||Booklet on the Massacres of 1096 by R. Eliezer b. Nathan of Mainz (known as RaBaN=Rabbi Eliezer Ben Nathan; c. 1090–c. 1170), one of “the elders of Mainz” and a leading rabbinic authority in Germany in the 12th century. R. Eliezer was apparently born in Germany and in his youth seems to have studied with rabbis of Mainz. Later he lived for a time in the Slavic countries, and possibly in Russia. He then returned to Mainz, where he married the daughter of R. Eliakim b. Joseph, of whose rabbinical court he was a member. Among his four sons-in-law were R. Samuel b. Natronai and R. Joel b. Isaac ha-Levi. He was also related to R. Ephraim b. Jacob of Bonn and R. Jacob b. Isaac ha-Levi. It is doubtful whether R. Asher b. Jehiel was a descendant of his. When the latter refers to zekeni ha-Rabban, the quotations are mainly from the Ravyah of R. Eliezer b. Joel ha-Levi. His contemporaries in France and Germany recognized his authority, and they addressed him in terms of great respect. In 1150, together with R. Jacob b. Meir Tam and R. Samuel b. Meir, he drew up the famous Takkanot Troyes (the Troyes Ordinances).
His great work (Sefer ha-Raban) which he called Even ha-Ezer (“Stone of Help”) is the first complete book that has survived emanating from German Jewry. It contains responsa and various extracts and halakhic rulings following the order of the talmudic tractates. The book appears to have come down exactly as R. Eliezer wrote it (but cf. Sefer ha-Raban, p. 106a), although there is no logical continuity from one section to the next and there are a number of omissions. The section numbers are by Eliezer himself, who used them for internal reference purposes, but in the printed editions they are deleted from b385 onward. The book contains expositions of talmudic topics and commentaries on customs, liturgical passages, including the kaddish, as well as interpretations of various Midrashim and of chapter 31 of Proverbs, together with correspondence with over 20 rabbinical authorities of the day.
The book contributes much to knowledge of the way of life of the Jews of France and Germany in the 12th century, and is a mine of information on the state of scholarship and religious practice in France, Germany, and Babylonia. Special mention should be made of R. Eliezer's considerable use of the talmudic commentary of R. Hananel b. R. Hushi'el (“Rabbenu Hananel”; often without mention of the source) only about 50 years after it appeared. Most likely R. Hananel's commentaries came to him from the Arukh of R. Nathan b. Jehiel of Rome whom he also quotes. The citations from R. Hananel are rendered more accurately by R. Eliezer than by other early authorities. R. Eliezer is also the first to cite the anonymous Sefer ha-Mikzo'ot.
Adolf Jellinek (Aaron; 1820/21–1893), Vienna preacher and scholar. He was born in a village near Uhersky Brod (Ungarisch Brod), Moravia, into a family which he believed to be of Hussite origin. After attending the yeshivah of R. Menahem Katz (Wannfried) in Prostejov (Prossnitz), in 1838 he moved to Prague where he was influenced by R. Solomon Judah Rapoport, R. Michael Jehiel Sachs, and Wolfgang Wessely. Moving to Leipzig in 1842, he studied philosophy and Semitics at the university there, assisted Julius Fuerst in editing the Orient, and in 1845 was appointed preacher in the new synagogue which was established under the guidance of Zacharias Frankel. Although he opposed the radical views of his brother, Herman Jellinek, he enthusiastically hailed the freedom resulting from the 1848 revolution. Together with Christian clergymen he then founded the Kirchlicher Verein fuer alle Religionsbekenntnisse, an association open to all religious denominations, and would have represented it at the Frankfort German National Assembly (1848) but for the intervention of the Saxonian minister of religious affairs. He was also on the board of an association (Verein zur Wahrung der deutschen Interessen an den oestlichen Grenzen) formed to support Germans in the Slav countries. In 1857 he was appointed preacher at the new Leopoldstadt synagogue in Vienna, remaining there until he went to the Seitenstetten synagogue in 1865. In 1862 Jellinek founded the Beit ha-Midrash Academy where public lectures were delivered by himself, Isaac Hirsch Weiss, and Meir Friedmann. A scholarly periodical, also called Beit ha-Midrash, was published under its auspices.