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Horovitz, Saul


HOROVITZ, SAUL (1858–1921), scholar of talmudic literature and medieval religious philosophy. Horovitz was born in Szanto, Hungary. He studied at the Warsaw yeshivah of J.B. *Soloveitchik; at the Breslau Jewish Theological Seminary, where he was deeply influenced by Israel Levy; and at Breslau and Munich universities. After a decade as rabbi in Bielitz, Silesia, he was appointed lecturer in 1896 on religious philosophy and homiletics and later was also rabbinical tutor at the Breslau seminary.

Horovitz, who had a comprehensive knowledge of Jewish lore and of Latin, Greek, and Arabic, made a significant contribution to Jewish and Islamic philosophical studies in his dissertation "Prophetologie in der juedischen Religionsphilosophie" (1883), and Die Psychologie bei den juedischen Religionsphilosophen des Mittelalters … (4 vols., 1898–1912), Der Mikrokosmos des Joseph ibn Saddik (1903), Ueber den Einfluss der griechischen Philosophie auf die Entwicklung des Kalam (1909), Die Stellung des Aristoteles bei den Juden des Mittelalters (1911), Abraham ibn David (1912), and Der Einfluss der griechischen Skepsis auf die Entwicklung der Philosophie bei den Arabern (1915).

Horovitz's most important undertaking was his plan, which never fully materialized, to publish critical editions of all the halakhic Midrashim. He edited Sifrei de-Vei Rav [Sif. Num.], with Sifrei Zuta [Sif. Zut.] (1917), which he reconstructed from Yalkut Shimoni (cf. his Der Sifrei Sutta, 1910; Heb. trans. in Mesillot le-Torat ha-Tanna'im (1928), 82ff.); and Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishma'el (completed by I.A. Rabin, 1931). The material collected by Horovitz for the edition of *Sifrei on Deuteronomy was later used by L. *Finkelstein In his editions of the midrashic texts he did not limit himself to citing parallel passages and variant readings, but with great erudition and a keen philological sense explained and illuminated difficult passages. These editions are standard scholarly texts, as is his Beitraege zur Erklaerung und Textkritik der Mechilta des R. Simon (1919). These writings were of great importance to the development of talmudic research. Horovitz's work, which included articles on various topics, is distinguished not by its quantity but by its maturity and solidity.


S.A. Poznański, in: Ha-Tekufah, 10 (1921), 507ff.; M. Brann, Geschichte des Juedisch-theologischen Seminars in Breslau (1904), 115, 133 (bibliography); I. Elbogen, in: azdj, 85 (1921), 91f.; E.E. Urbach, in: G. Kisch (ed.), Das Breslauer Seminar (1963), 182–5 (Heb.); A. Jospe, ibid., 397 (Eng.).

[Moshe David Herr]

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