Loeb, Isidore

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LOEB, ISIDORE

LOEB, ISIDORE (1839–1892), French rabbi and scholar. Loeb, who was the son of a rabbi in Soultzmatt, Alsace, studied at the Ecole Rabbinique of Metz (which was later transferred to Paris). After tutoring in Bayonne and Paris, he became rabbi at Saint-Etienne (1865). In 1869 Loeb was appointed secretary of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle in Paris, a post he held until his death. As a result of his initiative, the Alliance increased its network of schools in Mediterranean countries and the Balkans and intervened in international conferences on behalf of oppressed Jewish minorities (cf. his La situation des Israélites en Turquie, en Serbie et en Roumanie (1877), and Les Juifs de Russie (1891)). The Alliance bulletins became, under his editorship, a main source of information to all those who were engaged in the fight for Jewish emancipation. Loeb founded and developed the library of the Alliance. From 1878 he taught Jewish history at the École Rabbinique. Loeb's scholarly work covered biblical and talmudic literature, medieval historiography, and the history of the Jews in France and Spain. His articles appeared in various journals including the short-lived Revue Israélite, which he edited from 1870 to 1872. He was also publication manager of the Revue des Études Juives, to which he contributed some 50 articles, and wrote for the Grande Encyclopédie (articles on Judaism from A to C). He prepared a French edition of the mahzor (1869), and wrote mathematical works including Tables du Calendrier (1886). He also wrote La Littérature des Pauvres dans la Bible (rej, 20 (1890); 21 (1890); 23 (1891); 24 (1892), which also appeared separately in 1892). Loeb contended that certain biblical books contain several passages (on whose dating scholars disagree), expressing the idealization of poverty and suffering. This Renan-inspired view has been discussed. A collection of his sermons was published in 1865.

bibliography:

rej, 24 (1892), 1–4; Z. Kahn, ibid, 161–83; J. Levi, ibid., 184–224; M. Liber, ibid., 105 (1940), 16–22; A. Neubauer, in: jqr, 5 (1892/93), 1–4.

[Georges Weill]