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Judah Modern

MODERN, JUDAH (1819–1893), Hungarian rabbi. Modern was born in Pressburg where he became one of the outstanding pupils of Moses Sofer, Meir Asch, and Moses Teitelbaum. In 1837 he married the daughter of Samuel Zanvil ha-Kohen of Sziget and remained in Sziget for the rest of his life, refusing to accept offers of rabbinic office. On the title page of his Zikhron Shemu'el it states: "Neither rabbi nor av bet din, despising honor and praise, engaged in Torah by day and by night." In Sziget he became attracted to *Ḥasidism and, to the displeasure of his teacher, Moses Sofer, paid visits to the ḥasidic rabbis. He was one of the leaders of the community which in 1886 broke with the Orthodox community of Sziget and established the separatist community which was called Ha-Kehillah ha-Sefaradit.

Modern was the author of Zikhron Shemu'el (1867), a detailed commentary on tractate Gittin, and Peri ha-Eẓ (1885–87), on the Pentateuch. He published Judah Kahana's Terumat ha-Keri (1858), on the Tur and Shulhan Arukh, Ḥoshen Mishpat, with his own glosses and novellae. Individual responsa by him have appeared in various works.


J.J. (L.) Greenwald (Grunwald), Zikkaron la-Rishonim (1909), 38–45; idem, Maẓẓevat Kodesh (1952), 36–39; N. Ben-Menahem, in: Sinai, 63 (1968), 172–6.

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