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Babad, Joseph ben Moses

BABAD, JOSEPH BEN MOSES (1800–1874/5), Polish rabbi and author. Little is known about him. His father was av bet din at Przeworsk. Babad served as rabbi at Bohorodezany, Zabariz, Sniatyn, and Tarnopol. Babad's best-known work is his Minḥat Ḥinnukh, consisting of expositions of the Sefer *ha-Ḥinnukh ("The Book of Education") ascribed to Aaron ha-Levi of Barcelona (1869, frequently republished; the 1952 edition containing 26 addenda (commentaries, novellae, notes, and emendations) to Sefer ha-Ḥinnukh and Minhat Ḥinnukh by various authors). The publisher, Reuben Kohen Rappaport, stated in the introduction that he had long tried to persuade the author to publish it, but in his modesty he had refused and finally agreed only after the theft of a manuscript containing his novellae on the Torah. As Babad himself states, the arrangement of his work is based on that of Sefer ha-Ḥinnukh. On each halakhah he quotes commentators and halakhic authorities. Minḥat Ḥinnukh together with Sefer ha-Ḥinnukh covers all the principles, laws, and customs concerning the commandments, from talmudic times to the aḥaronim. In his novellae and legal statements, Babad arrives at no final conclusion, but instead poses questions and problems, stimulating the reader to new ideas and further research. The many supplementary comments and novellae on Minḥat Ḥinnukh have created an entire literature around these two works.

There are extant two responsa addressed to Babad by his grandfather Joshua Hoeschel Babad, two from Joseph Joel Deutsch to Babad when he was av bet din at Zabariz and Sniatyn, and one responsum of Babad, dated 1850 (Koveẓ Teshuvot, Supplement to Minḥat Ḥinnukh (1952), 120ff.). His son Simeon Babad, who served as rabbi at Tarnopol until 1909, wrote glosses to Minḥat Ḥinnukh. He was succeeded in turn by his son Joshua Hoeschel who occupied the position until his death in 1919.


Z. Horowitz, Kitvei ha-Ge'onim (1928), 39; H. Tchernowitz, Toledot ha-Posekim, 2 (1947), 98, 105; J. Lewinstein, Dor va-Dor ve-Doreshav (19492), 77, no. 1544; B. Wachstein, Zur Bibliographie der Gedaechtnis- und Trauervortraege in der hebraeischen Literatur, 1 (1922), 24; 2 (1927), 20; EG, 3 (1955), 262–3; Sefer ha-Hashlamah le-Minḥat Ḥinnukh ha-Shalem, 2 (1952), end.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.