Illowy, Bernard

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ILLOWY, BERNARD (1812–1871), Orthodox rabbi and scholar. Illowy was born in Kolin, Bohemia. He was ordained by R. Moses Sofer of Pressburg; mastered Hebrew at the rabbinical school in Padua, Italy; and received a Ph.D. at the University of Budapest. Thoroughly educated in Latin, Greek, Italian, French, and German, Illowy taught languages at the College of Znaim. In 1848 he delivered addresses to revolutionary forces passing through Kolin and, consequently deprived of holding rabbinic office, he emigrated to the U.S. Illowy, the only Orthodox rabbi of his time in the U.S. to have a doctorate, adduced scientific proofs in polemics and responsa that he issued from the seven different communities he served – New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Syracuse, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Cincinnati. He fiercely opposed such Reform leaders as Wise, Lilienthal, Einhorn, and Kalisch and stressed Orthodox observance in his sermons and in his many articles in the Anglo-Jewish press. His Sefer Milḥamot Elohim, Being the Controversial Letters and the Casuistic Decisions… With a Short History of His Life and Activities By His Son, H. Illoway appeared in 1914. Illowy's son, henry illoway (1848–1932), was a noted U.S. physician, pioneer in gastroenterology, and author of medical texts. He also wrote polemical papers opposing Reform Judaism and articles on medical aspects of the Talmud.


M. Davis, Yahadut Amerikah be-Hit patteḥutah (1951), 323.

[I. Harold Sharfman]