Wolf (Benjamin) ben Samson Heidenheim (1757 - February 23, 1832) was a German exegete and grammarian.
Born at Heidenheim am Hahnenkamm, at an early age Heidenheim was sent to Fürth, where he studied Talmud under Joseph Steinhardt (author of Zikron Yosef) and, from 1777, under Hirsch Janow. Besides Talmudic literature, Heidenheim devoted himself to the study of Hebrew grammar, and particularly of the Masorah. In 1782 he left Fürth, probably on account of Janow's opposition to Mendelssohn's translation of the Pentateuch, of which Heidenheim was an admirer. He went to Frankfurt am Main, where he made the acquaintance of the most prominent scholars, among them Wolf Breidenbach and Solomon Dubno. There began his literary activity, which lasted fifty years. He died at Rödelheim.
Heidenheim, encouraged by Dubno, conceived the idea of issuing a revised edition of the Pentateuch, with a commentary of his own. The first work edited by him was Abraham ibn Ezra's Moznayim, to which he added a critical commentary (Offenbach, 1791). Seven years later Heidenheim began his critical edition of the Pentateuch, which he titled Sefer Torat Elohim. It contained the Targum, the commentaries of Rashi and Rashbam, the 'Min?at Shai of Solomon Norzi, his own glosses and Masoretic references, and his supercommentary on Rashi, Havanat ha-Mi?ra. He based his commentary chiefly on the accents, adding numerous grammatical notes. But the undertaking, on the business side, was too difficult for him alone, and he was compelled to stop at Genesis 43:16.
He next entered into partnership with Baruch Baschwitz, an energetic business man; through the assistance of Breidenbach they obtained from the Count of Solms-Rödelheim, under favorable conditions, a license to establish a printing-press at Rödelheim, where they relocated in 1799. Heidenheim immediately began an edition of the Ma?zor, with a Hebrew commentary by himself and a German translation by himself and Breidenbach (1800). In order to give a correct text, Heidenheim had secured the most ancient manuscripts, among them being one of the year 1258, as well as the earliest Italian and German editions. At the end of the Ma?zor to Shemini A?eret there is printed Heidenheim's Ha-Piyyu?im veha-Paye?anim, an essay on the liturgists.
In 1806, Baschwitz having withdrawn, Heidenheim became sole proprietor. In that year he published his Mevo haLashon, a treatise on Hebrew grammar, and in 1808 his Sefer Mishpete ha-Ta'amim, a treatise on the accents according to the ancient grammarians.
Ten years later Heidenheim recommenced his edition of the Pentateuch, but with a larger scope. It was published in four separate editions between 1818 and 1821:
Heidenheim also published:
He also added valuable notes to various works which issued from his press, among them being the Mebo ha-Mishnah of Maimonides, and Solomon Papenheim's Yeri'ot Shelomoh. He left more than a dozen unpublished works, mostly on Hebrew grammar.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Isidore Singer and M. Seligsohn (1901-1906). "Wolf Heidenheim". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Its bibliography:
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