Letter by R. Eliakim ha-Kohen Schwerin-Goetz, Baja, Hungary 1799 (49022)

כתב מה"ר אליקים געץ הכהן שווערין - Manuscript - Community

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 49022
Title (English): Letter by R. Eliakim ha-Kohen Schwerin-Goetz
Title (Hebrew): כתב מה"ר אליקים געץ הכהן שווערין
Note: Manuscript - Community
City: Baja, Hungary
Publication Date: 1799
Estimated Price: $500.00 USD - $1,000.00 USD


Physical Description

[1] p., 163:177 mm., ink on paper, Ashkenazic script, signed, and dated.    


Detailed Description   

Letter by R. Eliakim b. Shmuel ha-Kohen Schwerin-Goetz (1760–1852), Hungarian rabbi. Schwerin-Goetz was born in Schwerin (Skwierzyna), Poland, and added the name of the town to his family name of Goetz. While still young he went to study in the yeshivot of Posen (Poznan) and later in Pressburg. In 1782 he went to Prague, where, in addition to pursuing his talmudic studies, he devoted himself to secular studies, particularly mathematics. In 1796 he settled in Baja in southern Hungary and lived at first with his father-in-law. Already during this period students attracted by his reputation as a scholar gathered around him, and he founded a small yeshiva. He struck up a friendship with R. Meir Eisenstadt , the young rabbi of the community. It was not until 1812, when he was 52 years of age, that he first took a position as rabbi of Szabadka in southern Hungary (now Subotica, Vojvodina). When R. Meir Eisenstadt left Baja, Schwerin-Goetz was appointed to succeed him in 1815. During his period of office the community made great spiritual progress and because of him became the center for all the communities of the region. In 1827 the convention of representatives of the communities of the region elected him district rabbi. In his method of learning he was opposed to pilpul. He criticized the attempts of Aaron Chorin to introduce reforms in Judaism. Nevertheless he took a decidedly liberal stand, especially in matters of personal status such as marriage and divorce. He participated in the convention of Hungarian rabbis in Paks in 1844 and there opposed the current of religious extremism. He maintained relations with R. Moses Sofer, the dominant figure of his time among Hungarian rabbis, and several responsa are addressed to him.



Ishim Hatam Sofer p. 69-70; EJ; P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Erez Hagar, 1 (1913), 23a, no. 16.