Schwarz, Adolf

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SCHWARZ, ADOLF (Aryeh ; 1846–1931), rabbi and scholar. Born in Hungary, Schwarz studied at the Breslau Juedisch-theologisches Seminar, where he was Z. *Frankel's favorite pupil and intimate friend. From 1875 he was rabbi in Karlsruhe, a post he accepted at Frankel's behest in spite of his misgivings about the use of the organ in the Karlsruhe synagogue. In 1893 he became head of the newly founded Israelitisch-theologische Lehranstalt in Vienna, where he trained several generations of modern rabbis and teachers as leaders of traditional Judaism. Schwarz enjoyed the respect and affection of his pupils and did much to raise the intellectual and moral standards of Viennese Jewry.

His scholarly work was a conscious effort to continue in the paths of his teacher Frankel and was devoted mainly to the understanding of the Talmud and its methodology. His prize-winning essay on the Jewish calendar (1872), written while a student at Breslau, was followed by his studies on the Tosefta (Tosefta… Shabbat, 1879; Eruvin, 1882, Tosefta Zera'im, 1890) in which he examined its relationship to the Mishnah. At the same time he published its text in the order of the Mishnah with a Hebrew commentary, Hegyon Aryeh. In later years Schwarz continued this work, issuing editions of the tractates Ḥullin (1901), Bava Kamma (1912), and Horayot (1929). His principal contribution to talmudic scholarship was his Controversen der Schammaiten und Hilleliten (1893) which was followed by six monographs on the *hermeneutic rules: Die hermeneutische Analogie in der talmudischen Literatur (1897), Der hermeneutische Syllogismus in der talmudischen Literatur (1901), Die hermeneutische Induktion (1909), Die hermeneutische Antinomie in der talmudischen Literatur (1913), Quantitaetsrelation (1916), and Der hermeneutische Kontext (1921). A summary of these appeared in 1923 (Hauptergebnisse der wissenschaftlich-hermeneutischen Forschung, 1923). Schwarz found that a main cause of the halakhic controversies between the schools of Shammai and Hillel, apart from the weakened power of the Sanhedrin and the consequent shift from practice to theory, was a disagreement on the use of the (seven) hermeneutical rules ascribed to Hillel. Schwarz's modern approach provoked some sharp polemics from Orthodox scholars (A. Friedmann, Penei ha-Dor, 894–6). He also devoted a major study to Maimonides' Code (Der Mishneh Torah, 1905), in which he examined the logical as well as the artistic structure of the Mishneh Torah. A great number of his lectures and sermons appeared in print, as well as many articles in periodicals and some polemics against R. *Kittel. On the occasion of his 70th birthday his friends and pupils published a Festschrift (1917, with bibliography) as did his pupils ten years later (Minḥat Bikkurim, 1926). A memorial volume (Sefer Zikkaron…, 1946) commemorated the centenary of his birth.

His son, arthur zechariah schwarz (1880–1939), was a scholar and bibliographer. Born in Karlsruhe, Schwarz followed his father in Jewish scholarship. Graduating from the Israelitisch-theologische Lehranstalt and the University of Vienna, he was appointed district rabbi and teacher of Jewish religion in that city, but devoted much of his time to scholarship. As a young man he was attracted, in contrast to his father, by Herzl and the Zionist movement and contributed regularly to their official organ, Die Welt. When the Nazis invaded and usurped power in Austria, Schwarz was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo. Broken in body and soul, he was able to leave for Ereẓ Israel where he died soon afterward.

His interest in Jewish bibliography and the study of Hebrew manuscripts owed much to the influence of A. Ratti, later Pope Pius *xi, whom he met on a visit to the Ambrosiana Library at Milan. As a model for his bibliographical work he took M. *Steinschneider. The first fruit of his studies was Die hebraeischen Handschriften der k. und k. Hofbibliothek in Wien (1914), in which he described those manuscripts not included in the previous and rather unsatisfactory catalogs of Goldenthal, Deutsch, and Kraft. The work was very favorably received and Schwarz was encouraged to publish a comprehensive catalog, which appeared in 1925 (Die hebraeischen Handschriften der Nationalbibliotek in Wien). His detailed scholarly description of the 212 manuscript collections and 160 fragments represented a new and exemplary standard of bibliographical scholarship. This was followed by Die hebraeischen Handschriften in Oesterreich (vol. 1, 1931), describing 283 manuscript collections, the greater part of which belonged to the Vienna Jewish community library (250), the rest to other Jewish public and private collections as well as to some monasteries. This catalog remained unfinished, though the author had prepared up to no. 302 for press.

Schwarz contributed numerous bibliographical articles and book reviews to learned periodicals. He also published a number of texts discovered in the course of his research, such as Jacob *Sasportas' letters to the Hamburg Jewish community (Allim, 2 (1935), 20–23), a letter by Abraham b. Ḥiyya ha-Nasi to Judah b. Barzilai (Festschrift… A. Schwarz, 1917), and a supplement to Yomtov b. Abraham Ishbili's (Ritva) Sefer ha-Zikkaron (Ha-Ẓofeh le-Ḥokhmat Yisrael, 7 (1923), 299–304). The latter was the result of his preparing a manuscript of Naḥmanides' Pentateuch commentary for publication: he had published a sermon by him in 1913. He also prepared Sasportas' anti-Shabbatean Ẓiẓat Novel Ẓevi for publication, Schwarz's manuscript serving as basis for Y. Tishbi's edition of 1964. His son benjamin became professor of mathematics at the Technion in Haifa, and his daughter tamar married Teddy *Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem.


F. Perles, Adolf Schwarz zu seinem 70. Geburtstage (1916); B.Z. Sicher, in: Sefer ha-Zikkaron le-Veit ha-Midrash le-Rabbanim be-Vinah, Yoẓe la-Or li-Melot Me'ah Shanim le-Huledet R. Aryeh Schwarz (1946), 17–24; M. Waxman, in S. Federbush (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eiropah, 1 (1958), 482–90; D.S. Loewinger, ibid., 257–64 (on A.Z. Schwarz).

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Schwarz, Adolf

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