Landau, Isaac Elijah ben Samuel

views updated


LANDAU, ISAAC ELIJAH BEN SAMUEL (1801–1876), Lithuanian preacher and biblical commentator. Landau was born in Vilna. He married the daughter of the wealthy and well-known Zadok Marshalkovitch of Dubno and was relieved of financial cares, and although he did occasionally engage in business, he spent most of his life in Dubno compiling his books and sermons, using the method of parables in the style of Jacob *Kranz, the Maggid of Dubno. Landau was chosen by the communities of Volhynia to be their representative on the committee set up by the Russian minister of the interior to deal with religious affairs, and for this purpose he lived in St. Petersburg for several months in 1861. In 1868 he became official preacher and dayyan of Vilna. His sermons were popular.

The following are among his main works: Ma'aneh Eliyahu (Vilna, 1840), a commentary on the Tanna de-Vei Eliyahu published in the same volume with Si'aḥ Yiẓḥak, biblical and aggadic novellae; Berurei ha-Middot (Vilna, 1844), expositions and novellae to the Mekhilta, to which was joined a treatise, Miẓẓui ha-Middot, "for the understanding of biblical rhetoric and the sayings of the sages"; Mikra Soferim (Suwalki, 1862), expositions and novellae to tractate Soferim; and Dover Shalom (Warsaw, 1863), a commentary on the prayer book. The following of his commentaries and parables on the Bible have been published: Patshegen, a commentary on Proverbs (Koenigsberg, 1858), Psalms (Warsaw, 1866), and 12 Minor Prophets and the Five Scrolls (Vilna, 1869/70); and Patshegen ha-Dat (Vilna, 1872/5), on the Pentateuch. Landau published the Derekh Ereẓ Zuta (1872) with the commentary Derekh Ḥayyimve-Orḥhot Ḥayyim; and expositions of the aggadot of the Talmud to Berakhot and Shabbat (Vilna, 1876). His sermons were published in Vilna in 1871 and 1876.


S. Fuenn, Kiryah (19152), 230; idem, Keneset, 632; H.N. Maggid-Steinschneider, Ir Vilna (1900), 92–97; P. Pesis, Ir Dubno ve-Rabbaneiha (1902), 34f.; Ḥ.D. Friedberg, Benei Landau le-Mishpehotam (1905), 21; S.J. Glicksberg, Ha-Derashah be-Yisrael (1940), 435f.; Yahadut Lita, 1 (1959), 349; 3 (1967), 65.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]