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Loewy, Jacob Ezekiel ben Joseph

LOEWY, JACOB EZEKIEL BEN JOSEPH

LOEWY, JACOB EZEKIEL BEN JOSEPH (1814–1864), rabbi and author. Born in Hotzenplotz, Moravia, Loewy went at the age of nine to study with Baruch Te'omim Fraenkel in Leipnik. After Fraenkel's death in 1827, he studied at various yeshivot including those of Benjamin Wolf in Tepelstein and Jacob Meshullam *Ornstein in Lemberg; he spent one year in Berlin where his studies included secular learning. After his marriage he engaged in business, studying in his spare time. In 1846 he was appointed rabbi of Wadowice, his seat being in Oswiecim (Auschwitz). In 1854 he accepted the position of rabbi in Beuthen where he died. Among his works are Tisporet Lulyanit (1839) attacking the Ma'amar ha-Tiglaḥat (1835) of Isaac Samuel *Reggio who had permitted the cutting of the beard during the intermediate days of a festival; and Bikkoret ha-Talmud ("Kritisch-talmudisches Lexicon," vol. 1, Vienna, 1863). The latter purports to be a critical encyclopedia on the Oral Law and tradition, alphabetically arranged. The volume covers articles under the letter alef. In conformity with his conservative approach, Loewy attempted in his work to harmonize scientific criticism with tradition. In the article on marriage (pp. 155–65) he strongly attacks the extreme reform views of *Holdheim in his Ma'amar ha-Ishut and their qualified approval by Reggio. His halakhic work, Shorshei Halakhah, remains in manuscript. He also published a series of studies in Ha-Maggid, Ha-Meliẓ, and other periodicals.

bibliography:

Fuenn, Keneset, 552.

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