Loanz, Elijah ben Moses

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LOANZ, ELIJAH BEN MOSES

LOANZ, ELIJAH BEN MOSES (1564–1636), one of the outstanding kabbalists of Germany in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Born in Frankfurt on the Main, he was a grandson of *Joseph Joselmann b. Gershom of Rosheim. His teachers included Akiva Frankfurter, Jacob Guenzberg of Friedberg, *Judah Loew b. Bezalel of Prague, and *Menahem Mendel b. Isaac of Cracow. Serving as rabbi in *Fulda, *Hanau, *Friedberg, and *Worms successively, he was also rosh yeshivah, preacher, and ḥazzan in Worms for a time. Because he was well known as a writer of kabbalistic amulets and incantations, early in his career he acquired the cognomen Elijah Ba'al Shem. Only one of his books, Rinnat Dodim, a kabbalistic commentary on the Song of Songs, was printed during his lifetime (Basle, 1600). Other published works include Mikhlol Yofi, a commentary on Ecclesiastes (Amsterdam, 1695). He was the author of occasional liturgical poetry and his secular poem, Vikku'aḥ Yayin im ha-Mayim, was translated into German. Among his works still in manuscript (Oxford Bodleian Library) are an incomplete commentary on Midrash Genesis Rabbah; Ma'gelei Ẓedek, a supercommentary on *Baḥya b. Asher's commentary on the Pentateuch; Adderet Eliyahu, a commentary on the Zohar; Ẓafenat Pa'ne'aḥ on Tikkunei Zohar; and a commentary on Baḥya ibn Pakuda's Ḥovot ha-Levavot. Some of his kabbalistic amulets and formulae are included in the collections Toledot Adam (Zolkiew, 1720) and Mifalot Elohim (ibid., 1727). Loanz also prepared for press a number of halakhic works, notably Darkhei Moshe by Moses Isserles. He exchanged learned correspondence with the Christian Hebraist, Johannes *Buxtorf.

bibliography:

M. Mannheimer, Die Juden in Worms (1842), 61; Landshuth, Ammudei, 16–17; L. Lewysohn, Nafshot Ẓaddikim;Sechzig Epitaphien… (1855), 59; I. Tishby, in: Sefer Asaf (1953), 515–28; Neubauer, Cat. 1829–32; D. Kaufmann, R. Jair Chajjim Bacharach (1894), 33–34; A. Epstein, Mishpaḥat Luria (1901), 47ff.

[Theodore Friedman]

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