Isaac Elijah Landau

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Isaac Elijah ben Samuel Landau (1801–December 6, 1876) was a Jewish-Russian preacher, exegete, and communal worker born at Wilna. At the age of 18 he settled at Dubno, his wife's native town, where he carried on a prosperous business. On Saturdays and holy days he used to preach in the synagogues, attracting large audiences. Owing to his eloquence Landau was chosen by the communities of Volhynia as member of the rabbinical commission appointed by the emperor in 1861, which necessitated his remaining for five months in St. Petersburg. In 1868 he was called to Wilna as preacher and dayan, which office he held till his death. At Wilna he established a kosher kitchen for Jewish soldiers.


Landau was a recognized authority in rabbinical matters, and many authors solicited his approbation of their works. He himself was a prolific writer, and was the author of the following commentaries:

  • Ma'aneh Eliyahu (Wilna, 1840), on the Tanna debe Eliyahu, accompanied with notes on other subjects under the title Siaḥ Yiẓḥaḳ
  • A double commentary on the Mekilta (ib. 1844): Berure ha-Middot, on the text, and Miẓẓui ha-Middot, glosses to the Biblical and Talmudic passages quoted in the commentary
  • Patshegen (ib. 1858), on Proverbs
  • Miḳra Soferim (Suwalki, 1862), on Masseket Soferim
  • Dober Shalom (Warsaw, 1863), on the daily prayers
  • Kiflayimle-Tushiyyah, on the twelve Minor Prophets (only that on Joel published, Jitomir, 1865) and on Psalms (Warsaw, 1866)
  • Patshegen ha-Dat, on the Five Scrolls (Wilna, 1870) and on the Pentateuch (ib. 1872-75)
  • Aḥarit le-Shalom (ib. 1871), on the Pesaḥ Haggadah
  • Derek Ḥayyim (ib. 1872), on Derek Ereẓ Zuṭa
  • Lishmoa' ka-Limmudim (ib. 1876), on the aggadah of the Talmudists
  • Simlah Ḥadashah, on the Maḥzor (published in the Wilna editions of the Maḥzor)

Landau published also Derushim le-Kol Ḥefẓehem (ib. 1871-77), a collection of sermons; and two of his funeral orations: Ḳol Shaon (Wilna, 1872; also translated into Russian language), on the wife of Prince Potapov; and Ebel Kabed (Eydtkuhnen, 1873), on Samuel Straschun. He left besides a number of works still unpublished as of 1906.

Jewish Encyclopedia bibliography[edit]

  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 632;
  • H. N. Steinschneider, 'Ir Wilna, pp. 92-97.

External links[edit]