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Horowitz, Aryeh Leib ben Isaac


HOROWITZ, ARYEH LEIB BEN ISAAC (1847–1909), Galician rabbi. Horowitz studied under his grandfather, Meshullam Issachar *Horowitz, rabbi of Stanislav. When he was only 19 years of age his talmudic novellae were published in the Toledot Yiẓḥak of his father. He was ordained rabbi by Joseph Saul *Nathanson and Ḥayyim *Halberstamm, rabbi of Zanz. In 1871 he was appointed rabbi of Zalozce and later of Sereth, Bukovina. In 1879 he was appointed rabbi of Stryj where he found ample scope for his abilities and was henceforth known as "the Stryzer Rav." From 1904 until his death he was rabbi of Stanislav in eastern Galicia, where his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had preceded him. He published the halakhic discourse which he delivered on the occasion of his appointment under the title Hegeh Aryeh (1902). There he founded the yeshivah Or Torah which was headed for many years by Jekuthiel Aryeh *Kamelhar, and to it he devoted his main activities. In 1908, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the reign of the emperor Francis Joseph i, Horowitz was decorated by him. Despite the opposition of his forebears to Ḥasidism, Horowitz was on terms of familiarity with the circle of Ḥayyim Halberstamm, the head of the ḥasidic dynasty of Zanz, and in consequence he was highly respected in ḥasidic circles. His attitude to Zionism was very sympathetic and he was one of the few Galician rabbis to eulogize Theodor *Herzl.

Horowitz attained considerable renown through his responsa, Harei Besamim, the first volume (1882) containing 129 responsa, the second (1897) 253. Many of his responsa remained in manuscript, but eventually his pupils and relatives succeeded in arranging for their publication; in 1958 a third and fourth part of the Harei Besamim was published by Simon Federbush, containing 165 responsa as well as novellae on various tractates. The book had a wide circulation among scholars. The responsa are in answer to questions from Russia, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Hungary, and are regarded as exemplary among recent halakhic works. They are written in a clear and precise Hebrew style. In the introduction to the second volume Horowitz expresses emphatically his opposition to casuistry, stressing that only a person familiar with the whole Talmud can explain the halakhah and write novel lae "without relying upon imaginary conjectures." In matters "for which no foundation in the Talmud can be found, we are unable to deduce a ruling and fabricate the halakhah" (2, no. 84 p. 74d). In general he was lenient in his rulings, adopting the principle that finding a permissive ruling is desirable. He vigorously denounced the local shoḥatim for disregarding the rabbis (1, no. 105). Horowitz stresses particularly his desire for the unity, equality, and brotherhood of the Jews, whether ignorant or learned (Rosh ha-Har, the introduction to the first volume).


M. Brower, in: K. Kamelhar, Mi-Pi Aryeh (1909), 13b–18a; Bloch, in: Sinai, 25 (1949), 186–93; N.M. Gelber, in: Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 5 (1952), 27; J. Horowitz, ibid., 91–93; Aryeh Leib Horowitz, Harei Besamim, ed. by S. Federbush (1958), int rod.; S. Federbush, Ḥikrei Yahadut (1965), 336–49.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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