“Mad” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Hungary

48°12' / 21°17'

Translation of the “Mad” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary

Edited by: Theodore Lavi

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1975


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Francine Shapiro

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for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Hungary: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Hungary,
Edited by Theodore Lavi, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.


[Page 340]

Mad

(Also called Hegyalja-Mad), a town in the area of Zemplen district,
23 kilometers northeast of the city of Miskolc. The population in 1941 was 3,528.

Jewish Population

Year Number
1726 1 family
1735/38 38 people
1746 43
1771 48 families
1811 76
1880 882 people
1890 897
1930 370
1941 304
1946 51
1949 28

Until the end of the First World War

The area of Mad, called Tokaj-Hegyalja, was praised for its wines. These qualities attracted the Jews. Even during the Middle Ages, before Jews received permission to settle in the area, during the grape harvest. Jews use d to come there from Poland and other places in order to harvest the grapes in order to make kosher wine. There is a document from 1609 about a complaint from the citizens of Kassa about the Jews who harvested their grapes.

The first Jews settled there in the first half of the eighteenth century. Most of them came from Moravia and Poland. After the Jews received permission to settle there, the majority of them made their living by producing and selling the much-praised Hegyalja wine. Soon the Jews were noted producers and merchants, developing the wine industry in Hungary. In 1771 there were 48 Jews in Mad, who owned vineyards on leased land.

Even after the First World War, although the number of Jews dropped, their living continued to be based on viticulture. Between 20-25 Jews were vineyard owners. The other produced and sold wine in and out of Hungary. They also sold other goods. Jews also worked as laborers in the wine cellars.

The success of the local Jews in the wine industry, and especially the fact that they began to plant vineyards, caused jealousy among the local non-Jews, who renewed their opposition to them. In 1812 they sent an official complaint to the authority against the Jews of M. The Jews sent a counter-complaint to the authorities about the deprivation of their rights. A committee of investigation, nominated by the authorities because of the complaints, recommended that the Jews who settled in Mad after 1790 be banished from the town. It also recommended that the complainants file a suit against Jews who practiced usury, forbade the Jews to sell businesses and land, except taverns, and compelled the Jewish vineyard owners to sell them to Christians in order to make the famous Heylajla wine itself. It seems that the majority of these recommendations weren't carried out, but this fact did not lower the enmity of non-Jews to Jews. You can learn this from a document dating from 1828, which demands of the authorities that the Jews of this town, and other Jewish settlements, will be banished forever. The authorities did not carry out this request, and the Jews of Mad continued to fight for their rights and livelihood.

The Community

There is a document from1769 about the existence of a Hevra Kadisha. The synagogue is mentioned in official documents from 1771. Shortly before the Holocaust it held 50 Torah scrolls.

The community constructed buildings for its institutions, and also an apartment house for its workers. (There were about 40 workers before the Holocaust.) The community also established a welfare committee in order to assist the poor local Jews. In 1793 the Ner Tamid association was established.

Rabbis

The Jewish community in Mad was served by famous scholar-rabbis, which made this little place very important. Thanks to them, Mad was one of the most important Orthodox communities in Hungary. There also were scholars and students. There also was a concentration of rabbinical libraries.

It's important to note the names of the rabbi Moshe Eliezer Wahl (died in 1799), who corresponded with the rabbi of Prague, Rabbi Yeheskel Landau, author of the book Nodah Byehuda. Rabbi Natan Feitel Reinitz (1843-1862) was famous because of his book, Divrei Ranaf. Rabbi Amnon Blum (1864-1881) raised the level of the local yeshiva. Two of his books were published after his death: the Responsa, and Beit Sharim (Munkacs, 1909). His commentary on the Passover Haggada, were published by his son, Ben Zion Blum, in 1928. Rabbi Mordecai Winkler (1899-1930) was famous for his profound scholarship and his name was known outside Hungary. His yeshiva attracted students from afar. A collection of his Responsa was published as Levushay Mordecai. After him came Rabbi Haim Zvi Ehrenreich, a dayan, for 35 years. After his death, his son Moshe Leib, who was murdered in the Holocaust, was nominated head of the yeshiva.

Education

According to official documents, there was a Jewish teacher, even 1771. In 1812 there were four teachers in this place. In an official document from 1813 the authorities ordered the Jews to reopen the school that they closed. It seems the Orthodox, who preferred the cheder, closed the school. In this era the Jewish pupils attended a government school, but not on Jewish holidays or Saturdays.

There was a very important yeshiva in Mad, also famous outside Hungary. The students numbered about 200 before the First World War. The children studied in the cheder, which had four teachers.

The attitudes of the Christians to the Jews were reasonable until 1938. But after the publication of Discrimination Laws against Jews, this relationship became spoiled.

The Holocaust

Ten to fifteen Jewish families of Mad who could not verify their Hungarian citizenship were transferred to Kamenecz-Podolsk in 1941, and were killed there. After a year youngsters were seized for forced labor, and the majority of them were sent to the Ukraine. Only ten of them remained alive when the war ended.

Immediately after the German occupation in 1944, some families were arrested. At the end of April all the Jews of Mad were concentrated in the synagogue, where they stayed for three days. Finally they were transferred to the district capital, Sator-Aljaujhely. At last they were taken to Auschwitz in four transports between May 16 and June 3, 1944.

Only very few remained of the community of Mad. These Jews were saved and rescued from the concentration camps. The community reorganized, but ended. The authorities declared the synagogue a historical monument in 1946. In 1949 there were still 28 Jews, but none in 1964.


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

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