Brody, Heinrich

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BRODY, HEINRICH (Ḥayyim ; 1868–1942), researcher of Sephardi piyyutim and medieval Hebrew poetry. Brody was born in Ungvar (Uzhgorod), Hungary, the son of Solomon Zalman *Brody, the grandson of Solomon *Ganzfried, author of Kiẓẓur Shulḥan Arukh. Brody studied at the Bratislava (Pressburg) Yeshivah and at the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin where he also attended university and came under the influence of Abraham *Berliner and Moritz *Steinschneider. In 1894 he published the first part of his proposed edition of the poems of Judah Halevi. Brody continued until 1930 to edit Halevi's poems, with extensive commentaries, but he never completed this edition. Brody intended to publish the works of all the important medieval Hebrew poets. In 1897 he began to publish the poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol, in 1910, those of Samuel ha-Nagid, and in 1926, Maḥberot Immanuel of Immanuel of Rome; but for various reasons these editions, too, were not completed. Brody became a Zionist while serving as rabbi in Nachod, Bohemia. After the establishment of the Mizrachi in 1902 he became president of the Hungarian organization. Brody expressed his views on Zionism and the role of religion in a pamphlet (published under the nom de plume H. Salomonsohn) Widerspricht der Zionismus unserer Religion? (1898). In 1905 he coauthored with K. Albrecht an anthology of Hebrew poetry of the Spanish-Arabic school entitled Sha'ar ha-Shir (English ed., 1906). In 1922, with M. Wiener, he edited an anthology of Hebrew poetry, Mivḥar ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit. Brody founded the bibliographical periodical Zeitschrift fuer hebraeische Bibliographie in 1896 and published it until 1906 (from 1900 to 1906 together with A. Freimann). He went to Prague in 1905 to head the local talmud torah and after the death of Nathan *Ehrenfeld became in 1912 chief rabbi of Prague. When the institute for research of Hebrew poetry (Ha-Makhon le-Ḥeker ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit) was founded in Berlin by S. Schocken in 1930, Brody was invited to head it, and in 1933 he moved with the Institute to Jerusalem. During his years at the Institute he edited the secular poems of Moses ibn Ezra (1935) and Be'ur la-Divan (a commentary on the diwan of Judah Halevi), a book containing a wealth of information on Hebrew poetry in Spain. He also published the diwan of Eleazar bar Jacob (1935) and edited (from 1933 to 1938) the Institute's studies (ymḤsi) in which he printed important original works. Brody published other research papers in Hebrew, German, and Hungarian. Years after Brody's death, Ḥ. Schirmann published under Brody's and his own name the critical edition of Ibn Gabirol's secular poetry (1974).


A.M. Habermann, in: Gilyonot, 7 (1938), 211–5; J. Klausner, Yoẓerei Tekufah u-Mamshikhei Tekufah (1956), 162–66; Festschrift fuer Heinrich Brody, Soncino Blaetter, 3, nos. 2–4 (1929–30), includes bibliography; Wollstein, in: ymḤsi, 5 (1939); Habermann, in S. Federbush (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eiropah (1958), 92–97; The Jews in Czechoslovakia, 1 (1968), index.

[Abraham Meir Habermann]