Bloch, Hermann

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BLOCH, HERMANN (Ḥayyim Ben Ẓevi; 1826–1896), rabbi and author. Born in Breslau, Bloch was a grandson of Abraham *Tiktin, chief rabbi of Breslau, whom he mentions in the introduction to his Mevo ha-Talmud. He studied in Breslau under his uncle Solomon Tiktin, and then in Hamburg. At various periods of his life he engaged in business and in his later years was a teacher at a bet midrash in Breslau. Bloch did research on the development of the Oral Law, and published Mevo ha-Talmud (vol. 1, Berlin, 1853). In his view, "the individual character of a tanna or an amora was the factor which determined his particular teachings or mode of exegesis in all matters, regardless of whether they were financial, ritual, scientific, or ethical" (p. 11). "Nevertheless, the underlying unity of tannaim and amoraim forms the foundation of 'the chain of tradition' and of 'the unity of the oral law,' whose source is in the written law" (p. 56). He devotes a detailed study, under the title Hirhurei Torah (4 pts., 1887–93), to the rule of the majority (based on Ex. 23:2), discussing its application in the Bible and the Talmud. In Ẓurat ha-Bayit (1883) he reconstructs the design of Herod's temple according to talmudic sources. He also published Omrei Inshei (1855), a collection of 107 parables found in the Babylonian Talmud, accompanied by a German translation.


M. Brann, in: mgwj, 42 (1898), 529 n.3; Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 246–7.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]