By: Isidore Singer
Rector of the Rabbinical Seminary at Berlin; born at Verbó, Hungary, Nov. 24, 1843. After attending various yeshibot in his native town he entered the lyceum at Presburg, from which he graduated in 1865. He then studied philosophy, history, and Oriental languages at Vienna and Berlin, taking his doctor's degree in 1871. Soon afterward he accepted the appointment of teacher at the Jewish Realschule at Frankfort-on-the-Main. In October, 1873, he became instructor in the Rabbinical Seminary at Berlin, founded by Israel Hildesheimer, and on the death of the latter succeeded him as rector (1899). He has written: "Mar Samuel," Leipsic, 1873; "Abhandlungen über die Pentateuchischen Gesetze," Berlin, 1878; "Der Shulchan-Aruch," Berlin, 1885 (2d ed., enlarged, 1895); "Collectaneen aus einer Mechilta zu Deuteronomium," Berlin, 1890; "Die Mischna-Ordnung Nesikin, Uebersetzt und Erklärt, mit Einleitung," Berlin, 1893-97. He published the following essays in the programs of the Rabbinical Seminary: "Die Zeit der Omerschwingung und das Wochenfest," 1874; "Der Oberste Gerichtshof in der Stadt des Heiligthums," 1878; "Die Erste Mischna und die Controversen der Tannaim," 1882; "Zur Einleitung in die Halachischen Midraschim," 1888; "Neue Collectaneen aus einer Mechilta zu Deuteronomium," 1897. Of his commentary to the Pentateuch the first volume (Leviticus) has been published (1904). He edited the "Magazin für die Wissenschaft des Judenthums" (with Dr. A. Berliner), 18 vols., Berlin, 1876-93. From 1884 to 1895 he edited the "Israelitische Monatsschrift," the literary supplement to the "Jüdische Presse." Hoffmann has contributed many articles to these and other periodicals, among which may be mentioned "Die Neueste (Wellhausen'sche) Hypothese über den Pentateuchischen Priestercodex," in Berliner's "Magazin," 1879 and 1880, and "Die Mechilta des R. Simon ben Jochai," in "Ha-Peles," i.-iv. (1900-03).