Skip to main content

Horowitz, Samuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg


HOROWITZ, SAMUEL SHMELKE OF NIKOLSBURG (1726–1778), rabbi and kabbalist in Poland and Galicia. Samuel was the elder brother of Phinehas b. Ẓevi Hirsch *Horowitz and in their youth both were among the disciples of *Dov Baer the Maggid of Mezhirech. Samuel, who did much to spread Ḥasidism in Poland and Galicia, served as a rabbi in several towns there: Rychwal, 1754, and Sieniawa, 1766; from 1773 he officiated in Nikolsburg (Mikulov), Moravia, first as av bet din and later as rabbi of the province. This last appointment gave rise to bitter opposition, but Empress *Maria Theresa confirmed him in office by virtue of his Ḥasidism and Orthodoxy, "even though he does not know German and is not versed in the laws of the land." Samuel is considered one of the pioneers of Ḥasidism, of whom miraculous stories are related in ḥasidic legend. In fact, however, he did not wholly accept the Ḥasidism taught by *Israel b. Eliezer Ba'al Shem Tov. Though he surrounded himself with young scholars and educated them in Ḥasidism, Samuel was an ascetic who remained in his home and kept people at a distance. An undertone of protest against the prevailing atmosphere of folly and levity among the Ḥasidim can be discerned in his teachings. Among his works are Divrei Shemu'el (1862), which contains homiletic and kabbalistic commentaries and novellae on Bava Batra and on the laws on festivals in Oraḥ Ḥayyim; and Nezir ha-Shem (1869), which includes novellae on the Shulhan Arukh, Even ha-Ezer. Samuel took part in the literary controversy over Ḥasidism requesting that the rabbis of Brody refrain from imposing the Vilna ban on Ḥasidism and discount the accusations that Ḥasidim opposed tradition.


Israel of Slutsk, Sefer Vikku'aḥ (1798), 18; A. Walden, in: Shem ha-Gedolim he-Ḥadash (1864), 70–71; M. Bieber, Yalkut Menaḥem (1903), 14–18; A.H.S.B. Michaelsohn, Shemen ha-Tov (1905); Dubnow, Ḥasidut, 81, 125; I.Z. Kahana, in: Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 4 (1950), 279–80; D. Feuchtwang, in: Gedenkbuch zur Erinnerung an D. Kaufmann (1900), 380; W. Mueller, Urkundliche Beitraege zur Geschichte der maehrischen Judenschaft (1903), 160; M. Buber, Tales of the Ḥasidim (1964), 182–94; Horodezky, Ḥasidut, index.

[Avraham Rubinstein]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Horowitz, Samuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 24 May. 2019 <>.

"Horowitz, Samuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (May 24, 2019).

"Horowitz, Samuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved May 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.