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Jacob Ẓevi Meklenburg

MEKLENBURG, JACOB ẒEVI (1785–1865), rabbi and biblical commentator. Meklenburg was born in Inowroclaw, Poznania. Unwilling to enter the rabbinate, he engaged in business, but in 1831, after his business had failed, he accepted an invitation from the community of Koenigsberg to serve as their rabbi, and he remained there until his death. An opponent of religious reforms, he fought against the reformist ideas advocated in his community by Joseph Lewin Saalschuetz.

Meklenburg's major work was a commentary on the Pentateuch, Ha-Ketav ve-ha-Kabbalah, in which he sought to demonstrate the conformity between the oral tradition and the written law. His commentary, which contains numerous original interpretations, was first published in Leipzig in 1839. It was reprinted twice during his lifetime, with his additions and included a German translation of the text of the Pentateuch based on Meklenburg's commentary, by Jonah Kossmann. A fourth printing was begun some time before Meklenburg's death, but was interrupted because of differences between the publisher and the printers. In 1880, Abraham Berliner published a new edition with additional material from manuscripts left by the author. Meklenburg was also the author of a commentary on the prayer book, Iyyun Tefillah, first published in 1857 with the siddur of R. Jacob *Lorbeerbaum of Lissa; it, too, was reprinted several times. A number of rabbinic works carry introductory notes or approbations by Meklenburg.


D. Druck, in: Horeb, 4 (1937), 171–9; N. Ben-Menahem, in: Sinai, 65 (1969), 327–32.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.