeszow, whereupon he (1871) took up the study of foreign languages and secular sciences. After officiating for some time as director of the Jewish school of Galatz, Rumania, he went to Tysmenitz, Galicia, and finally settled in Vienna.
Weissmann's literary activity in Hebrew and German was considerable. In 1872 he edited the "Jüdische Freie Presse," a Judæo-German monthly with a Hebrew supplement entitled "Ha-Ḳohelet"; but only three numbers of it appeared. He contributed essays and novels to various Hebrew and Judæo-German periodicals, among which may be mentioned "Ha-Mabbiṭ," the "Israelit" of Mayence, the "Israelitische Wochenschrift," and the "Israelit" of Lemberg. Especially noteworthy were his novels "Ha-Neder" (in "Ha-Mabbiṭ," 1878, No. 15), treating of the moral status of the Jews; "Chajim Prostak" (in Rahmer's "Wochenschrift," 1880), dealing with Jewish life in Galicia; and "Folgen Verfehlter Erziehung" (in the "Israelit" of Lemberg). His "Chajim Prostak" was later translated into English.
In 1889 Weissmann founded in Vienna a German periodical, "Monatsschrift für die Litteratur und Wissenschaft des Judenthum," which was issued with a Hebrew supplement. To this publication, which existed for two years, he contributed numerous articles, among which may be mentioned essays on the redaction of the Psalms, and critical essays on the books of Esther and of Judith, the last-named being reprinted in book form. In the Hebrew supplementWeissmann published a work on the history of the formation of Jewish sects prior to the death of Simeon the Just. He was the author also of "Ḳonṭres 'al Debar Serefat ha-Metim" (Lemberg, 1878), a critical essay on cremation according to the Bible and Talmud, and "Ḳedushshat ha-Tenak" (Vienna, 1887), on the canonization of the books of the Old Testament. In 1891 he published at Vienna Jonathan Eybeschütz's "Shem 'Olam," together with notes of his own and an introduction by S. Rubin.
- Lippe, Bibliographisches Lexicon, i., s.v.;
- Sokolow, Sefer Zikkaron, pp. 39-40;
- idem, in Ha-Asif, vi. 1, 152;
- Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. p. 412.