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WEISSMANN-CHAJES, MARCUS:

Austrian scholar; born at Tarnow, Galicia, 1830. He was destined for a rabbinical career, and began early to receive instruction in the Talmud and in rabbinics, among his tutors being Israel Rapoport, then rabbi of Tarnow. When only ten years of age he commenced writing versified Hebrew letters, and five years later he wrote his "Mappalat ha-Mitḳashsherim," a metrical composition treating of the failure of the Polish revolt. Part of this work appeared in the "Maggid Mishneh" (1872) under the title "Aḥarit Mered."

In 1872 he founded in Lemberg the "Maggid Mishneh," a semimonthly periodical devoted to Jewish history and to Hebrew literature; of this publication, however, only four numbers appeared. In the following year he settled in Vienna, where he edited the thirty-seventh number of the "Kokebe Yiẓḥaḳ," founded by Stern, its previous editor. During the years 1874 to 1876 he edited the "Wiener Jüdische Zeitung," a Judæo-German weekly.

Weissmann-Chajes is the author of: "Mashal u-Meliẓah" (vol. i., Tarnow, 1860; vols. ii.-iii., Vienna, 1861-62; iv.-vi., Lemberg, 1863-64), an alphabetically arranged collection of Talmudic proverbs rendered into metrical rimes; "Allon Bakut" (Lemberg, 1863), elegies on the deaths of Mordecai Zeeb Ettinger and Jacob Gutwirth; "Mar'eh Maḳom we-Haggahot" (Krotoschin, 1866), index and glosses to the Jerusalem Talmud, appended to the Krotoschin edition; "Ḥokmah u-Musar" (Vienna, 1875), parables and legends rendered into metrical verse; "Ḥatan Bereshit we-Ḥatan Torah" (ib. 1883; a reprint from "Ha-'Ibri"), the 613 commandments derived by means of noṭariḳon from "bereshit," the initial word of the Pentateuch; and "Mille di-Bediḥuta" (ib. 1884), versified epigrams and humorous sayings. In 1893 a second edition of the "Mashal u-Meliẓah" appeared under the title "Dibre Ḥakamim we-Ḥidotam" (ib. 1893); in this edition the Talmudic proverbs are supplied with rimed explanations.

Bibliography:
  • Sokolow, Sefer Zikkaron, pp. 43-44;
  • Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. pp. 410-411.
S. M. Sel.
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