Libowitz, Samuel Nehemiah

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LIBOWITZ, SAMUEL NEHEMIAH (1862–1939), writer on Jewish subjects. Born in Kolno, Poland, he immigrated to America in 1881. He traded in precious stones and was so successful that he could afford to print over 20 books in limited editions. He corresponded with eminent Jewish scholars including Israel *Davidson, to whom he wrote 107 letters, which he later published himself in 1933. His works include Peni'el (1914), a collection from Jewish literature on the subject of death; Ha-Mavet be-Fanim Soḥakot (1917); Sefer Sha'ashu'im (1927); and Ha-Shome'a Yiẓḥak (1907), sharp-witted jokes and original interpretations of the rabbis and from the Middle Ages; Judah Aryeh Modena bi-Demuto ve-Ẓivyono (1896); Kitvei ha-Rav Yehudah Aryeh mi-Modena (1936); and Doresh Reshumot ha-Aggadah (1893, 19202, 19293), explanations of several aggadot of the Talmud. He also edited and published Oẓar ha-Ḥokhmah ve-ha-Madda (1897), in collaboration with Jacob Reifmann, Moses Reicherson, Solomon Rabin, and others. In several of his works he violently polemized against such scholars as R. Isaac Hirsch Weiss, Ze'ev Schorr, Radkinson, Saul Tchernichowsky, and Joseph Klausner. He immigrated to Palestine in 1927, but his longing for his children took him back to America.


S. Bernstein, N.S. Libowitz (Heb., 1931); D. Persky, in: Hadoar, 21 (1940/41), 656–8; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 251–2.

[Chayim Reuven Rabinowitz]