Isaiah Horowitz

Isaiah Horowitz

Isaiah Horowitz (Hebrew: ישעיה הלוי הורוביץ; c. 1565 - March 24, 1630 / "11 Nissan 5390" on the Hebrew calendar), was a well-known rabbi and mystic. He is also known as Shelah HaKadosh - "the Holy "Shelah" (של"ה) - from the title of his best-known work.


The "Shelah Hakadosh" was born in Prague and died in Tzfat (Safed), Israel. He studied under Rabbi Meir Lublin "(Maharam Lublin)", and Rabbi Joshua Falk "(Maginei Shlome)". He married Chaya Moul, daughter of Abraham Moul of Vienna. During his life the "Shelah Hakadosh" was a wealthy and active philanthropist, supporting Torah learning especially in Jerusalem. After serving as rabbi in many prominent cities in Europe, he left Frankfurt am Main - following the Fettmilch uprising - and assumed the prestigious position of rabbi of Prague. In 1620, after the death of his wife, he moved to Eretz Yisroel; and remarried there. He was kidnapped in Jerusalem and ransomed by the local Pasha; he then moved to Tzfat (1626), erstwhile home of Kabbalah. The "Shelah Hakadosh" died in Tiberias and is buried near Maimonides "(Rambam)".

In his many Kabbalistic, homiletic and halachic works, he stressed the joy in every action, and how one should convert the evil inclination into good, two concepts that impacted on Jewish thought through to the eighteenth-century, and greatly influenced the development of the Chassidic movement.

Famous descendants of the "Shelah" included the prominent Billiczer Rabbinical family of Szerencs, Hungary.


His most important work is "Shnei Luchos HaBris" (Hebrew: שני לוחות הברית "Two Tables of the Covenant"; abbreviated "Shelah" של"ה from its initials). The work is an encyclopedic compilation of ritual, ethics, and mysticism. It was originally intended as an ethical will - written as a compendium of the Jewish religion. The title page of the first edition states that the work is "compiled from both Torahs, Written and Oral, handed down from Sinai". The work has had a profound influence on Jewish life - notably, on the early Hassidic movement, including the Baal Shem Tov; Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi was described as a "Shelah Yid", and "Shelah" clearly echoes in "Tanya". The "Shelah" has been often reprinted, especially in an abbreviated form. The work was first published in 1648 by his son, Rabbi Shabtai Sheftel Horowitz.

Rabbi Horowitz also wrote the "Sha'ar ha-Shamayim" siddur (prayer book) which had an influence on the later Ashkenazi "Nusach".

External links


* [ Horowitz, Isaiah] ,
* [ Short biography of Rabbi Isaiah Halevi Horowitz (The Sheloh)] ,
* [ Rabbi Isaiah ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz (The Shlah)] ,
* [ Rabbi Isaiah ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz (The Shlah)] ,
* [ Rabbi Isaiah HaLevi Horowitz –The Shaloh] ,
* [ Horowitz, Isaiah] ,
* [ Rabbi Yishayahu ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz] ,
* [ Shney Luchot Habrit] ,


* [ Download fulltext from this site] (Hebrew)
*"Shney Luchot Habrit", Translator Rabbi Eliyahu Munk, Urim Publications 2000. ISBN 965-7108-07-1
*"Life and teachings of Isaiah Horowitz", Rabbi Dr. E. Newman, Judaica Press 1972. ISBN 0-9502739-0-2

NAME = Horowitz, Isaiah
DATE OF BIRTH = circa 1565
DATE OF DEATH = March 24 1630
PLACE OF DEATH = Tzfat, Israel

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  • HOROWITZ, JACOB BEN ABRAHAM — (d. 1622), talmudist and kabbalist. Jacob was a brother of isaiah b. abraham horowitz . He studied under Judah Loew b. Bezalel (the Maharal) of Prague. In c. 1590 he lived in Szczebrzeszyn but held no official post there and is sometimes referred …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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  • HOROWITZ, ABRAHAM BEN ISAIAH — (1671–1744), Polish rabbi. Horowitz, born in Leipnik, Moravia, studied under his father, isaiah b. shabbetai sheftel horowitz . He assisted his father in his activities and accompanied him at the sessions of the Council of the Four Lands.… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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