Bloch, Ḥayyim Isaac ben Ḥanokh Zundel Ha-Kohen

views updated


BLOCH, ḤAYYIM ISAAC BEN ḤANOKH ZUNDEL HA-KOHEN (1864–1948), rabbi and scholar. Bloch, born in Plunge, Lithuania, studied at Grubin and Volozhin. In 1894 he founded a yeshivah in his native town where he was appointed rabbi in 1898. He became rabbi of Bausk in 1902, succeeding Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen *Kook. Bloch was also appointed the official rabbi by the government. During World War i he wandered in Russia, returning to Bausk in 1920. In 1922 he went to the United States and was appointed rabbi in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he remained until his death. In 1932 Bloch was elected honorary president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada. During World War ii, he was one of the leaders of the Va'ad ha-Haẓalah, which worked to save the Jews of Europe. He published Ḥiddushei ha-Ritba (Yom Tov b. Abraham *Ishbili) on Mo'ed Katan, Megillah, and Makkot, giving the sources, together with an introduction and his own notes and corrections, entitled Divrei Ḥibah (H ayyim I saac B loch H a-Kohen; 1935–39). Under the same title he published in 1941 a work containing some of the halakhic novellae from discourses that he had delivered at the Plungian yeshivah. Bloch was the author of two works on ethics, published anonymously, Likkutei ha-Rayiv (1904) and Ha-Mavḥin (1928).


D. Kamzon (ed.), Yahadut Lita (1959), 45, 200ff.; O.Z. Rand and A.M. Gruenblatt, Toledot Anshei Shem (1950), 9ff.

[Mordechai Hacohen]