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Isaiah Horowitz


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Polish Rabbi, Kabbalist, and author (1570–1630). Horowitz was born in Prague but studied in Poland under distinguished Talmudists. After serving as Rabbi in Frankfurt-on-Main, Horowitz returned to Prague in 1614 to become Rabbi there. In 1621 he journeyed to Palestine where he became Rabbi of Jerusalem. Horowitz died in Tiberias where he was buried near to the tomb of Maimonides.

Horowitz's major work is his Sheney Luhot Ha-Berit, ‘The Two Tablets of Stone’, published in Amsterdam in 1649. The title of this book was abbreviated, after its initial letters, to Shelah and Horowitz himself is usually referred to as ‘the Holy Shelah’. The work, encyclopaedic in range, consists of biblical commentaries, Kabbalistic discourses, explanations of the precepts and rituals of Judaism, ethical teachings, liturgical notes, and a treatment of Talmudic methodology. The work had a great influence on Jewish pietists, especially in Hasidism.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.


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