Margolioth, Ephraim Zalman ben Menahem Mannes

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MARGOLIOTH, EPHRAIM ZALMAN BEN MENAHEM MANNES (1760–1828), rabbi and author. Ephraim studied under his uncle, Alexander Margolioth, rabbi of Satanov, Isaac of Ostrow, author of Berit Kehunnat Olam, and Ezekiel *Landau. In his youth he was rabbi of Ohanov, but later left the rabbinate, according to some reports declining an offer of the rabbinate of Frankfurt. Ephraim settled in Brody and went into business, in which he was highly successful. He owned commercial establishments in Vienna and it was said of him: "From the time of the minister Saul *Wahl there has not been Torah and wealth such as belong to Margolioth." He spent most of his time in study, leaving the conduct of his business to his partner Simeon Dishze. He also studied esoteric works with a group of kabbalists at Brody, and had a sound knowledge of history. Margolioth wrote many books and exchanged responsa with the greatest rabbis of his time, with some of whom he maintained close relations. He was involved in the controversy caused by Joshua Heshel *Ẓoref's book Ha-Ẓoref and established the fact that it had strong leanings toward Shabbateanism. He also contended with the communal leaders of Brody over the leniency extended to the wealthy parnasim under the prevailing system of communal taxation and demanded their full participation in community expenditure.

Margolioth gave his approbation to a great number of books, including many by ḥasidic rabbis. His own works, which appeared in many editions, and many of his halakhic decisions have been accepted.

His works include Beit Efrayim, part 1 entitled Peri Tevu'ah, with commentary Rosh Efrayim (Lemberg, 1809); part 2 Shulḥan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah (ibid., 1810); responsa Beit Efrayim (ibid., 1818); and another collection of responsa Beit Efrayim (Brody, 1866); Shem Efrayim, on Rashi's commentary to the Pentateuch and haftarot (Ostrow, 1826); Zera Efrayim on the Pesikta Rabbati (Lemberg, 1853); Yad Efrayim, on Shulḥan Arukh, Oraḥ Ḥayyim (in Dubno ed. of Shulḥan Arukh, Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 1820). He also wrote Ma'alot ha-Yuḥasin, a genealogical book on the families Landau, Margolioth, etc. (Lemberg, 1900). R. Ẓevi Hirsch *Chajes of Zolkiew was among his pupils.


J.A. Kamelhar, Dor De'ah, 2 (1928), 145–9; Rubinstein, in: Hadorom, 4 (1958), 3–13; Rabinowitz, in: Zion, 6 (1941), 80–84; Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 6 (1955), 65–66.

[Itzhak Alfassi]