Eliakim Carmoly

Eliakim Carmoly

Eliakim Carmoly (August 5, 1802, Soultz-Haut-Rhin, France – February 15, 1875, Frankfurt) was a French-Jewish scholar. He was born at Soultz-Haut-Rhin, then in the French department of Haut-Rhin. His real name was Goschel David Behr (or Baer); the name Carmoly, borne by his family in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, was adopted by him when quite young. He studied Hebrew and Talmud at Colmar; and, because both French and German were spoken in his native town, he became proficient in those languages.

Carmoly went to Paris, and there assiduously studied the old Hebrew manuscripts in the Bibliothèque Nationale, where he was employed. Several articles published by him on various subjects in scientific papers made him known; and on the establishment of a Jewish consistory in Belgium, he was appointed rabbi at Brussels (May 18, 1832). In this position Carmoly rendered many services to the newly founded congregation, chiefly in providing schools for the poor. Seven years later, having provoked great opposition by his new scheme of reforms, Carmoly resigned the rabbinate and retired to Frankfort, where he devoted himself wholly to Jewish literature and to the collection of Hebrew books and manuscripts, in which he was passionately interested.

His grandfather was Isaachar Bär ben Judah Carmoly, rabbi of Sulz.


Carmoly's works have been severely attacked by the critics; and it must be admitted that his statements cannot always be relied upon. Still, he rendered many services to Jewish literature and history; and the mistrust of his works is often unfounded. Carmoly was the author of the following works:

Besides these works, Carmoly contributed to many periodicals, and edited the Revue Orientale (Brussels, 1841–46, 3 vols.), in which most of the articles were furnished by himself. The most important of these contributions, which constitute works by themselves, were

Carmoly has been accused of fabrications by several scholars.[1] In particular, his itinerary of Isaac Chelo is commonly believed to be a forgery.[2]


  1. Cecil Roth (2007). "Forgeries". In Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. Encyclopaedia Judaica. 7 (2 ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. pp. 125–126.
  2. Dan D. Y. Shapira (2006). "Remarks on Avraham Firkowicz and the Hebrew Mejelis "Document"". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 59 (2): 131–180.
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