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Margolies, Isaac ben Elijah

MARGOLIES, ISAAC BEN ELIJAH (1842–1887), Polish rabbi and author. Born in Kalvarija, S.W. Lithuania, the son of a rabbi, Margolies devoted himself in his early youth solely to talmudic studies. After his marriage in 1862 to the daughter of a prominent member of the community of Merech in Vilna province, he took up residence there and began to take a keen interest in the Haskalah. This interest aroused the hostility of anti-Haskalah zealots, which, together with reverses in his father-in-law's business, compelled him to seek employment elsewhere. After spending some 15 years as a teacher, particularly in the house of Ezekiel Jaffe in Kovno, Margolies was appointed rabbi of Druskinnikai in Grodno province. There too he was persecuted by the opponents of the Haskalah, and two years later he accepted the invitation of the congregation of Anshei Kalvarija in New York, where he became renowned as a public lecturer and teacher. Margolies is the author of two works, Ma'oz ha-Talmud (1869) and Ma'oz ha-Yam (1871), in which he uses his outstanding talmudic knowledge to defend the Talmud against its critics. He is also the author of Sippurei Yeshurun (1877), an anthology of aggadic and talmudic literature written in a pleasant and easily readable Hebrew. Margolies contributed to the Hebrew periodicals Ha-Maggid, Ha-Shaḥar, Ha-Meliẓ, and Ha-Ẓefrah.


Ha-Asif, 4 (1887), 72–74 (first pagination); American Hebrew, 32 no. 1 (Aug. 12, 1887), 8.

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