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Israel David Jaffe-Margoliot

JAFFE-MARGOLIOT, ISRAEL DAVID (c. 1802–1864), Hungarian rabbi. Born in Vagszered-Sered Nadvahom, Jaffe-Margoliot was a descendant of both Mordecai Jaffe, the author of Levush, and Judah Loew b. Bezalel (the Maharal) of Prague. His immediate ancestors, leading members of the community in Vienna, were wealthy and on several occasions advanced loans to the royal house. For many years he studied under Moses Sofer, and several of the latter's responsa are addressed to him. After his teacher's death, Jaffe-Margoliot corresponded on halakhah with S.B. *Sofer, author of the responsa work Ketav Sofer, as well as with Moses Schick and Judah Assad. While still young, he was appointed dayyan of the community of Senice-Szenc in Slovakia, and in 1832, rabbi and av betdin of the Bazin-Pezinok community in the Bratislava (Pressburg) district. He took a prominent part in the opposition to the Reform movement which was beginning to spread at the time. At the disposal of those demanding Reform were several newspapers (Ben-Chananja of L. Loew, Ha-Karmel of Meiser) in which they propagated their views, while the Orthodox element was able to do so only from the synagogue pulpits. Jaffe's work Meḥolat ha-Maḥanayim (1859) was the first attempt to explain the standpoint of the observant Jews in writing. It is written in an easy, clear style and made a great impression on the moderates in the Reform camp. The author argues that innovations like moving the reading desk from the center of the synagogue to the front of the ark, the prohibition of wearing the *kittel during the High Festival services, and introduction of the organ do not justify a schism in Judaism. Nevertheless, it was as a result of these arguments that he unwittingly originated the idea of the schism of Hungarian Jewry which took place a few years later. His other works, Yappe'aḥ la-Keẓ (2 vols. 1862–88) and Har Tavor (1861), are also on the subject of moving the reading desk. His first work, Ḥazon la-Mo'ed (1843), in which he discusses the Hilkhot Kiddush ha-Ḥodesh of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, reveals his knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.


M. Stein, Magyar Rabbik, 3 (1907), 41–45, 138f., 144, 146–8; D. Kaufmann, Die letzte Vertreibung der Juden aus Wien und Niederoesterreich (1889); J.J.(L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Le-Toledot ha-Reformaẓyon ha-Datit be-Germanyah u-ve-Ungaryah (1948), 85; P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Ereẓ Hagar, 1 (1914), 53b no. 278; A. Stern, Meliẓei Esh al Ḥodshei Nisan… Tammuz (19622), 118–20.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.