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Horovitz, Marcus


HOROVITZ, MARCUS (1844–1910), Orthodox rabbi, historian, and halakhist in Germany. Horovitz was born in Ladany (near Tokaj), Hungary. He studied in Verbo, Hungary, under Ḥayyim Ẓevi Mannheimer and at the Eisenstadt yeshivah under Azriel *Hildesheimer, whose favorite pupil he became. His reminiscences of his youth in Hungary were published as Von Liszka nach Berlin (1914; previously in Die Juedische Presse, vol. 1, 1870). After serving as rabbi in Germany at Lauenburg and Gnesen, in 1878 he accepted a call to become the first Orthodox rabbi of the Frankfurt on the Main general community after Reform had eliminated all Orthodox institutions. Beginning in 1851, S.R. *Hirsch had developed a small but fast-growing independent Orthodox congregation and in 1876 had obtained the legal right for his and similar congregations to secede from the general Jewish congregation, until then the only body recognized by the state. Horovitz was one of the few Orthodox rabbis who refused to sign Hirsch's petition to the Prussian Diet. The growing strength of Hirsch's kehillah induced the general community to make concessions to the Orthodox. Horovitz had to face the intense hostility of Hirsch's followers in addition to the Reform opposition. By dint of his strong yet tolerant personality he succeeded beyond expectation in establishing Orthodox synagogues and institutions. He joined the Allgemeiner Rabbinerverband, whose vice chairman he became, the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, the B'nai B'rith movement, and similar non-Orthodox organizations. He also joined Hildesheimer in establishing the Traditionell-Gesetzestreuer Rabbinerverband, which did not discriminate between secessionist and communal rabbis. Horovitz's attitude to emerging Zionism was ambivalent. On the one hand he strongly supported various attempts in aid of the yishuv in Palestine but on the other hand he feared the secularization inherent in Zionism and signed the declaration of the *Protestrabbiner. Horovitz made a series of contributions to Jewish scholarship, particularly in history. He wrote Frankfurter Rabbinen (4 vols., 1881–85; 19692), a study of the work and personalities of the rabbis who served that community; Die Inschriften des alten Friedhofs der israelitischen Gemeinde zu Frankfurt a. M. (1901); and Juedische Aerzte in Frankfurt a. M. (1886). In the field of halakhah, his responsa Matteh Levi (vol. 1, 1891; vol. 2, ed. by his son Jacob, 1932) show his talmudic learning.


J. Unna, in: M. Horovitz, Frankfurter Rabbinen (19692), 339–76 (incl. bibl.), idem, in: L. Jung (ed.), JewishLeaders (1953), 249ff.; I. Heinemann, ibid., 261ff.; M. Eliav (ed.), E. Hildesheimer Briefe (1965), 121f., 229f.; J. Rosenheim, Oholei Ya'akov; Ausgewaehlte Aufsaetze und Ansprachen, 2 (1930), 449–53; H. Schwab, Chachme Ashkenaz (Eng., 1964), no. 56.

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