Heller, Ẓevi Hirsch

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HELLER, ẒEVI HIRSCH

HELLER, ẒEVI HIRSCH (1776–1834), Galician and Hungarian rabbi. Born in Zamoscz, Galicia, Heller was already noted for his acumen in his youth and was designated "Hirsch Ḥarif" ("Hirsch, the sharp-witted"). His first rabbinate was in Brugl, Silesia, and in 1817 he was appointed head of the yeshivah in Brody, Galicia, and many of his students later became renowned talmudists, among them Ẓevi Hirsch *Chajes. Because of a calumny he was expelled from Brody and moved to Hungary. He first became rabbi in Ungvar, and c. 1820 was appointed rabbi of Bonyhad, where he served for 13 years. During this period the Reform controversy began, and its adherents in the town fought against him. As a result he accepted the invitation of the Ungvar community to return there in 1833, but later that year he was elected rabbi and av bet din of the community of Obuda (= Old Buda); however, after seven months there, he fell ill and died. Responsa to him are found in Moses *Sofer's Ḥatam Sofer (Even ha-Ezer, 1:94, 2:30).

bibliography:

P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-EreẓHagar, 1 (1913), 215–6; Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 4 (1950), 7–8; 6 (1955), 79, 201; A. Buechler, A zsidók története Budapesten (1901), 324–5.

[Samuel Weingarten-Hakohen]