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Isaac Maarsen

MAARSEN, ISAAC (1893–1943), Dutch rabbi, chief rabbi of The Hague. Maarsen was born in Amsterdam, where he studied at the Amsterdam rabbinical seminary and at the university, graduating in classical philology. He was ordained as rabbi in 1918 and became teacher of Talmud in the high school department of the rabbinical seminary. In 1919 he was appointed a dayyan and member of the Amsterdam rabbinate. Five years later he was appointed chief rabbi of The Hague, then the second-largest community in Holland. He excelled chiefly as preacher and lecturer, and in his writings against Reform Judaism. He translated the tractate Avot and medieval and modern poetry from Hebrew into Dutch, and engaged in research on the history of the Dutch rabbinate. His reputation rests on his studies in the fields of rabbinical literature, which appeared in various Hebrew periodicals. His main works are Tiferet le-Moshe (1928), notes to Naḥmanides' commentary on the Pentateuch; Parshandata (1930–36), a critical edition of Rashi's commentary to the Prophets and Hagiographa, which he did not complete, only three parts appearing, on the Minor Prophets, Isaiah, and Psalms; and Muḥlefet ha-Shitah (1940), on the difference between Rashi's comments on the Bible and the same verses when quoted in the Talmud. He met his death in the Holocaust.


Elleh-Ezkerah, 1 (1956), 304–8.

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