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David Ben Aryeh Leib Of Lida And His Migdal David Accusations Of Plagiarism In Eighteenth Century Amsterdam

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Chapter Summary

David ben Aryeh Leib of Lida was chief rabbi of several communities, among them the Ashkenaz community of Amsterdam, and the author of highly regarded books. His career was clouded by charges of slander, Sabbateanism, and plagiarism. Although exonerated of the first two charges, the cloud of literary piracy has cast a continuing shadow over Lida's reputation. Two of Lida's works, Migdal David and Divrei David, are attributed to other writers. Given Lida's prominence, and that his books are still current and available, it is somewhat of an anomaly that he is so little known. This chapter briefly recounts the essential features of David ben Aryeh of Lida's life, and the charges and disputes that clouded his reputation. It also reviews the charge of plagiarism brought against him. Migdal David was published in 1680, when Lida was still rabbi in Mainz, at the Amsterdam press of Uri Phoebus.

Keywords: Amsterdam press; David ben Aryeh Leib of Lida; Divrei David; Migdal David; plagiarism; Sabbateanism



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