The Cities Of Bistan

My friend M.W. recently consulted me about an obscure geographical reference in Hida’s שם הגדולים:

וכבר ידוע דבארץ הצבי וארץ מצרים וערי ביסתא”ן דמשק וארם צובה וערי פרס וגלילות טורקיא”ה וערי המערב קבלו עליהם הוראות מרן ז”ל …1

Where on earth is “Bistan”? Google was not our friend; extensive searching for various spellings and variations of the term, in Hebrew as well as English, yielded nothing remotely helpful. I began to suspect a typographical error, but I still could not guess Hida’s meaning. Then, in a flash, it came to me; can you figure out the reference? Click here for the answer. [Hint: this strongly supports my hypothesis.]

  1. שם הגדולים (ברוקלין 1958) מערכת ספרים ט’ אות י”ב – קשר []
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3 Responses to The Cities Of Bistan

  1. moshe walter says:

    Work well done Reb Yitzchak.
    However contemporary printings of the Shem HaGedolom do have Bistan which may indicate that the Chida was referring to a small city or cities in Aleppo.

  2. ER says:

    Your friend ER recently spent too much time on a reverse problem: the translation by some, of the place name בני ברק as “the children” or “sons” of Brak. bit.ly/ERbrak

  3. CS says:

    Great detective work!

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