Lamdan is a late Hebrew expression for a man who is well informed in rabbinical literature, although not a scholar in the technical sense of the term ("talmid hakham"); it does not seem to have been used before the 18th century. Ezekiel Katzenellenbogen (1670-1749) decided that rabbinical scholars were exempt from paying taxes even though scholars then were not scholars in the proper sense of the word, "for the law does not make a difference between lamdan and lamdan" (Resp. "Keneset Yechezkel," Choshen Mishpat, No. 95, p. 118a, Altona, 1732). Jacob Emden ("Megillat Sefer," p. 21, Warsaw, 1896) speaks of Baer Kohen (Berent Salomon), the founder of the Klaus in Hamburg, as having been somewhat of a scholar ("ketzat lamdan," the equivalent of the Judeo-German "ein stückel lamden"). Authorities of the sixteenth century, when they have to speak of the difference between a scholar in the technical sense of the word and a well-informed man, do not use the term "lamdan," but say "tzurba me-rabbanan" (see Joshua Falk ha-Kohen in "Sefer Me'irat 'Enayim," Choshen Mishpat, 15, 4; Shabbethai ha-Kohen, ib. 1, 19, and Yoreh De'ah, 244, 11).
Lamdan has also been adopted as a Jewish surname, See:
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Lamden". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.
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