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GERSHON (CHRISTIAN) BEN MEÏR OF BIBERBACH:

Jewish convert; born at Reckling-hausen, Prussia, Aug. 1, 1569; drowned at Dröhelm Sept. 25, 1627. After teaching Hebrew and Talmud for many years in different German towns, Gershon was baptized at Halberstadt Oct. 9, 1600. He was first appointed deacon, then Protestant pastor, of Dröhelm. He devoted himself to vilifying the Talmud, and published for this purpose certain extracts from that work, choosing the seemingly most ridiculous passages contained in it. Richard Simon, the well-known Catholic theologian, justly characterized Gershon's writings in his "Lettres Choisies" (i., No. 7), saying that he took Talmudic puns and legends for serious narratives, and that he imputed to the whole Jewish nation errors with which only the credulous among them should be charged. Still Gershon was one of those who refuted the blood accusation. His anti-Talmudic works are: "Jüdischer Talmud," the first part being a synopsis, and the second a refutation, of the Talmud (Goslar, 1607); "Ḥeleḳ," a German translation of the eleventh chapter of Sanhedrin, with notes, intended as a specimen of Jewish superstition (Helmstädt, 1610).

Bibliography:
  • Schudt, Jüdische Merckwürdigkeiten, iv. continuation, ii. 274-303;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i. No. 1896;
  • Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., x. 266.
K. M. Sel.
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