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Jonathan Ben Joseph

Jonathan Ben Joseph was a Lithuanian rabbi and astronomer who lived in Risenoi, Grodno in the late 17th century and early 18th century. Jonathan studied astronomy and mathematics.

In 1710 Jonathan and his family lived a year in the fields due to a plague at Risenoi. He vowed that, on surviving, he would spread astronomical knowledge among his fellow believers. After he became blind, he went to Germany, where the bibliographer Wolf met him in 1725. Jonathan authored two astronomical commentaries: the Yeshu'ah be-Yisrael, on Maimonides' neomenia laws (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1720); and Bi'ur, on Abraham ben Ḥiyya's Ẓurat ha-Areẓ (Offenbach, 1720).


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