||First edition of this volume of the Sefer Hafla’ah by R. Pinhas ben Zevi Hirsch ha-Levi Horowitz. Hafla’ah, R. Horowitz’s most important work, is largely responsibleon for his great fame. This volume of Hafla’ah is on tractate Berakhot, on the laws of meat and milk and Niddah in Yoreh De’ah, and on parts of Hoshen Mishpat and Orah Hayyim. There are ten approbations and an introduction from R. Sender Hayyim ben Samuel Shmelke who brought the book to press, followed by the text in two columns in rabbinic letters.
R. Pinhas ben Zevi Hirsch ha-Levi Horowitz (1730–1805) was born in Czortkow, Poland, where his father was rabbi. He studied first under his father and then under his two brothers, R. Nahum (introduction to the Shevet Ahim) and R. Samuel Shmelke Horowitz, later rabbi of Nikolsburg. During that period the two brothers were attracted to the circle of R. Dov Baer of Mezhirech and Horowitz visited Dov Baer, first in Mezhirech and then in Rovno. As a result of these visits he made the acquaintance of R. Shneur Zalman of Lyady, the founder of Habad Hasidism. R. Horowitz was rabbi at first of Witkowo, Poland and then of Lachowicze (1764). In 1771 he accepted a call to the rabbinate of Frankfurt, a post he held until his death. During his later years he was frequently ill and eventually became totally blind. R. Horowitz was held in the highest respect by the rabbis and scholars of Frankfurt, and particularly noteworthy was the cordial relationship which existed between him and R. Nathan Maas, author of the Binyan Shelomo and av bet din of Frankfurt. R. Horowitz maintained a close and friendly relationship with R. Nathan Adler, although he opposed him in certain matters and later was one of the signatories to the 1779 proclamation signed by the leaders and rabbis of the community against R. Adler because of his hasidic leanings. His congregants also admired R. Horowitz because of his saintliness and integrity, and on one occasion he gave assistance to a Catholic priest who was in distress. R. Horowitz had a private *minyan where he followed the Sephardi rite, whereas the traditional Ashkenazi rite of Frankfurt was otherwise followed.
R. Horowitz vigorously opposed the Haskalah movement. On the eve of the new moon of Tammuz 1782 he preached a powerful sermon (known as Tokhahat Musar, "ethical rebuke") against Mendelssohn's German translation of the Pentateuch and its commentary, the Be'ur (Biur). In this sermon, regarded as the first public statement reflecting fierce opposition to the Haskalah, R. Horowitz referred to the Biur as a work "which resuscitated heretical works in scoffing at the words of our sages." The opinion has been expressed that his opposition to the translation was directed chiefly against the special system of translation and the "dogmatic tone" of the commentary and not against the translation itself. It should be noted that despite his polemics against the aims of the Haskalah movement, he did not refuse to give his approbation to the German translation of the festival prayer book of R. Wolf Heidenheim. In 1795 he issued a ban on the proposed establishment of a teaching institute in Frankfurt, fearing that it would result in a diminution of the study of religious subjects, but under pressure from the civic authorities he was compelled to rescind the ban. On the other hand he was alive to contemporary problems of the community and participated actively in the concern of the communal council to create a harmonious relationship with the government.
Conspicuous among his prominent pupils was R. Moses Sofer (Hatam Sofer), who revered him for his talmudic genius and his halakhic authority. He stated that despite R. Horowitz' attraction to Hasidism, he was averse to giving expression to hasidic or kabbalistic ideas.
The most important of R. Horowitz' works, on which his fame chiefly rests, is the Sefer Hafla'ah, in three parts: pt. 1, Sefer Ketubbah (Offenbach, 1787), consists of halakhic and aggadic novellae on tractate Ketubbot with an appendix entitled Shevet Ahim on the Shulhan Arukh Even ha-Ezer, laws of ketubbah chapters 66–118; pt. 2, Sefer ha-Makneh (ibid., 1801), to tractate Kiddushin and to Even ha-Ezer, 26–45. R. Horowitz wrote a homiletical introduction to these parts entitled Pitha Ze'ira. The Hafla'ah to tractate Berakhot and on the laws of meat and milk (1895) and on various tractates (3 vols., 1900) were published posthumously. Among his other works the best known is part 3 of Sefer Hafla'ah, his commentary to the Pentateuch, Panim Yafot (Ostrog, 1824), published by R. Ephraim Zalman Margulies. That the 1876 Warsaw edition is still in print is evidence of the continued popularity of this work. In this commentary pilpulistic halakhic expositions are combined with kabbalistic and hasidic elements. He also wrote Shevet Ahim in two parts; pt. 1 Netivot le-Shabbat, a commentary to Even ha-Ezer 1–23 (1838), pt. 2 Givat Pinhas, 83 responsa (1838). A commentary to Psalms entitled Panim Yafot collected from his various works was published by Pinhas Finkelstein (1924). Various explanations by him of scriptural verses are found scattered in the works of his contemporaries and pupils. A commentary on the Passover Haggadah appeared in 1860 (reprinted in Jerusalem, 1994). On the occasion of the coronation ceremonies of the emperors Leopold II and Francis II in the years 1790/92 he compiled special prayers which were issued with German translations.
||על מס' ברכות ועל יו"ד ה' בב"ח [יורה דעה הלכות בשר בחלב] ותערובות ועל ה' נדה ועל חו"מ [חושן משפט] וקצת על או"ח [אורח חיים] ה' פסח ור"ה [וראש השנה] וכו', הכינום... מו"ה פנחס הלוי איש הארוויטץ אבדק"ק פראנקפורט דמיין... הנני מוציא
לאורה... סענדר חיים בלא"א הרב... שמואל שמעלקא מקאזאווע...
הסכמות: ר' שלום מרדכי הכהן [שוואדראן], ברעזאן, ז טבת תרנ"ה;
ר' צבי הירש שפירא, מונקאטש, ב בא תרנ"ה;
ר' ארי' ליבש הלוי איש הארוויץ, סטריא, יט טבת תרנ"ה;
ר' יצחק חיות, בראדי, ב תבוא תרנ"ה;
ר' משה ב"ר עמרם [גרינוואלד], חוסד, ג יתרו תרנ"ה;
ר' נפתלי הירצקא [הלוי זילבערמאן], ראצפערטא, ובניו ר' אהרן ור' משה;
ר' ישכר בעריש אייכינשטיין, ווערעצקי, א וארא תרנ"ה;
ר' יוסף ר"ב [ראטענבערג], דעברעצין;
[ר' אליעזר צבי סאפרין], קאמארנא, ב אלול תרנ"ד, ובניו ר' מאניש, ר' אברהם מרדכי, ר' יעקב משה ור' פנחס נתן [חתום: ר' קאפיל וויינפעלד];
ר' [אברהם זרח ארי' יהודה] ליביש [היילפערן], ברעזאן ה ויגש תרנ"ה.