14 Facts About Alexander Kohut


Alexander Kohut belonged to a family of rabbis, the most noted among them being Rabbi Israel Palota, his great-grandfather, Rabbi Amram, and Rabbi Chayyim Kitssee, rabbi in Erza, who was his great-granduncle.

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Alexander Kohut's father, Jacob Alexander Kohut, was a great linguist, and was well versed in rabbinic literature.

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Alexander Kohut was so poor that he could not afford to send his son to the village school.

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Alexander Kohut attended the gymnasium and at the same time studied Talmud with an old scholar, Reb Gershom Lovinger.

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Alexander Kohut then spent another year in Breslau, devoting his time to Oriental philology and Semitics.

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About 1873 Alexander Kohut began to compile his Dictionary of the Talmud, entirely in German, encouraged by the promise of a Christian nobleman to bear all costs of publication.

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Alexander Kohut had proceeded as far as the third letter of the alphabet when he found that the work was assuming such gigantic proportions as to preclude the possibility of its being confined within the projected limits.

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Alexander Kohut called his work Aruch Completum or 'Aruk ha-Shalem, and its production occupied twenty-five years of his life.

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Alexander Kohut identified in an elaborate special study the often unacknowledged sources of Nathan ben Jehiel's information, though everywhere defending him against the charge of plagiarism.

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In 1880 Alexander Kohut was called to Oradea, Hungary, where he remained until 1884.

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In 1885 Alexander Kohut was elected rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Chesed in New York.

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Alexander Kohut was associated with the Rev Sabato Morais in founding the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York, becoming one of its advisory board, and being active as professor of Talmudic methodology up to the time of his death.

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Alexander Kohut's widow was his second wife, Jewish women's leader Rebekah Bettelheim Kohut.

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Volume containing memorial addresses and tributes was published by Congregation Ahavath Chesed in 1894 in New York; and another, containing learned essays by forty-four noted scholars in Europe and America, entitled Semitic Studies in Memory of Rev Dr Alexander Kohut, was published in Berlin in 1897 by his son, G A Kohut.

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