Gesundheit, Jacob ben Isaac

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GESUNDHEIT, JACOB BEN ISAAC (1815–1878), Polish rabbi and author. Gesundheit was born in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw. He studied there under Leib Zinz of Plotsk. On the death of Dov Berush b. Isaac Meisels, rabbi of Warsaw, Gesundheit was chosen to succeed him (1870). Possessed of considerable means, he had not previously held a rabbinic post despite the fact that he was a great talmudist, headed a yeshivah, and had already written a number of books. Gesundheit fought strongly against *Ḥasidism, which was on the increase in Warsaw. The Hasidim fought back and together with the assimilationists under Ludwig Nathanson compelled him to resign from the rabbinate after four years. He died four years later. All his published books are entitled Tiferet Ya'akov. He wrote novellae on the Shulhan Arukh (1842–1926), and on tractates Gittin (1858) and Ḥullin (2 pts., 1867–1910). His responsa and other talmudic novellae have remained in manuscript.


Fuenn, Keneset, 542f.; "Toledot Rabbenu Ya'akov Gesundheit," in: Reshimat ha-Sefarim mi-Sifriyyat Gesundheit (1939), 5–8.

[Itzhak Alfassi]