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Death of Jewish Scholar Mourned; Dr. Cyrus Adler Makes Statement


The funeral of Dr. Benzion Halper, who died here last Friday, was held yesterday at Dropsie College, Messages of condolence were received from the various Jewish organizations, men of prominence and friends of the late scholar. The services at the college were attended by his colleagues on the faculty of Dropsie College, his family and friends. Dr. Cyrus Adler gave the following statement to the J. T. A. on Dr. Halper’s achievements.

He was born in Russia on April 15, 1884, and migrated to England in 1901. While earning his living first as a carpenter and then as a commercial traveller, he studied privately, and matriculated at the University of London in 1904. He took his B. A. with First class Honors in Semitics in 1907, and in 1909 receive the M. A. In 1912 he was appointed to a fellowship in the Dropsie College, and after a few months’ study discovered in an Arabic manuscript of the College the lost Book of Precepts of Hefez ben Yazliah, an author of the tenth century, which he published as his doctoral dissertation. Later he was appointed Instructor, and more recently Associate Professor in the Dropsie College, and he was its Custodian of Manuscripts. He has been for nearly eight years the Editor of the Jewish Publication Society of America, and was a member of the American Oriental Society, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy for Jewish Research, and of the Oriental Club of Philadelphia.

The work in which he was latterly engaged and which it is understood is almost finished, was the editing of the Arabic Responsa of Maimonides, which has been committed to him by Professor Simonsen of Copenhagen, to appear in Europe in the publications of the Society Mekize Nirdamim. In addition to the works named above, he has published an Anthology of Post-Biblical Hebrew Literature in two volumes and a revised edition and English translation of the Pirke Abot. He has written many articles and reviews in the following periodicals: The Jewish Quarterly Review, the Zeitschrift fur die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, the Journale of the American Oriental Society, the Journal of Biblical Literature and the Hebrew periodicals Miklat and Hatekufah.

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