Yom-Tov ben Solomon Lipmann-Muhlhausen (
Hebrew: יום טוב ליפמן מילהאוזן) was an Jewish-Austrian controversialist, Talmudist, and kabalistof the 14th and 15th centuries.
Bishop Bodeckerof Brandenburg, who wrote a refutation of Lipmann's "Niẓẓaḥon," Lipmann lived at Cracow. But Naphtali Hirsch Treves, in the introduction to his "Siddur," calls him "Lipmann-Mülhausen of Prague", adding that he lived in the part of the town called "Wyschigrod." Manuscript No. 223 in the Halberstam collection contains a document issued at Prague in 1413and signed by Lipmann-Mülhausen, as dayyan.
It is seen from his "Niẓẓaḥon" that, besides his rabbinical studies, Lipmann occupied himself with the study of the
Bible, that he was acquainted with Karaiteliterature, that he read the New Testament, and that he knew Latin. His authority in rabbinical matters is shown by his circular to the rabbis warning them against the use of any shofarnot made of a ram's horn (comp. S.D. Luzzattoin "Kerem Ḥemed," vii. 56). There are also responsaaddressed to him by Jacob ben Moses Mölln( A. Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 907, 5), and Israel Isserleinmentions him ("Terumat ha-Deshen," No. 24) as one of five scholars who met at Erfurt. In 1399 (Aug. 16) Lipmann and many other Jews were thrown into prison at the instigation of a converted Jew named Peter, who accused them of insulting Christianityin their works. Lipmann was ordered to justify himself, but while he brilliantly refuted Peter's accusations, as a result of the charges 77 Jews were martyredon Aug. 22, 1400, and three more, by fire, on Sept. 11, 1400. Of the accused Lipmann alone escaped death.
Lipmann was the author of:
* "Sefer ha-Niẓẓaḥon," a refutation of
Christianityand Karaismand a demonstration of the superiority of rabbinical Judaism
* "Zikron Sefer ha-Niẓẓaḥon" a refutation of Christianity, an abstract in verse of the preceding work (pp. 107-117 in the "Tela Ignea Satanæ" of
Wagenseil, who supplied a Latin languagetranslation and added a long refutation, Freiburg, 1681; A. Geiger, in Bresslauer's "Deutscher Volkskalender," iii. 48, declares Lipmann's authorship of this poem doubtful)
* a commentary to the "Shir ha-Yiẓud" (Freiburg, 1560).
Samson ben Eleazar's "Baruk she-Amar" (Shklov, 1804) there is a kabalistictreatise on the Hebrew alphabet, entitled "Sefer Alfa Beta," the author of which is given as מהר"ל שלי"ו. S. Sachsand Steinschneiderconcluded that the author was Lipmann-Mülhausen. This work discusses:
# the form of the letters
# the reason for their form
# the mystery of their composition, order, and numerical value
# the kabalistic explanation of their form. In this work the author frequently mentions a cabalistic work entitled "Sefer ha-Eshkol" and a commentary to the "
Menahem Ẓiyyoni's "Ẓefune Ẓiyyoni" is ascribed, in a pamphlet quoted by Reuben Hoshke( Yalḳ., Reubeni, section "Naso"), to a certain R. Ṭabyomi, whom Steinschneider("Cat. Bodl." col. 1411) identifies with Lipmann-Mülhausen.
* Lipmann promises, in his "Niẓẓaḥon" (§ 197), a commentary to
Pirḳe Abot, but such a work is not extant.
* Finally, it may be added that Manuscript 820 in
Oppenheimer's collection was supposed to be a Biblical commentary by the author of the "Sefer ha-Niẓẓaḥon," but Dukes("Orient, Lit." xi. 299) declares that it is nothing else than the "Niẓẓaḥon" itself.
Contents of the "Niẓẓaḥon"
Lipmann's reputation is dependent, mainly, upon his "Niẓẓaḥon" (ספר ניצחון). That a rabbi in the 15th century should occupy himself with the
Latin languageand the New Testamentwas certainly a rare thing. Lipmann was compelled to justify himself (§ 3) by referring to the saying of Rabbi Eliezer, "Know what thou shalt answer to the heretic" ( Abotii. 14). The whole work consists of 354 paragraphs, the number of days in the lunar year, each paragraph, with the exception of the last eight, beginning with a passage of the Bible, upon which the author founds his argument. Thus his arguments rest upon 346 passages taken from all the books of the Old Testament. The last eight paragraphs contain his dispute with the convert Peter. In the introduction Lipmann says that he divided the work into seven parts to represent the seven days of the week. The part for the first day contains the arguments against Christians; that for the second day those against the Karaiteinterpretation of the Bible; those for the remaining five days contain severally interpretations of obscure Biblical passages that are likely to mislead students; the reasons for the commandments; arguments against atheists; arguments against the Karaites and their rejection of the Talmud; and an account of the sixteen things which comprehend the whole of Judaismand which, after being indicated in the Pentateuch, are repeated in the Prophetsand Hagiographa.
Translations and Refutations
Very characteristic is Lipmann's refutation of the assumed miraculous birth of
Jesus, as well as his demonstration of the falsity of the conclusions of the Christianswho claim that the birth of Jesus was foretold by the Prophets. He constantly quotes Maimonides, Ibn Ezra, Naḥmanides, Saadia, Rashi, Shemariah of Negropont, and other ancient scholars. Lipmann must have written his "Sefer ha-Niẓẓaḥon" before 1410, for he expressed a hope that the Messiah would arrive in that year (§ 335). It was first published by Hackspan(Altdorf, 1644), who with great difficulty obtained the manuscript from the rabbi of Schneittach. Wagenseilpublished, at the end of his "Sota" (Altdorf-Nuremberg, 1674), corrections of Hackspan's edition under the title of "Correctiones Lipmannianæ."
Later, the "Niẓẓaḥon" was reprinted, with the addition of
Ḳimḥi's "Vikkuaḥ," in Amsterdam(1709 and 1711) and Königsberg(1847). Sebald Snellepublished the Hebrewtext with a Latin languagetranslation and refutation of the paragraph (§ 8) denying the miraculous birth of Jesus(Altdorf, 1643), and at various dates he published Latin translations of the paragraphs directed against Christianity. A Latin translation of the whole work, with the exception of the passages taken from the Pentateuch, was made by John Heinrich Blendinger(Altdorf, 1645). As will be readily understood, the work gave rise to many polemics and called forth replies from Christians. The first was Stephen Bodecker, Bishop of Brandenburg, a younger contemporary of Lipmann, who wrote a refutation of the "Niẓẓaḥon" (comp. Wolf, "Bibl. Hebr." i. 736). The following other refutations are published: Wilhelm Schickard, "Triumphator Vapulanssive Refutatio," etc. (Tübingen, 1629); Stephen Gerlow, "Disputatio Contra Lipmanni Nizzachon" (Königsberg, 1647); Christian Schotan, "Anti-Lipmanniana" (Franeker, 1659), giving also the Hebrew text of the "Niẓẓaḥon."
Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography
Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 443;
*Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 403;
Grätz, Gesch.3d ed., viii. 71-72;
S. Sachs, in Kerem Ḥemed, viii. 206 et seq.;
Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1410-1414;
*idem, Jewish Literature, pp. 113, 129, 145;
*Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., iii., No. 1364;
Zunz, Z. G. pp. 124, 129, 194, 380.
* [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=443&letter=L Jewish Encyclopedia article on Yom-Tov Lipmann-Muhlhausen] , by
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