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Horowitz, Phinehas ben Israel Ha-Levi


HOROWITZ, PHINEHAS BEN ISRAEL HA-LEVI (1535–1618), talmudic scholar; leader of the Cracow community. Horowitz was apparently born in Prague and died in Cracow. He never held the post of rabbi. From 1581, for many years he was head of the Cracow community, and in the takkanot of that town his signature appears first. In 1609 he signed a trade agreement with the council of Kazimierz. From 1585 he headed the *Council of Four Lands and his signature appears on the takkanot of 1595 and 1597. His second wife was the sister of Moses *Isserles, in whose responsa he is mentioned (No. 49). In 1556 Horowitz visited *Shalom Shakhna of Lublin, to whom he gave details of the method of studying the Talmud in Germany, particularly in Frankfurt. When in 1602 the Jewish community of Rome was in distress, the special emissary of the community addressed himself in a personal letter to Horowitz to commend the Jews of Rome to the Council of Four Lands and to Saul Katzenellenbogen of Brest-Litovsk, appealing to them to collect monies for the benefit of the needy. Yom Tov Lipman *Heller describes him as "a prince in Israel, very wise in Torah and worldly matters, and head of all the leaders of the four lands of the kingdom of Poland" (Megillat Eivah). His novellae are found in the works of contemporary rabbis. His novellae to tractates Yevamot and Makkot were published in 1909 under the title Beit Pinḥas. He wrote an introduction to the Derushim le-Khol Ḥefẓeihem (Cracow, 1609) of Nathan Vidal b. Samuel Phoebus b. Moses Te'omim of Vienna.

His son isaac (d. 1631) is mentioned in 1624–26 among the heads of the Cracow community; his name appears on a takkanah of the Council of Four Lands. He died in Vienna. Another son samuel (d. c. 1622), born in Cracow, edited in Cracow a new edition of the Shulḥan Arukh (1617–18), adding to the glosses of his uncle Moses Isserles cross-references and sources from Isserles' Darkhei Moshe. These references have since been added to every edition of Isserles' glosses.


Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Toledot Mishpaḥat Horowitz (19282), 7; B. Wachstein, Die Inschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Wien, 1 (1912), 117f., 123–5; Halpern, Pinkas, 10, 12f., 37f.; A. Siev, Ha-Rema (1957), 16; Sefer Cracow (1959), 20.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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