Rabbi Yechezkel Halevi Landau, haNoda bYehuda

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Rabbi Yechezkel Halevi Landau, haNoda bYehuda

Hebrew: הרב יחזקאל הלוי לנדאו, ''הנודע ביהודה''
Also Known As: "בעל הנודע ביהודה", "רבה של פראג"
Birthplace: Opatów, Opatów County, Swietokrzyskie, Poland
Death: April 29, 1793 (79)
Prague, Kingdom of Bohemia, Habsburg Empire (now Czech Republic) (Niftar 17 Iyyar 5553)
Place of Burial: Prague, Czech Republic
Immediate Family:

Son of Rabbi Judah Segal Landau, Parnas of the Council of the 4 Lands and Chaya Eliezer of Landau
Husband of Liba Landau (bat Yaakov of Brody)
Father of Frieda Landau; Rivkah wife, Yissachar Dov; Rabbi Ya'akov (Jacovka) Landau; Yarit לנדא; R' Samuel HaLevi Landau, ABD Prague and 10 others
Brother of R. Joseph Landau, A.B.D. Klimontow; Wife of R' Mordecai (Landau); Daughter Landau and Rabbi Yitzkhak Landau

Occupation: Rabbi and ABD, Chief rabbi of Prague and Czechoslovakia and of the Diaspora, the Noda BiYehuda, Rav of Krakow, Author of Noda BiYehuda, Rabbi, AB'D Prague, Author "Noda B'Yehudah", Rabbi & ABD
Managed by: Yigal Burstein
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Yechezkel Halevi Landau, haNoda bYehuda

Death Record of Ezekiel Landau can be found here (Last Record on bottom right): https://www.geni.com/documents/view?doc_id=6000000141179281203


Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (8 October 1713 – 29 April 1793, Hebrew: יחזקאל לנדא) was an influential authority in halakha (Jewish law). He is best known for the work Nodah bi-Yehudah (נודע ביהודה), by which title he is also known.


Landau was born in Opatow, Poland, to a family that traced its lineage back to Rashi, and attended yeshiva at Vladimir Volynski and Brody. In Brody, he was appointed dayan (rabbinical judge) in 1734, and in 1745 he became rabbi of Jampol. While in Jampol, he attempted to mediate between Jacob Emden and Jonathan Eybeschütz in a debate - "The Emden-Eybeschütz Controversy" - that "had disrupted Jewish communal life for many years". His role in the controversy is described as "tactful" and brought him to the attention of the community of Prague - where, in 1755, he was appointed rabbi. He also established a Yeshiva there; Avraham Danzig, author of Chayei Adam, is amongst his best known students.

Landau was highly esteemed not only by the community, but also by others; and he stood high in favor in government circles. Thus, in addition to his rabbinical tasks, he was able to intercede with the government on various occasions when anti-Semitic measures had been introduced. Though not opposed to secular knowledge, he objected to "that culture which came from Berlin", in particular Moses Mendelssohn's translation of the Pentateuch.


His main work of responsa, titled Nodah bi-Yehudah (נודע ביהודה, "Known in Judah", a reference to Psalms 76:2 and his father's name), is one of the principal sources of Jewish law of his age. Famous decisions include those limiting autopsy to prevent a clear and present danger in known others. This collection was esteemed by rabbis and scholars, both for its logical discussion and for its independence with regard to the rulings of other Acharonim as well as its simultaneous adherence to the writings of the Rishonim.

Other works include Dagul Mervavah on the Shulkhan Arukh (cf. Song of Solomon 5:10) and Tziyun le-Nefesh Chayah (abbreviated as Tzelach, named in reference to his mother, whose name was Chayah) on the Talmud.

Please note that in the English Wikipedia article his birth date is 8 October 1713, which corresponds to כ"ט תשרי תע"ד. In the Yiddish Wikipedia article however, his birth date is י"ז מרחשון תע"ד.

פורום אוצר החכמה, צאצאי הנודע ביהודה - לנדא

Jewish Dynasties

The Nodah Biyehudah is buried in the Fibichova cemetery, near the television tower in Prague 2. Keys can be obtained at MATANA Travel Agency, Maiselova 15.

(1713–1793), halakhic authority, Talmudic scholar, and chief rabbi of Prague. Yeḥezkel (Ezekiel) Landau was born in the Polish city of Opatów into a prominent and wealthy family. He was educated by his father and by Rabbi Yitsḥak of Ludmir (Rus., Vladimir; now Ukr., Volodymyr Volyns’kyi). Shortly after his marriage at age 18, Landau entered the elite Brody kloyz, which was then the center of kabbalistic study in Poland, and remained there for 13 years. In Brody, he established connections with many leading scholars and mystics. In 1733, he also became the head judge of one of Brody’s four Jewish courts.

In 1745, Landau became the chief rabbi and head of the Talmudic academy in the Polish city of Jampol, a post he held for nearly 10 years. There he gained a reputation both for his learned homilies—subsequently collected and published as Doresh le-Tsiyon (1827)—and for his responsa. In 1752, he gained further acclaim for his Igeret ha-shalom, which he wrote to reconcile the divisive Emden–Eybeschütz controversy, a bitter dispute that resulted when Ya‘akov Emden accused Yonatan Eybeschütz, a leading eighteenth-century rabbi, of creating Sabbatian amulets. Landau’s compromise proclaimed Eybeschütz’s innocence but demanded that the amulets be removed.

Largely due to the respect he acquired from issuing Igeret ha-shalom, in 1754 Landau was appointed to the post of chief rabbi of Prague. This city, which boasted one of the largest Jewish populations in the world, made him the Jewish community’s supreme authority on religious, political, and judicial matters, as well as the spiritual leader of Bohemian Jewry. He headed both Prague’s rabbinic court and its Talmudic academy, an institute that attracted students from all over Central and Eastern Europe. Landau remained Prague’s rabbinic leader until his death.

Landau was one of the first rabbinic authorities to confront challenges posed by enlightened absolutist rulers. Beginning with the 1781 Toleranzpatent, Habsburg emperor Joseph II issued a series of decrees that officially abolished the Jews’ communal autonomy and aimed to systematically Germanize Habsburg Jewry. Although Landau strongly defended tradition, he did not challenge certain Habsburg reforms. In response to the doctrine that required all children to receive a secular education, Landau helped found a government-supervised Jewish Normalschule (modern elementary school), which opened in Prague in 1782. Similarly, he supported the conscription of Jewish recruits into the Austrian military when, in 1788, Joseph II became the first European ruler to enlist Jewish soldiers. Recognizing Landau’s authority and erudition, the monarchy also consulted with him on various matters of Jewish law, such as the permissibility of delayed burial, the possibility of imposing civil marriage laws, and technicalities concerning the Jews’ oath (a special—at times humiliating—oath that Jews were required to take in gentile courts during the medieval and early modern periods). Landau used his diplomatic skills to facilitate both Prague Jewry’s acceptance of various innovations and to convince government officials to moderate new rules. His intervention helped to mitigate potential threats to traditional Judaism.

Although Landau played an important political role, his major contributions were to Jewish legal, or halakhic, scholarship. His influence extended well beyond Prague and continued long after his death. During his career, he wrote more than 850 responsa that addressed almost every facet of Jewish law. These responsa were published in a monumental two-volume collection titled Noda‘ bi-Yehudah (1776, 1811). The collection is so well known that Landau himself is commonly referred to by this title. He also wrote a widely acclaimed Talmudic commentary titled Tsiyun le-nefesh ḥayah (referred to by the acronym Tselaḥ) on Pesaḥim (1783), Berakhot (1791), Betsah (1799), and various other tractates, which were published posthumously. Many of Landau’s sermons and eulogies were published in the collections Ahavat Tsiyon (1827) and Derushe ha-Tselaḥ (1884). Landau’s extensive writings also include Dagul me-revavah (1794), a gloss on the Shulḥan ‘arukh, as well as unpublished glosses on Ḥayim Vital’s kabbalistic manuscripts Derekh ‘ets Ḥayim and Peri ‘ets Ḥayim. Landau also published numerous patriotic writings, including Gebeth um die Wiedergenesung Ihro kais. königl. apostolischen Majestät, a prayer for the recovery of Empress Maria Theresa (1767); Derush hesped, a eulogy for the empress (1780), and Tefilat Leopold, a prayer for Emperor Leopold II’s coronation (1791).

Landau’s legal rulings are based primarily on the Talmud and rishonim (medieval Talmudic commentators). His decisions often exhibit bold disregard for Talmudic commentators who had written at the time of the Shulḥan ‘arukh and later. Overall, these rulings tend toward leniency. Among his best-known decisions, some of which stirred great controversy, was his decision to grant permission for men to shave under certain circumstances during intermediate festival days (Noda‘ bi-Yehudah, pt. 1, OḤ, no. 13; pt. 2, OḤ, nos. 99, 100, 101); his disqualification of a divorce writ that a messenger gave to a woman against her will (pt. 1, EH, nos. 75, 77; pt. 2, EH, no. 112); his endorsement of the Cleves divorce writ in 1766–1767, a decision that stirred the wrath of the Frankfurt rabbinate (Or ha-yashar [1769]; Derushe ha-Tselaḥ, sermon 28); and his consent to autopsies in limited cases (Noda‘ bi-Yehudah, pt. 2, YD, no. 210). Landau’s teachings were also spread by his students, many of whom held important rabbinic posts throughout Europe. Among them were Aharon Chorin, Avraham Danzig, David ben Menaḥem Mendel Deutsch (1756–1831), Efrayim Zalman Margoliot, and El‘azar ben David Fleckeles.

Notwithstanding Landau’s frequent protestations that he only engaged in legal matters and did not delve into esoteric teachings (Noda‘ bi-Yehudah, pt. 1, YD, no. 74; pt. 2 YD, no. 201; Tselaḥ, Berakhot 33b; Derushe ha-Tselaḥ, sermon 12), as well as his condemnation of Hasidic kabbalistic practices (Noda‘ bi-Yehudah, pt. 1, YD, no. 93; Tselaḥ, Berakhot 28b), he believed in and, at times, taught Kabbalah. He integrated kabbalistic notions into his halakhic worldview and used them in many of his writings and public addresses. He also regularly practiced and promoted kabbalistic and ascetic rites, such as the nightly tikun ḥatsot (midnight vigil), frequent fasting, and penitential weeping.

Despite the efflorescence of Prague’s rabbinic culture during Landau’s tenure, various internal trends—such as the Haskalah, Sabbatianism, and Frankism—presented challenges to traditional life. Landau played a major role in responding to these trends. He emerged as a leading critic of maskilic projects, beginning with his sermons that denounced Naftali Herts Wessely’s Divre shalom ve-emet (1782), a text that advocated giving priority to secular subjects in school curricula. Still, Landau was not categorically opposed to secular studies; he himself was acquainted with various worldly fields and gave approbations for historical, mathematical, and scientific works.

Landau censured Moses Mendelssohn’s German Pentateuch translation (1783)—and was censured in turn by the maskilim—as he feared that it would lead to the study of High German. Even more ominous than the maskilim, Landau believed, were the mystical Sabbatian and Frankist sectarians, who had gained a foothold in Prague; he repeatedly denounced their practices and doctrines. The rise of Hasidism in nearby Poland–Lithuania, with a changed model of leadership, also posed a potential threat to traditional rabbinic authority. In several of his writings, Landau laments the increasing popularity of these “new Hasidim.” Despite Landau’s efforts, the convergence of many modernizing trends at end of the century led to the rapid decline of Prague’s traditional culture following his death.

Landau’s legacy was carried on by his sons, all of whom participated in Jewish communal life. His oldest son, Ya‘akov (ca. 1745–1822), a Talmudic scholar and wealthy merchant living in Brody, associated with maskilim in Galicia; Shemu’el (1750–1834) served as the Oberjurist of Prague’s rabbinic court (the effective religious authority of Prague Jewry) from 1826 to 1834; Yisra’el (1758–1829), a Hebrew printer, was influential in Prague’s Haskalah. Yisra’el’s son Mosheh served as the head of Prague’s Jewish community and, in his role as a distinguished Prague Hebrew publisher, became a leading maskil.


Relative of Meir Kremnitzer, of Kalish.


Nora beyehuda was a ancestor of;R' Zvi Hirsh / Herszl Landau

About הרב יחזקאל הלוי לנדאו, ''הנודע ביהודה'' (עברית)

הרב יחזקאל הלוי לנדא - הנודע ביהודה (לעיתים: סג"ל לנדא; י"ח בחשוון ה'תע"ד, 7 בנובמבר 1713- י"ז באייר ה'תקנ"ג, 29 באפריל 1793), היה רבה של העיר פראג, ומגדולי פוסקי ההלכה במאה ה-18 ובדורות האחרונים בכלל. נודע בכינויים ה"נודע ביהודה" וה"צל"ח" על שם ספריו.

About Rabbi Yechezkel Halevi Landau, haNoda bYehuda (Yiddish)

יחזקאל לנדא - יידיש

הרב יחזקאל הלוי לנדא - הנודע ביהודה (לעיתים: סג"ל לנדא; י"ח בחשוון ה'תע"ד, 7 בנובמבר 1713- י"ז באייר ה'תקנ"ג, 29 באפריל 1793), היה רבה של העיר פראג, ומגדולי פוסקי ההלכה במאה ה-18 ובדורות האחרונים בכלל. נודע בכינויים ה"נודע ביהודה" וה"צל"ח" על שם ספריו.

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Rabbi Yechezkel Halevi Landau, haNoda bYehuda's Timeline

October 8, 1713
Opatów, Opatów County, Swietokrzyskie, Poland
- 1745
Age 20
Brody Jewish Community, Brody, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine
Yampol', Ivankovskiy Rayon, Kyyivs'ka Oblast', Ukraine
Prague, Hlavní město Praha, Prague, Czechia (Czech Republic)
- 1754
Age 31
Jewish Community of Jampol (Yampoli), Yampoli, Khmelnytskyi Oblast, Ukraine
- 1793
Age 32
Prague, Czech Republic
December 4, 1755
- 1793
Age 42
Jewish Community of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic