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Horowitz, Lazar (Eleazar) ben David Joshua Hoeschel


HOROWITZ, LAZAR (Eleazar ) BEN DAVID JOSHUA HOESCHEL (1803–1868), rabbi of Vienna. A native of Floss, Bavaria, he was invited in 1828 by Isaac Loew *Hoffman von Hoffmannsthal to serve as rabbi of the Vienna community. Since the authorities did not at that time grant formal recognition to the community, he was forced to accept the lesser title of Ritualienaufseher (supervisor of rituals) for Viennese Jews. He was strict in matters of kashrut and many other areas of halakhah, as may be learned from his responsa Yad Eleazar (published by his sons in 1870). At the same time he endeavored to reconcile contending factions in the community and opposed secession by the Orthodox.

With the consent of his teacher, Moses *Sofer, Horowitz agreed in 1863 to the performance of the meẓiẓah (see *circumcision) by a sponge (Yad Eleazar, no. 55). He collaborated with I.N. *Mannheimer in the campaign for abolishing the oath more judaico and with him took an active part in the revolution of 1848. At that time he issued a call to the Jews of Austria asking for an improvement in the political and social conditions of the Jews, proposing as well that they be encouraged to take up agriculture.

Horowitz was favored by the archduchess Maria Dorothea, who was interested in Hebrew literature and believed in the return of the Jewish people to Ereẓ Israel. At his urging she averted the expulsion of several hundred Jewish families from Vienna in 1851. Horowitz was called as an expert at the trial of Leopold *Kompert, editor of the Neuzeit, over the article by Heinrich *Graetz on Messianism. His ambivalent stand on the issue brought down upon him in 1884 the ire of the Orthodox rabbinate led by Azriel *Hildesheimer. He lectured in Adolf *Jellinek's bet ha-midrash and contributed to Hebrew periodicals.


P. Smolenskin, in Ha-Shaḥar, 1 (1869), 3–18; A. Frankl-Gruen, Die Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier, 2 (1898); Dr. Bloch's Wochenschrift, 25 (1908), 26–27; H.D. Friedberg, Toledot Mishpaḥat Horowitz (19282), 19–22; B. Wachstein, Die hebraeische Publizistik in Wien (1930), 84–86; A. Zahavi-Goldhamer, in: Y.L. Fishman (ed.), Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 1 (1946), 264, 270f.; S.W. Baron, in: paajr, 18 (1949), 1–66 passim; M. Grunwald, Vienna (1936), index.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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