Libschitz, Baruch Mordecai ben Jacob

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LIBSCHITZ, BARUCH MORDECAI BEN JACOB (1810–1885), Polish rabbi and author. Libschitz occupied successively rabbinical positions at Siemiatycze, Volkovysk, and Novogrudok, before he was appointed rabbi of Siedlce in 1876. He was acknowledged as a leading halakhic authority and many turned to him with their halakhic questions. Although Siedlce was a ḥasidic community, as a Lithuanian Libschitz was opposed to ḥasidism and often came into conflict with the members of his community who were used to ḥasidic rabbis. He was one of the first to support the Ḥovevei Zion movement and in his letters to Joseph Friedland, the first propagandist of the Zionist movement, he gave him much encouragement. He was also one of the main supporters of the establishment of the Eẓ Ḥayyim yeshivah in Jerusalem. He published Berit Ya'akov, responsa on the Shulḥan Arukh (pt. 1 Ḥm; pt. 2 eh, 1876–77); and Beit Mordekhai, sermons and memorial addresses (1881). His Minḥat Bikkurim, talmudic novellae, has remained in manuscript. He had two sons, meir ezekiel, who settled in Jerusalem and died there in 1909, and jacob zalman (d. 1915); their talmudic novellae appear in the works of R. Elijah *Klatzkin, the rabbi of Lublin who had settled in Jerusalem.


H.N. Maggid-Steinschneider, Ir Vilna (1900), 164; Frankel, in: Yizkor li-Kehillat Siedlce (1956), 296f.

[Itzhak Alfassi]