Lipschitz, Jacob Ha-Levi

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LIPSCHITZ, JACOB HA-LEVI (1838–1921), Hebrew writer and opponent of the Haskalah. Born in Vilkomir (Ukmerge), Lithuania, Lipschitz was the secretary, assistant, and representative on public affairs for R. Isaac Elhanan *Spektor from 1870 to 1896. He was one of the organizers of the fact-finding mission on the 1881–82 pogroms and persecutions of Russian Jewry which sent reports to the Jewish centers of Western Europe. He wrote sharply-worded articles (usually anonymous) against the Haskalah and its leaders, gradually becoming the leading Orthodox journalist and Orthodoxy's spokesman in its polemics against the religious reforms proposed by the Hebrew writers M.L. *Lilienblum and J.L. *Gordon. He encouraged the publications of the religious press (e.g., Ha-Levanon, Ha-Kerem, Ha-Peles, Ha-Modi'a), to which he contributed regularly. He issued manifestos and lampoons against the Zionist movement from his office in Kovno ("the Black Office" to his opponents). His books include Divrei Shalom ve-Emet (1884), against the proposal to establish a rabbinical seminary in Russia, and a biography of Spektor (Toledot Yiẓḥak, 1897; also in Yid. as Ge'on Yiẓḥak, 1899). His Orthodox ideology is presented in Sefer Maḥazikei ha-Dat (1903). His Zikhron Ya'akov (3 pts., 1924–30), which he wrote during his World War i exile in the Ukraine, contains historical notes and personal memories. It was published after his death by his son Nathan Nata Lipschitz and is an important source for the history of the Jews in Russia during the 19th century.


B. Dinur, Be-Olam she-Shaka (1958), 86–92; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 282–3; Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 178–9.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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Lipschitz, Jacob Ha-Levi

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