Loew, Eleazar

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LOEW, ELEAZAR (1758–1837), rabbi in Poland and Hungary. Loew was born in Wodzislav (Poland) and when only 17 years of age was appointed dayyan in his native city. At the age of 20 he was appointed rabbi of Pilica (Poland) and in 1800, on the recommendation of Mordecai *Banet, became rabbi of *Trest (Triesch). Subsequently he held positions as district rabbi of *Pilsen (1812–15), rosh yeshivah of Trest (1815–20), rabbi of Liptovsky Mikuláš, Slovakia (1821–30), and finally, from 1830 until his death rabbi of Santo (Abaujszanto), Hungary. Loew played a vigorous part in the fight against religious reform, and was an active opponent of Aaron *Chorin. Loew is best known mainly for his many scholarly works in all areas of halakhah, which are written with a rational approach, avoiding casuistry, and for his critical commentaries to early works.

Among his halakhic works are Shemen Roke'aḥ, 3 volumes of responsa (1788–1902), and under the same title novellae to the tractates Berakhot, Pesaḥim, Beẓah (Prague, 1812); Torat Ḥesed, on talmudic methodology (Vienna, 1800); Sha'arei Ḥokhmah, on various halakhic topics (Prague, 1807); Zer Zahav, annotations to *Hai Gaon's Ha-Mikkaḥ ve-ha-Mimkar (Vienna, 1800); Sha'arei De'ah, on the Shulḥan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah, pts. 1 and 2 (1821–28); and Zikhron Aharon, on ḥazakah ("legal presumption"; 1834). His homiletic works include Sama de-Ḥayyei (Warsaw, 1796), Yavin Shemu'ah (Prague, 1814), and Minḥat Erev (1911).


Michael, Or, no. 484; L. Muenz, Rabbi Eleasar, genannt Schemen Rokeach (1895); A. Schnitzer, Juedische Kulturbilder (1904), 45f.; J.J.(L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Ha-Yehudim be-Ungarya (1913), 45; I. Muenz, Stammtafel des Rabbi Eleasar, genannt Schemen Rokeach (1926); H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1929), 542f.; A. Klein, in: Nachlath Z'vi, 7 (1937), 139–47; M.M. Glueck (ed.), Eleazar Loew, Zikhron Elazar (1937), introd. 7–18; W.G. Plaut, The Rise of Reform Judaism (1963), 35f.

[Encyclopaedia Hebraica]