Jolles, Zechariah Isaiah

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JOLLES, ZECHARIAH ISAIAH (1816–1852), talmudic scholar and maskil. Jolles was born in Lemberg. He corresponded with the great contemporary rabbis including Akiva *Eger and Z.H. *Chajes on halakhic topics, and with maskilim (such as Ḥ.Z. *Slonimski, I.H. Jost, and others) on Jewish scholarship. He was critical of "talmudists without secular scholarship" and of scholars "who had forgotten Torah." In his youth he published two pamphlets: Dover Meisharim (Lemberg, 1831) in which he established that the Haggahot ha-Shas attributed to Mordecai *Jaffe was not by him; and Et Ledabber (ibid., 1834), a kind of letter of moral advice to a younger rabbi in the spirit of moderate *Haskalah. Jolles welcomed the plans of Uvarov, the Russian minister of education, to establish Jewish schools and was one of Max *Lilienthal's supporters when the latter came to Minsk in 1842. After his death in Minsk, his son Sussman Jolles published his writings: Zekher Yeshayahu (2 vols., 1882), novellae on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah and responsa; Sefer ha-Torah ve-ha-Ḥokhmah (1913), containing his other writings including letters and poems. These writings are interesting, as they reveal the intermediate position of one who lived during the transition between the traditional rabbinic outlook and Haskalah.


Z.I. Jolles, Sefer ha-Torah ve-ha-Hokhmah (1913), introduction; B.Z. Eisenstadt, Rabbanei Minsk ve-Ḥakhameha (1898), 29–31, 46.