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By : Isidore Singer   Gotthard Deutsch  

Austrian statesman; born at Cracow 1846; died at Gastein Aug. 13, 1902. Halban, whose name was originally Blumenstock, studied law at Cracow, and went to Vienna some time before 1870, where he devoted himself to journalism. When Potocki became president of the Council of Ministers (1870) he appointed Blumenstock to a position in the press bureau, where he advocated in the Polish papers the policy of the government. He rose to great prominence under the ministry of Count Taaffe (1878), who made him a court councilor in 1885, and a year later appointed him chief of the Reichsrath's office, in which capacity he had the important task of representing the government in its transactions with the parliamentary parties. Blumenstock, whom Count Taaffe had ennobled with the title of "Ritter von Halban," rose to the height of his power under the ministry of his Galician countryman, Count Badeni (1895), and was considered the real leader in the government. After the resignation of Badeni (1897) he became very unpopular, and retired from public life in 1898. He had been converted to Christianity in the beginning of his career, and was married to a sister of the socialist deputy Victor Adler.

Bibliography: Neue Freie Presse, Vienna, Aug. 14, 1902.S. D.


By : Isidore Singer   Wilhelm Bacher  

Austrian scholar; born at Cracow Feb. 23, 1832; died at Bielitz March 24, 1900. His father, Isaac Halberstam, was a prominent merchant who devoted his leisure time to study, and left in manuscript a work which Solomon published in his honor under the title "Sia? Yi??a?," Lemberg, 1882. This work contains also notices on the genealogy of Halberstam, who numbered eminent rabbis among his ancestors both on his father's and on his mother's side. In 1860 he settled at Bielitz as a prosperous merchant. The larger part of his time, however, he devoted to Jewish learning, and a considerable part of his income to increasing his library, which was especially rich in rare and valuable manuscripts, the love of collecting having been developed in him early. For half a century he corresponded widely with the representatives of Jewish learning of all shades of opinion; and he took part in learned discussions on the most diverse questions, contributing to nearly all the periodicals papers written in Hebrew and in other languages.
(see image) Solomon Halberstam.Halberstam was one of the directors and chief supporters of both the old and the new Me?i?e Nirdamim, the publications of which include contributions from him. He contributed valuable introductions to the works of a great number of Hebrew writers, and was also a collaborator on collective works, such as the jubilee or memorial volumes in honor of Grätz, Steinschueider, Kohut, and Kaufmann.Halberstam's editions are: "?iddushe ha-Ri?ba'al Niddah," novellæ and discussions on the treatise Niddah by R. Yom-?ob ben Abraham (abbreviated "Ri?ba") of Seville, Vienna, 1868; Abraham ibn Ezra's "Sefer ha-'Ibbur," a manual of calendar science, 1874; Hillel b. Samuel of Verona's "Tagmule ha-Nefesh," 1874; Judah b. Barzilai of Barcelona's commentary on "Sefer Ye?irah," 1884; and the same author's "Sefer ha-She?arot," 1900.In 1890 Halberstam issued a complete catalogue of his manuscripts (411 items) under the title "?ehillat Shelomoh." The greater part of them was acquired by Montefiore College, Ramsgate, England, while his large collection of printed books, and a considerable number also of manuscripts, was bought by Mayer Sulzberger and presented to the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Bibliography: M. Reines, Dor wa-?akamaw, 1890;
Lippe, Bibliographisches Lexicon;
M. Schwab, Répertoire.S. W. B.