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Temkin, Asher

TEMKIN, ASHER (19th century), small trader in Mogilev, converted to Christianity in 1832. His pamphlet defaming the Talmud (Derekh Selulah) was published in Hebrew and Russian by order of Czar Nicholas I in the printing house of the Academy of Sciences and distributed free of charge. I.B. *Levinsohn (Ribal) in his work Yemin Ẓidki (clandestinely circulated in manuscript and printed only in 1881) argued against the work of Temkin, showing the positive contribution of the Talmud to Jewish ethics. To show their appreciation of Temkin's defamatory work, the Russian authorities first appointed him psalomshchik (low-grade clergyman) and then censor.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

J. Raisin, The Haskalah Movement in Russia, 6 (1913), 146; Ginsburg, in: Forward (Jan. 27, 1935).