German grammarian; born at Hanau (whence his surname) in 1687; died at Hanover Sept. 4, 1746. When but twenty-one he published at Frankfort-on-the-Main, where he had settled, a Hebrew grammar in which the ancient grammarians were severely criticized. These criticisms, coming from so young a man, caused much resentment, and he was forced to write a retractation, which was attached to each copy of his grammar. In spite of this his position at Frankfort became untenable, and he went to Hamburg, where he taught for seventeen years. Hanau criticized likewise the daily prayer-book published by Elijah and Azriel Wilna, though it had received the approbation of the most prominent rabbis of that time; and he was forced to leave Hamburg also. He went to Amsterdam, where he stayed several years; on his return to Germany he settled at Fürth. There he found an adversary in Seligman Grieshaber, who had written, in collaboration with Meïr of Prague, two pamphlets against two of Hanau's works. After many polemical bouts Hanau removed to Berlin, and later to Hanover, where he died. He wrote the following works:

"Binyan Shelomoh," a Hebrew grammar, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1708; "Yesod ha-Niḳḳud," on the Hebrew vowels, Amsterdam, 1730; "Perush," a commentary, dealing with vocabulary and grammar, on the Midrash Rabbah to the Pentateuch, and the Five Scrolls, 1777; "Ẓohar ha-Tebah," a comprehensive grammar, with emendations entitled "Mikseh ha-Tebah," published at Berlin, 1733; "Ḳure 'Akkabish," in reply to the attacks of Grieshaber and Meïr of Prague upon his "Ẓohar ha-Tebah," Fürth, 1744; "Sha'are Torah," a comprehensive grammar, Hamburg, 1718; "Sha'are Zimrah," on the Hebrew accents and vowels, issued together with the preceding work; "Sha'are Tefillah," grammatical annotations on the prayer-book, Jessnitz, 1725. The last-named work was severely criticized by Jacob Emden in his "Luaḥ Ereẓ" and by Mordecai of Düsseldorf in "Ḳonṭres Hassagot 'al Siddur Sha'are Tefillah."

  • De Rossi, Dizionario, p. 122;
  • Blogg, Sefer ha-Ḥayyim, p. 312;
  • Luzzatto, Prolegomena, p. 61;
  • Carmoly, in Revue Orientale, iii. 308;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 2339;
  • Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. pp. 722-723.
J. I. Br.
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