Jacob Zallel Lauterbach

Jacob Zallel Lauterbach

Jacob Zallel Lauterbach (1873–1942) was an American Judaica scholar and author who served on the faculty of Hebrew Union College and composed responsa for the Reform movement in America. He specialized in Midrashic and Talmudical literature, and is best known for his landmark critical edition and English translation of the Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael.

Life and work

Jacob Z. Lauterbach was first and foremost a talmudist (Freehof 1951). However, he was thoroughly familiar with all the modern techniques of critical scholarship, including manuscript comparison and decryption. After retiring from his position at Hebrew Union College, he continued to live at the College and to mentor students.

He was the author of several books besides the three-volume Mekilta, and was a prolific contributor to the Jewish Encyclopedia, for which he authored or co-authored 260 articles, which are listed in Rothman (1951) and online at the Jewish Encyclopedia's page for the contributions of J.Z. Lauterbach. He additionally contributed 17 articles to the Hebrew Otzar Yisrael encyclopedia of Julius Eisenstein, which are also listed in Rothman (1951).

Among his scholarly publications may be listed the following. Again, the full list is provided in Rothman (1951).


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