ELIEZER BEN ISAAC

ELIEZER BEN ISAAC (Ashkenazi; 16th century), Czech Hebrew printer. Eliezer was born in Prague. In partnership with others he printed Hebrew books in Lublin from 1557 to 1573. For a short while an epidemic forced him to move to Konska Wola, near Lublin, and some of the products of his press bear the name of that small town. Among the works printed by him in Lublin are some tractates of the Talmud, published with the approval and recommendation of the councils of the Lands. In 1574 he set out for Constantinople, taking his typographic equipment, and set up press in partnership with David b. Elijah Kashti. They printed a volume of geonic responsa (1575) and began a Maḥzor Romania (festival prayer book according to the Romaniot rite), in which Kashti, as a member of the old-established pre-Turkish community, was particularly interested. The partnership broke up before the maḥzor was finished. Then Eliezer alone issued Baruch ibn Ya'ish's commentary on the Song of Songs under the title Mekor Barukh (1576). The same year Eliezer went to Safed, where he entered into partnership with Abraham b. Isaac (Ashkenazi), who   financed the press. Thus they established the first press in Ereẓ Israel. They produced three works in the years 1577–79. Later Eliezer returned to Constantinople, where he printed, once more in partnership with Kashti, Samuel Aripol's Lev Ḥakham (1586). In 1587, in Safed again, Eliezer printed three more books. Eliezer apparently died soon after. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A.M. Habermann, Toledot ha-Defus bi-Ẓefat (1962), 7–15; A. Yaari, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Kushta (1967), 30–32; idem, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Arẓot ha-Mizraḥ, 1 (1937), 9–11, 17–20.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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