Placzek, Abraham

views updated


PLACZEK, ABRAHAM (1799–1884), *Landesrabbiner of Moravia. In 1827 he became rabbi in his birthplace, Přerov (Prerau, Moravia), and in 1832 in *Hranice (Maehrisch Weiss-kirchen). From 1840 until his death he was rabbi in *Boskovice. When Samson Raphael *Hirsch left the Landesrabbinat of Moravia in 1851, the provincial authorities appointed Placzek acting Landesrabbiner, declaring the election regulations of 1754 obsolete. He held the post until his death. By this act the Landesrabbinat was removed from *Mikulov after more than 200 years. Placzek was considered an outstanding talmudic scholar and was strictly Orthodox, supporting Solomon *Spitzer in his struggle against liturgical reform in Vienna (1872). Nevertheless he attempted to avoid open conflicts between the factions, both in Boskovice and in Moravia.

His son, baruch jacob (1835–1922), succeeded him and became the last Landesrabbiner of Moravia. He taught at Jewish secondary schools in Germany for some years and was called as rabbi to *Brno (Bruenn) in 1860. He established a teachers' seminary offering a course in ḥazzanut, a project favored by his father, and was an adherent of moderate religious reform. Baruch published, partly under the pseudonym Benno Planek, various works on Jewish themes: Im Eruw (1867), poems, and Der Takkif (1895), a short novel documenting a Moravian Jewish quarter before 1848. He also published articles on natural science, mainly zoology.


H. Gold (ed.), Die Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens… (1929), 52 (a list of Baruch's works), and index; D. Feuchtwang, in: Gedenkbuch… D. Kaufmann (1900), 384; A. Frankl-Gruen, Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier, 2 (1898), 138–43, 174–6; Dr. Blochs Oesterreichische Wochenschrift, 28 (1911), 11–12.

[Meir Lamed]