Plotzki, Meir Dan of Ostrova

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PLOTZKI, MEIR DAN OF OSTROVA (1867–1928), Polish rabbi. Plotzki studied under R. Israel Joshua of Kutno, R. Ḥayyim Eleazar Wax of Piotrkow, and R. Abraham of Sochaczew. In 1891, he was elected rabbi of Warta. The publication of the first part of his Ḥemdat Yisrael in 1903 made him famous throughout Poland, and in 1908 he was appointed rabbi of the large town of Ostrow. In 1926 he resigned from the rabbinate and was appointed rosh yeshivah of the "Metivta" in Warsaw. This institution, founded by the Ḥasidim of *Gur, of whom he was a fervent adherent, was the most important yeshivah in Poland. In 1912 Plotzki visited Ereẓ Israel and instituted many improvements in the administration of the Polish kolel. One of the leaders of *Agudat Israel, he spent a year as its emissary in Belgium, England, and the United States. He was chairman of the executive committee of the Agudat ha-Rabbanim in Poland.

In addition to his Ḥemdat Yisrael (1903–24), partly on Maimonides' Sefer ha-Mitzvot, he wrote Keli Ḥemdah, a commentary on the Pentateuch, in six parts (1906–38); Sha'alu Shelom Yerushalayim (1910), to expose the forgery of the purported Jerusalem Talmud on the order of Kodashim published by Solomon *Friedlander (1907–09); and Niẓoẓei Or, novellae on the Or ha-Ḥayyim by R. Ḥayyim b. *Attar, printed together with the Toledot Rabbenu Ḥayyim ibn Atar (1925) by Reuben Margolioth. Many of his other works have remained in manuscript.


Diglenu, 8 (1928), nos. 8, 10, 11; Ha-Derekh, (1943), no. 35; I. Frankel, Yeḥidei Segullah (19644), 161–5.

[Itzhak Alfassi]