This past Sunday, Professor Hayim Zalman Dimitrovsky was laid to rest in his hometown of Jerusalem. Professor Dimitrovsky was one of the greatest talmudic philologists of the previous century, and his research included pioneering talmudic higher criticism, scientific editions of medieval talmudic commentators, a collection of fragments of early Spanish talmudic prints accompanied by an indispensable guide to this phenomenon, and intellectual biographies of schools of talmudic study. Professor Dimitrovsky merited to learn with some of the greatest Talmudists of the early twentieth century, including J.N. Epstein and Simcha Assaf. More importantly, from his post at the Jewish Theological Seminary and later, at the Hebrew University Talmud department, he succeeded in raising generations of scholars who not only continued his work, but advanced the field in completely new (and different) directions. His death is a loss not only for his family, friends, students and colleagues, but for the field at large. He was the last of a generation.
In the coming days, the Talmud blog will be sharing brief remarks in memory of Prof. Dimitrovsky from those who knew him best. May his memory be a source of comfort to all who studied with him, and all who have studied his works.