ABRAHAMS, ABRAHAM

ABRAHAMS, ABRAHAM (also known as Abraham ben Naphtali Tang; d. 1792), English scholar; grandson of the Prague dayyan Abraham Taussig Neu-Greschel (d. 1699) and like his grandfather signed himself with the Hebrew initials טנ"ג (TNG) and therefore generally known as Tang. Apparently born and brought up in London, Abrahams was well-grounded in Jewish and secular studies. In 1772 under the pseudonym "A Primitive Hebrew" he published an English translation of the mishnaic tractate Avot including maimonides ' commentary and observations of his own. He also wrote two parallel mystical commentaries in Hebrew on Ecclesiastes (1773, unpublished), which include a concise account of classical mythology, with quotations from Ovid, Vergil, and Seneca. A Hebrew treatise (unpublished) attempts to establish the politico-historical setting of the talmudic reference to the "sages of Athens" (Bek. 8b). Abrahams also translated into Hebrew William Congreve's Mourning Bride (1768, Ms. in Jews' College, London). He had some ability as a scribe and copied and illuminated a Passover Haggadah (now in the Jewish Museum, London). He was a pronounced English patriot and a political radical. Another ABRAHAM ABRAHAMS (d. 1813) criticized the tax system in Hampstead in the Book of Assessment (1811), the earliest work of this type by an English Jew. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. Roth, in: Essays… I. Brodie (Eng. vol., 1967), 368–72; Schirmann, in: Scripta Hierosolymitana, 19 (1967), 3–15; jc (Dec. 19, 1884); Neubauer, Cat, nos. 7, 9, 32, 35. Dan Ruderman, Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry's Construction of Modern Jewish Thought (2000), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: ODNB online. (Cecil Roth)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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