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HOROWITZ , Canadian family. isaiah horowitz (Yeshayah ben Asher Ezekiel ha-Levi, Ish Horovits; 1883–1978), rabbi and author. Isaiah Horowitz, who was born in Safed, traced his paternal lineage back 11 generations to a central figure in Polish Jewish rabbinic culture, the Shelaḥ, R. Isaiah *Horowitz; on his mother's side, he claimed to be descended from a number of prominent ḥasidic figures, including *Shneur Zalman of Liady. During his youth, Safed experienced something of an Ashkenazi revival, with two yeshivot. In 1909 he received his semikhah from the Ridbaz, Jacob David ben Ze'ev *Willowski, and served on the bet din there. He identified strongly with religious Zionism and had to argue his case to some of his traditionalist colleagues. According to his own testimony, the situation in Safed deteriorated with the outbreak of war in 1914, and his own material situation did not improve after the war either. In the early 1920s he moved to New York City, and then to Winnipeg. He was invited to the latter by a group of butchers, but when he arrived he discovered that they were trying to usurp the authority of the longstanding rabbinic authority, Israel Kahanovitch. For many years, he was forced to rely on the small sums of money he could earn from officiating at life cycle events, selling lulavim and etrogim, He also seemed to have some wealthy patrons. A firm traditionalist, Horowitz never achieved the widespread public support of the energetic and seemingly omnipresent Kahanovitch. After wwii, Horowitz received a modest salary from one of the local congregations.

During his time in Winnipeg, Horowitz published two books, Sefer Yavo Shilo (1925/6), much of which was composed before his arrival in Winnipeg, and Sefer Pardes ha-Areẓ (1933–5). Both books contain sermons and responsa, and are valuable sources of information for Safed in the 1910s and especially for western Canada in the 1920s and 1930s. Horowitz left Winnipeg in 1953 to return to the Land of Israel. In 1955/6 he published Sefer Eden Ẓiyyon, a compendium of shrines and other holy places in Israel. He died in Israel.

Isaiah Horowitz was married to Tziporah (Feyge) Lorberbaum and they had at least eight children. One son, aron (1911– ), became a prominent Jewish educator in Canada, especially interested in day schools and overnight summer camps. Another son, isaac (1920– ), became a prominent scientist, renowned for his work on quantitative feedback theory. Aron's son, gad (1936– ), is a well-known political theorist in Canada, establishing his reputation early with his seminal Canadian Labour in Politics (1968).


A. Horowitz, Striking Roots (1979); H. Gutkin, The Worst of Times, The Best of Times (1987), 184–95.

[Richard Menkis (2nd ed.)]

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