Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Conspiracy to accuse Rabbi Yaakov Eilenberg of PLAGIARISM in his תולדות יעקב printed in Fuerth, 1726

 תולדות יעקב printed in Fuerth, 1726

Rabbi Yaakov Eilenberg published a commentary on Yoreh Deah titled Minhah Belulah in 1729. At the end of his lengthy introduction the last paragraph alludes to a fascinating conspiracy against the author, Rabbi Yaakov Eilenberg.
Renaissance Hebraica Facsimile of Minha Belulah

The last paragraph of introduction 
Here is what the author writes:
אף שכבר מילתי אמורה בחיבורי ספר ישרש יעקב מ"מ גם בזה לא אנחתי ידי מלהודיע האי עובדא בישא שעבד לי האי חומץ בן יין הוא שמו ר אייזיק בן המחבר תפארת הקודש איך שנתתי לו שכרו להעתיק חיבורי תולדות יעקב ויודע היה בעצמי שאין לי פנאי לעיין אחריו מחמת עול התלמידים......ונטל את שלי אחת לאחת לערך שני בוגין וכתב דברים אחרים במקומו ולא ידעתי מבטן מי יצאו אלה הדברים. ובודאי כוונתו היה להבאיש ריחי בין הבריות.........
He describes how in his previous book, Yashresh Yaakov, he has already mentioned it, but he will now state it again, how he paid Rabbi Isaac, the son of the author of Tiferet Yaakov to edit and publish his book. He says how this Rabbi Isaac, removed portions of the book and replaced them with other people's works in order that he be accused of plagiarism and cause his name to be hated among people. He requests anyone that finds in the book Tiferet Yaakov anything of his own, shall give him the benefit of the doubt that it was not his doing.

An interesting twist to the story is that the work of this author Yashresh Yaakov, where he states that he first discussed the story is unrecorded. No library is recorded as having the title in their collection and ben yaakov writes how he has never seen it.

Ben Yaakov on Yashresh Yaakov

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