Ettinger, Mordecai Ze'ev ben Isaac Aaron Segal

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ETTINGER, MORDECAI ZE'EV BEN ISAAC AARON SEGAL (1804–1863), Polish rabbinical scholar, and scion of a long line of rabbis (see *Ettinger family). He studied under Naphtali Hirsch Sohastov, rabbi of Lemberg, and under his own uncle, Jacob *Ornstein. Although renowned for his great scholarship, he never occupied a rabbinical position, his considerable personal fortune rendering him independent. In 1857 he was chosen rabbi of Cracow and its environs and indicated his acceptance but changed his mind. He served as "nasi of the Holy Land" of the Austrian kolel, an honorable position always given to the greatest of the rabbis. In this capacity he did much to help consolidate the position of the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel. He studied together with his brother-in-law, Joseph Saul ha-Levi *Nathanson, many joint works resulting from their 25 years of collaboration.

First and foremost of them was Mefareshei ha-Yam (Lemberg, 1827), novellae and elucidation appended to the Yam ha-Talmud on the tractate Bava Kamma, by their uncle, Moses Joshua Heshel Ornstein of Tarnogrod; at the end of this work is included their halakhic correspondence with such contemporaries as Moses *Sofer, Mordecai *Banet, and Akiva *Eger. Their remaining joint works to be noted are Me'irat Einayim (Vilna, 1839), a work in seven sections on the inspection of animals' lungs; Magen Gibborim, 1 (Lemberg, 1834), 2 (Zolkieve, 1839); two commentaries on the first 235 chapters of the Shulḥan Arukh, Oraḥ Ḥayyim; glosses to and emendations of the glosses of Mordecai *Jaffe on the Talmud (published in the Romm Vilna edition of the Talmud); Ma'aseh Alfas (in the Romm Vilna edition of Alfasi), glosses on the halakhot of Isaac Alfasi and the Mordecai; Ner Ma'aravi. a commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud which includes references under the title Ein Mishpat and glosses thereto entitled Gilyon ha-Shas (published in the Piotrkow 1859–60 edition of the Jerusalem Talmud).

This fruitful partnership ended in 1859, Ettinger having published in Solomon *Kluger of Brod's booklet Moda'ah le-Veit Yisrael (1859), which contained a ban against machine-baked maẓẓot, whereupon Nathanson published a contrary opinion in a booklet called Bittul Moda'ah (1859). After the rift with his brother-in-law, Ettinger devoted himself to study together with his son Isaac Aaron (Ma'amar Mordekhai, no. 58), and decided to publish responsa and novellae independently. To this period belong his important responsa Ma'amar Mordekhai (1852), which deal to a great extent with the laws of *agunah. A collection of his responsa, Shevet Aḥim, has remained in manuscript.

His most famous son was isaac aaron (1827–1891) who served as rabbi in Przemysl and in 1888 succeeded Ẓevi Hirsch Ornstein as rabbi of Lemberg, remaining there until his death. Like his father, he at first refused all rabbinical offers, including the rabbinate of Przemysl, and like him also served as "nasi of the Holy Land." His novellae were published together with his father's Ma'amar Mordekhai, and his responsa are found in his Maharya ha-Levi (2 vols., 1893), as well as in various works of contemporary rabbis.


S. Buber, Anshei Shem (1895), 151f.; I.T. Eisenstadt and S. Wiener, Da'at Kedoshim (1897–98), 178; H.N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi, 1 (1888), 146a–49b, 156a–b; L. Ginzberg, Perushim ve-Ḥiddushim ba-Yerushalmi, 1 (1941), lxi (Eng. introd.); eg.

[Itzhak Alfassi]