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Lipschuetz, Israel ben Eliezer


LIPSCHUETZ, ISRAEL BEN ELIEZER (d. 1782), German rabbi, studied under Ezekiel *Katzenellenbogen. In the responsa of his father titled Heshiv R. Eliezer (Nevewirth, 1649), there are included several items by the son, Israel, who is mentioned as being the rabbi of "Diez, Hadamar, and the environs." Later he served as rabbi in Cleves. In 1766–67 he came into prominence with regard to the cause célèbre known as the *Clevesget. Lipschuetz himself in 1770 published a collection of responsa supporting his standpoint under the title Or Yisrael (Cleves, 1770) in answer to the Or ha-Yashar published by *Aaron Simeon of Copenhagen in Amsterdam a year previously in support of the opposing side.

His son gedaliah (d. 1826) eked out a meager living serving as rabbi to various smaller Jewish communities in East Prussia, among them Obrzycko and Chodziez (now in Poland). In 1809 he came into conflict with the local authorities when he opposed an edict forbidding the settlement of conflicts by recourse to Jewish courts. Gedaliah was the author of Ḥumrei Matnita (Berlin, 1784) in six parts: comments on the Talmud and its main commentaries with special attention given to the tractates Nazir and Nedarim; an explanation of unusual words in the Talmud; novellae on *Asher b. Jehiel titled Ateret Rosh; notes on Isaac *Alfasi titled Ma'aseh Ilpas;Minei Targimon, comments on Targum Onkelos and Rashi's Pentateuch commentary; Mirkevet ha-Mishnah, comments on difficult passages in the Mishnah. In his approbation of this work the father mentions 17 works of his son as existing in manuscript form. Gedaliah also wrote Regel Yesharah (Dyhernfurth, 1777), containing a list of unusual words left unexplained by Rashi in his commentary on the Talmud, referring to other passages where an explanation is found; comments on the order Nezikin and the minor tractates of the Talmud; an excursus on talmudic weights and measures; and an elucidation of the geometrical matter in chapters three and five of the tractate Kilayim. The allegedly presumptuous tone of this work, combined with the conceit and contentious disposition of its author, led to its disparagement among the maskilim who coined the saying, "the author of the Regel Yesharah ("Straight Foot") is a twisted blockhead."


Berliner, in: mgwj, 50 (1906), 215–8; S.B. Freehof, Responsa Literature (1955), 158ff.; D. Kaufmann and M. Freudenthal, Familie Gomperz (1907), 74; Tal, in: Sinai, 24 (1948–49), 152–67.

[Jacob Haberman]

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