Table of Contents

Online Journal

Are You a Descendant of King David?
A Look at Rabbinic Sources

by David Einsiedler

Page 3

Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next

An important source is Sefer Toledot Ve-Niflaot Maharal (The Book of History and Wonders of the MaHaRaL) (Bilgoray, 1911), by Meir Perles. Right on the title page it proclaims Judah Lowe, the MaHaRaL of Prague, as the descendant of both Rashi and the other Davidic line. It goes into much detail to describe the family, the stories, and the genealogy of the related families. Some derivative families are: Cohen (Katz), Bachrach, Margulies, Karo, and Edels.

Avot Atarah Le-Banim (Parents are the Crown of the Children) (Warsaw, 1927) has a great number of derivative families. It begins with a detailed history of Saul Wahl, moves back to each ancestor up to Rashi, mentions the few known ancestors of Rashi, on to Hillel, to Shephatiah, son of David, as far back as Judah (head of the tribe). The primary families are Wahl, Katzenellenbogen, Luria, Treves, Spiro, and Shapiro. One part has a list of ancestors from the Lifshutz family all the way to King David, followed by a number of related branches. Some of the derivative families: Ginzburg, Schor, Teomim, Shereshevski, Morgenstern, Posner, Berliner, Levinsohn, Alter, Weinberg, Bernstein, Falman, and Rotenberg.

Sefer Linchitz (The yizkor book of Leczyca) by I. J. Frenkel (Tel Aviv, 1953) has a chapter starting with King David and going down to the Karo family in Leczyca and related families Auerbach, Horowitz, and Landau (of Ciechanov). Derivative families: Goldman, Oknovski, Fuchs, Friedensohn, Kalb, Birnbaum, Widslawski, Sonnabend, and Malavski.

Shem Ve-She'erit (Name and Remainder) (Krakow, 1895), and Dor Yesharim (Generation of the Righteous) (Berdychev, 1898), both by Joseph Kohen-Tzedek, contain the theme of descent of the Lurias from Rashi as discussed before. It may be of interest to note that some of the Treves changed the name to Dreyfus.

Maalot Ha-Yuchsin (Degrees of Genealogy), by Ephraim Z. Margolioth (Lemberg, 1900), is an early, oft-quoted source. The author states his descent from a number of famous rabbis and from Rashi and Johanan Ha-Sandler on the title page. He cites the fragmentary list of Rashi's ancestors, then leaps to the Lurias, Landaus, and himself. He mentions families Schor, Heschel, Margulies, Itinga, and Horowitz. This work has been criticized as containing errors; for instance, "the brother of MaHaRaShaL (Solomon Luria) Abraham, son of Jehiel, son of Moses (?), son of Isaac (?), son of Jusinius of Posen (?)..." Actually, Solomon Luria was the son of Jehiel, son of Abraham, son of Jehiel, son of Aaron.

Sefer Nitey Ne'emanah (Seedlings of Fidelity, subtitled A Shoot Out of the Stock of Jesse), by Mordechai Rubinstein (Jerusalem, 1910), also cites descent from King David on the title page. His genealogy includes most previously-mentioned family names plus Teomim, Halberstam, Frenkel, Ish-Zvi, and Klausner.

Shem Ha-Gedolim (Fame of the Great Ones), by Chaim Joseph David Azulai (Livorno, 1774), is an early biographical encyclopedia of rabbis and their works. The entry "Solomon Luria" starts "of descent of Rashi, who descended from the Tanna Johanan Ha-Sandler, the fourth generation of Rabban Gamaliel the Elder."

Shem Ha-Machriah (The Book of the Arbitrator), by Isaiah de Trani (1180-1250) (Livorno, 1779), has a genealogy of a later publisher, Noah Samuel Lifshitz (Lublin, 1897) which ends with the Lurias, Rashi, and King David.

Anaf Etz Avot (A Branch of the Family Tree), by Samuel Kahan (Krakow, 1903), has a partial genealogy of a number of rabbinic families and ends with an entry stating the descent of Solomon Shapiro ABD Heilbron from Rashi and from King David.

Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next