Hillman, Samuel Isaac

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HILLMAN, SAMUEL ISAAC (1868–1953), Lithuanian rabbi and dayyan of the London bet din. After serving as rabbi of Berezino, Hillman was appointed rabbi of Glasgow in 1908. He was the moving spirit in calling a conference of rabbis of East European origin in Leeds (1913), which marked a turning point in the recognition of those rabbis in England and the beginning of their influence in the communal and religious life of Anglo-Jewry. In 1914 he was appointed a member of the London bet din and, with his profound talmudic knowledge, became its recognized halakhic authority. Shortly after his appointment World War i broke out and Hillman energetically worked to provide for the needs of the many Belgian-Jewish refugees who came to England. As a result he received a reward from the king of Belgium for his services. He was the London correspondent for the great Eastern European rabbis of his time, including H.O. *Grodzinski and *Israel Meir ha-Kohen (the "Ḥafeẓ Ḥayyim"). A number of the letters of the former to him have been published (see bibliography). Resigning his post in 1934, he settled in Jerusalem where he established a yeshivah.

Rabbi Hillman devoted himself to the Talmud and the halakhic midrashim. He wrote on practically every tractate of the Babylonian Talmud, including the *minor tractates (6 vols., 1921–45), tractates of the Jerusalem Talmud (2 vols., 1947–48), all the halakhic Midrashim (2 vols., 1949–50), and the Yad ha-Ḥazakah of Maimonides. These works are of special importance to the scholar as they include references to all the relevant novellae scattered through the extensive responsa literature. A volume of sermons also appeared under the same title. Hillman had two children, david hillman, London portrait artist and worker in stained glass, who was an active Zionist, and SARAH, who married R. Isaac ha-Levi *Herzog.


eẒd, 2 (1960), 84–86; Ha-Ẓofeh (Elul 29, 5713 and Sivan 17, 5718); Mikhtevei H.O. Grodzinski (1970).

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