The Children of Rabbi Meir ben Isaac Eisenstadt
Also Known as MaHaRaM A"Sh or Panim Meiroth
Panim Meiroth, printed in Amsterdam (click
on the image for a larger view)
Bernhard Wachstein (1868-1935), historian, bibliographer and genealogist published scholarly
studies of the gravestones
of the Jewish communities of Vienna and Eisenstadt.
It was in 1988, through concurrent research by Dan Efrat, Israel, and
Bernard Israelite Kouchel, USA, that the exact connection of Michael EISENSTADT
[son of MaHaRaM A"Sh] to Leah
MIRKES was re-established. Through this union, the Eisenstadt-Israelit
family can trace its ancestry to R' Meir KATZENELLENBOGEN
(c1480-1565), Chief Rabbi in Padua. See lineage recorded in
Chapter Five of The Unbroken Chain, by Neil Rosenstein.
The following is a translation of the Wachstein excerpt from Die Grabinschriften des alten
Judenfriedhofes in Eisenstadt [The Grave Inscriptions of the Old Jewish
Cemetery in Eisenstadt] re: the genealogy of the children of Meir b. Isaac EISENSTADT
[MaHaRaM A"Sh], rabbinic authority.
Translation (German to English)
Bernhard Wachstein, Die Grabinschriften des alten Juden-friedhofes in
Eisenstadt, Wien: Holzhausen 1922, pp. 78-83
[Translated by Joachim Mugdan, Feb. 1995 for Bernard Israelite Kouchel; additions appear in square brackets, footnotes in
the original are indicated by page and number, translator's notes by letters;
OR refers to the number in Otzar haRabbanim by Nathan Zvi
Friedmann, Bnei Brak c. 1975]
The children of Meir b. Isaac [OR 12775, also known as MaHaRaM
A"Sh (Eisenstadt) or Panim Meiroth] are:
1. Isaac [OR 10451], whom we have met in Eisenstadt in 1723 [cf. p.
65]. His father mentions him in Panim Meiroth III,
No. 14, where we should perhaps read 496 [1735/36] instead of 476
[1715/16], and in Kothnoth Or [Meorei A"Sh p.31d]. He [Isaac] conducted a scholarly
Chayim Cohen Rapaport [OR 6179]; cf. the latter's responsa, part Eben
ha-Eser, No. 69 and appendix. Isaac was rabbi in
Neswisch and later in Biala and Slawatycze. He was married to Rachel, the second daughter of Zvi b. Jacob Ashkenazi
[Chacham Zvi] [a] and had one son with her [78/1]. He was a zealous
partisan of his brother-in-law Jacob Emden in the latter's
fight against Jonathan Eibenschitz, cf. Eduth beYaakov p.65a ff and 55a ff
(sheet 19, 2), where the brother-in-law
relationship is not mentioned. On the dispute, cf. also L. Lewin in Jahrbuch der juedischen literarischen Gesellschaft
XI, p. 196 ff and passim.
[a]: According to R' Hersh Goldwurm, The Early Acharonim
[Brooklyn: Mesorah Publ. 1989], R' Zvi Ashkenazi [OR 17184] was the grandson of R' Ephraim HaKohen
[b. Vilna 1616, d. Budapest 1678], a descendant of R' Ephraim Fishl b.
Moshe Yehuda, the first rabbi of the Ashkenazic community in Jerusalem. Some identify the latter with R' Ephraim Fishl of Brisk, a son-in-law of the Maharshal.
[78/1]: Jacob Emden, Megilat Sefer, p. 69: "and they have only a single son, tender and good, wise and a scribe". On p.59, Emden mentions his sister and reports that at the time -
about 1714 - she stayed with her father-in-law in Eisenstadt. But at that time Meir was not yet in Eisenstadt; memoirs are
not always reliable as regards dates. - The MaHaRaM A"Sh asks his daughter-in-law about how her father Chacham Zvi dealt
with the problem of carrying a pocket watch on Shabbat; Panim
Meiroth II, p. 83b top.
2. Michael [OR 13120]. Eleazar Kallir reports several
remarks in his name in Or Chadash on the Tora [78/2]. In 1765 he was already dead
[78/3]. [p. 79] Among his children were Moses, rabbi in Klezk [OR 14406], and Salomon, private gentleman in
Brest-Litowsk [b]. Their cousin Eleazar Kallir, who was also the former's
brother-in-law, mentions explanations in their names [79/1].
[78/2] Meorei A"Sh, p. 10b, 52a and 60a. His nephew
Kallir calls him there as well as on p. 62 c "the pious and famous rabbi, the light of the diaspora
[if I read the
[78/3] Approbation by his son Moses of Thursday [evening?], 25 Shvat 525
[16 February 1765, a Shabbat!], for Meorei
A"Sh. K[allir] also mentions him with the eulogy for the dead [i.e. adds z"l or the like to the
name], but we cannot draw
any conclusions from that since the eulogy could have been added just before the book went into print.
[b] According to Otzar haRabbanim, he was rabbi in
Brisk [Brest-Litowsk] [OR 18373]. A third brother was Zvi
Hirsch [OR 17181], rabbi in Loebschitz [sp?] and Mir.
[79/1] Meorei A"Sh, p. 62c, the above-mentioned
approbation for Meorei A"Sh and Or Chadash on Pesachim
near the end.
3. Eliezer [OR 2445], who lived in Szydlowiec, where his
father had worked earlier.
One of Eliezer's sons, Jacob [OR 9483], lived in London and
published the booklet Toldoth Jacob there in 1770. Among
Jacob's descendants was Moritz Gruenwald, Grand Rabbi of
Bulgaria, who died in London on 10 June 1895; cf. the
genealogical sketch in his Jungbunzlauer Rabbiner, p. 26.
A grandson who also bore the name Eliezer was a student of his
great-uncle Eleazar Kallir, whose manuscripts he put in order.
In c. 1788 he went from Poland to Kolin in order to hear Kallir's lectures
[79/2] Preface to Chavat Yair Chadash [?] (Prague 1792)
and p. 63a.
4. Sabbathai [OR 18038]. He was rabbi in Biala, Lithuania,
later in Szerszow [79/3]. In 1765, he approved Meorei A"Sh.
In the same work, p. 86a, we find two explanations by him.
Sabbathai lived to an old age, as we can see from his
approbation dated Sunday, 7 Adar II 537 / [16 March] 1777
for the work Ateret Joseph by Joseph b. Dov Beer of Liskov,
Zolkiew 1788, where he is called yashish ('old man') in the
[c] His grandson Benjamin [OR 3667] was dayan in Rosinai [sp?] and died on 1 Tammuz 5607 / 15 June 1847.
5. (Moses) Yehuda [OR 6860]. Like two of his brothers, he
was rabbi in Biala. On 8 June 1764, the day when the Polish
king was elected, he experienced a serious looting, in which
he lost all of his belongings except his clothes and those of
his wife and children. The looters extended their "privilege"
from 3 to 24 hours, during which [as mentioned before] a large part of the Maharam A"Sh's literary heritage was destroyed
[p. 80] To his father's work Or haGanuz, which he edited, he
added his own contribution in the preface. He seems to have lived in Eisenstadt between 1764 and 1766, where he was a
guest of the couple Samuel and Kressel Guens [80/1]. Yehuda's wife was the daughter of the renowned scholar Naftali Hirz b.
Chanoch Henoch from Zolkiew [80/2].
[79/4] [Hebrew text not translated.] As we learn from this report, the looters went from Biala to
Brest-Litowsk. There the leaders of the Jewish community obliged (under threat of a
ban) anyone who acquired something of the robbed goods to return it to the owner without any benefit.
[80/1] Cf. No. 323 and No. 445.
[80/2] About Hirz from Zolkiew [OR 16210], in whose name Chidushim are reported in
Or Yekarot, cf. Buber, Kria Nisgava, p. 64, No. 247.
6. Benjamin [OR 3666]. As rabbi of Lackenbach in Hungary, he signed the approbation for
Meorei A"Sh on Thursday, 22 Cheshvan 526 [6 November 1765, a Wednesday!]. In the same
work, p. 88c, Kallir mentions an explanation of a Talmud passage in his name. Before his term in Lackenbach, we find
him among the leaders of the community in Ungarisch-Brod between 1728 and 1747 [80/3].
One of Benjamin's sons was Salomon; he was a learned man but -
judging from the titles he is given [80/4] - not a rabbi [d]. His son-in-law Jacob of Schlaining near Rechnitz in Hungary
was a student of his great-uncle Eleazar Kallir, whose Chavat Yair heChadash he edited
(Prague 1792) in order to improve his
financial situation [80/4].
[80/3] Frankl-Gruen, Geschichte der Juden in Ungarisch-Brod, p. 23.
[80/4] [Hebrew quotation from preface to Chavat Yair heChadash not translated; continuation on p.
81:] On the
title page, he is also mentioned as editor. At the beginning there is Eize Divrei Tora. K. himself did not try to
profit from his work as an author. On the contrary, he offered his manuscripts for print free of charge and was even willing
to order books worth 100 ducats; cf. the announcement in the above-mentioned work.
[d] According to Otzar haRabbanim, he became rabbi in
Lackenbach in 1770 [OR 18740].
7. Chava, the daughter of MaHaraM A"Sh, was probably born in Eisenstadt in c.
1722. Her first husband was Eleazar [OR2841], a grandson of the Mattersdorf rabbi of the same name,
the second Wolf Helen, a descendant of the famous Salomon
Luria (MaHaRShaL). The son by the first marriage, Eleazar
Kallir [OR 2906, "Kalin"], was born in c. 1739 after the death
of his father, who died before the end of his 20th year; he
spent his first five years in his grandfather's house, and
after the MaHaRaSh's death he found in his stepfather a
benevolent man who acted as a father to him. Undoubtedly
Eleazar Kallir was the most important of Meir b. Isaac's
descendants. He was a keen dialectical thinker, a brilliant
speaker and in contrast to so many authorities of the old
school his style was clear and transparent. At an early age,
he became rabbi in Zabludow in Lithuania; from there, he went
to Rechnitz in his native Hungary, where he stayed almost 13
years. In 1778, he was simultaneously offered posts in
Vishnitz, Boskovitz and Kolin. He chose Kolin, where he stayed
until his death on 15 Cheshvan 562 = 22 October 1801,
refusing an offer from Altofen [Budapest] in 1788 [81/1].
He wrote Or Chadash on the Tora and the five Megillot (which
he published in 1766 in Fuerth, together with his
grandfather's Kutnot Or, under the title Meorei A"Sh
[81/2]), Or Chadash on the Talmud tractates Pessachim and
Kiddushin in two volumes that were reprinted several times as
well as a collection of homilies, Chovat Yair Chadash,
Prague 1792. A posthumous work, Cheker Halacha was edited by
his son Alexander Suesskind Kallir and his great-grandson
Eleazar Horwitz in 1838 (Vienna: Anton Strauss' widow).
[p. 82] The book deals with halachic topics and contains part
of the scholarly correspondence, answers to questions that
were addressed to him. He corresponded also with Yechezkel
Landau [82/1] and Zvi Hirsch Zamosc [82/2].
I know of his approbations for: Eretz Tzvi, Prague 1786; Beit Aharon, Sulzbach 1786; Binyan Shlomo, Sklow 1789;
Maamar Mordechai, Brno 1790; Amudei Shittim, Prague 1791;
responsa Yaalat Chen Prague 1793; Divrei haTanaugim,
Prague 1794; Chok leYisrael, Prague 1798; Taam haMelech,
The only son of Eleazar was Alexander Suesskind [OR 5723,
"Siskind Rokeach"], the progenitor of the famous Kallir family
in Brody. In his youth, he pursued learned studies [82/3];
later, he became a merchant. Alexander Kallir died in 1845.
Alexander's son Mayer was president of the Brody Chamber of
Commerce and corresponding member of the Imperial Institute of
Geology. In 1868, he received hereditary nobility. For some
time, he represented his hometown (whose Honorary Citizen he was) in the Landtag
[regional parliament]. He died on 1 June
1875 at the age of 86; cf. the necrology in Israelitische
Wochenschrift 1875, pp. 227-228, reprinted from the Lemberg
Nathan von Kallir, Mayer's son, was likewise president of the
Chamber of Commerce. His hometown, which he represented in the
Imperial Council, awarded him the title of Honorary Citizen,
too. He died childless in Vienna in 1886.
Another of Alexander Kallir's sons, Lazar (named after his
grandfather), died in 1861 at the age of 59; cf. Allgemeine
Zeitung des Judenthums 1861, p. 167.
Moses Kallir, a brother of Mayer and Lazar, was born in Brody
in 1806 and died in Vienna in 1889. His daughter Klara [Chaja], who died in Vienna in 1909, was the wife of Fischel
Landau, who died there in 1920 and had been awarded the
Honorary Citizenship of Brody as early as 1868.
[p.83] From them are descended: Dr. Alfred Landau
1850, d. Vienna 1935], folklorist and philologist, perhaps the
greatest expert on the Jewish-German dialect; Adele Mises [earlier Edle von
Mises] [f], Alexander Landau and Fannie
All of Eleazar Kallir's daughters were married to scholars who
contributed to the works of their father-in-law. One of them
was David Joshua Heschel [OR 5153], son of Zvi Hirsch Horowitz
and grandson of Pinchas Horowitz, the author of HaPelea [?].
A grandson of David Joshua Heschel Horowitz was Lazar Horwitz, who died as a rabbi in Vienna on 11 June 1868. Another son-in-law of Kallir was Moses
[OR 14816], the son of the Eisenstadt
rabbi Michael b. Asher Lemmel haLevi Glogau (cf. No. 594) [OR 9261].
[81/1] Cf. preface to Chovat Yair Chadash. Biographical
and genealogical data can also be found in the other works and
in the prefaces by the editors of Cheker Halacha. A
biography of Kallir was published by Reich, Beth El II, pp.
[81/2] Cf. above, p. 76. The title Meorei A"Sh alludes to
the name Meir and to Eisenstadt (A"Sh).
[82/1] Cf. the reference to Noda biYehuda [g] in
Schwartz, Shem haGedolim meEretz haNer [?] I, p. 29, No.
[82/2] Responsa Tiferet Tzvi on Even haEzer No. 96; H.
calls K. his relative.
[e] According to Otzar haRabbanim, his sons-in-law
also included R' Yitzchak, Rosh Beth Din in Slonim [OR 10398],
R' Yitzchak Fraenkel [sp?] [OR 10942] and R' Yekuthiel Salman of Kletzk
[f] Philo-Lexikon (Berlin 1936) has an entry for
Richard Edler von Mises, b. Vienna 1883, mathematician,
professor in Berlin, from 1933 in Istanbul.
[g] R' Yechezkel (haLevi) Landau [OR 9054] was also
known by the title of his collection of responsa, Noda
biYehuda. According to The Early Acharonim, he was a
descendant of R' [Abraham] Yehoshua Heschel of Cracow (b.
Brisk, d. Cracow 1663). According to Philo-Lexikon, R'
Yechezkel Landau was born in Opatow in 1713 and died in Prague
in 1793; he fought both against Sabbatianism (Eibenschuetz)
and against the German Enlightenment [Moses Mendelssohn's German translation of the
Tora]. BTW, his grandson Israel Jona
b. Joseph haLevi Landau [OR 12212a] was rabbi in Kempen/Posen, where he died in 1824. The community was divided about who
should succeed him (Irene Newhouse's ancestor David Honigmann
mentions this in his memoirs). At that time, the Rosh Beth Din
in Kempen was R' David Mugdan (1757/58-1828, a brother of my
4g-grandfather) [OR 4903], and R' Akiva Eger wrote him a
letter asking him to support R' Israel Jona's son Joseph
Shmuel Landau [OR 9000]. R' Joseph Shmuel did succeed his
father, but died in 1836 at the age of 37.
8. Breindl, who died in Eisenstadt in 1748; cf. the text of
the gravestone inscription, p. 48, No. 181 and the comment in
the German part. The names of her father and her husband are
now missing on the partially weathered stone. The source is
the death register, where she is called "Breindel Jafe,
daughter of the Gaon MaHaRaM A"Sh".
On the genealogy of Meir b. Isaac, cf. also Eisenstadt, Da'at
Kedoshim, pp. 187-198. Since some of the dates are incorrect,
his information must be used with care.
[g] According to Otzar haRabbanim, the MaHaRaM A"Sh
had three further sons:
Jacob [OR 9482] was rabbi in Eisenstadt
Moshe [OR 14449] was rabbi in Mir (1740), as was his son
Zvi Hirsch [OR 17182];
Zvi [OR 17180].
R' Zvi A"Sh [OR 17180] is described as the son-in-law of R'
Eleazar [OR 2841] (i.e. his sister's husband) and as the
father of R' Aharon A"Sh [OR 1498], but the entries 2841 and
1498 refer back to R' Michael's son Zvi Hirsch A"Sh [OR 17181] (cf. note
[b] above). Otzar haRabbanim also lists several
other members of the Eisenstadt family.
Addendum by B. Kouchel--
i.) Loebschitz [sp?] = Lubtch/Lyubcha, Belarus
ii.) Rosinai [sp?] = Ruzhany, Belarus.
Israel Tuvia Eisenstadt born Ruzhany, wrote Da'at Kedoshim (1898), based on
a blood libel incident that took place there in 1660. The book is a major source of
rabbinic families, including Eisenstadt (pp187-198). See bibliography at:
Bernard Israelite Kouchel has been researching his ancestry since 1988. He
is the founder of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Broward County (Fort
Lauderdale, Florida) and past director and special projects manager at JewishGen. He lectures and writes about genealogy. This article is a
translation he commissioned to fill in gaps in his Eisenstadt genealogy.
He may be reached by email at