Bloch, Philipp

views updated


BLOCH, PHILIPP (1841–1923), German historian and Reform rabbi. He was born at Tworog (Silesia) and studied in Breslau. After a period as teacher with the Munich Jewish communal school (1869–71), he became rabbi of the Liberal congregation Bruedergemeinde of Posen where he remained active for some fifty years. When that city reverted to Poland after World War i, Bloch retired from the rabbinate and moved to Berlin. He took a leading part in the association of Liberal rabbis and in the work of German Jewish scholarly societies; in 1905 he was a co-founder of the General Archives of German Jews. Bloch's contributions to Jewish scholarship were concerned mainly with the philosophy of religion, aggadah, and Kabbalah; he also wrote about the history of Jews in Poland and the city and province of Posen. Among his works are a translation of and introduction to the first book of Saadiah's Emunot ve-De'ot (1879); a translation of and commentary on the fifth chapter of Book ii of Crescas' Or Adonai concerning free will (1879); essays on the development of Kabbalah and Jewish religious philosophy for Winter-Wuensche's Die juedische Literatur (1894–96); Die Kabbalah auf ihrem Hoehepunkt… (1905); Spuren alter Volksbuecher in der Aggadah (in Festschrift … Hermann Cohen, Judaica, 1912); and Piskoth fuer die drei Trauersabbathe, translation and commentary (in Festschrift … Steinschneider, 1896).


M. Brann, Geschichte des juedisch-theologischen Seminars… in Breslau (1904), 146–7, bibliography; A. Warschauer, in: mgwj, 68 (1924), 1–16; idem, in: mgadj, 6 (1926), 107–9; J. Guttman, in: kawj, 5 (1924), 1–7; N.M. Gelber, in: S. Feder-busch (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eiropah, 2 (1963), 59–63.