« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Pages 391-392]


The Religious Life


Rabbis and Heads of Yeshivahs[1]

by Rabbi Reuven Margulies

Translated by Myra Yael Ecker

Edited by Karen Leon

Lwów's Jewish community is long standing. The “Lemberg Chevra Kadisha [Jewish burial society], May his creator preserve and revive him,”[2] was known throughout the diaspora as early as the end of the second century. However, the names of its spiritual leaders, teachers and children's Torah instructors, remain unknown. The first mention of a rabbi and head of the Beth Din [religious law-court] appeared in 5263 (1503), naming Rabbi Levy, ben Rabbi Jakób Kikenes, but there are no details of his life or of his undertakings. The view of his contemporaries about him is inscribed on his gravestone: “Angels held the Holy Ark, angels soared the cliffs, and our crown, the crown of Israel, was removed from our head. The champion, the great scholar [Gaon], the centre of the diaspora, our teacher, Rabbi Levy son of the great scholar our teacher, Rabbi Jakób Kikenes, scion of the prophet Jonah, head of the rabbinical court and head of the Yeshivah of P… who dispense justice and charity, taught the Torah to Jewish children and created many disciples… Died on the first day of Passover 5263 [11.4.1503].[”]

5282 (1522). R' Abraham ben Rabbi Jechiel of Cologne. “He is Abraham in his righteousness, from first to last. He gladly dispenses charity and justice. The great champion of the Torah, the great Dayan [Rabbinical judge], he was amongst those expelled from Portugal, and one of the Provence Sages [Chachamim]. He passed honourable sentences and taught the Torah all his life. He lived in the Kollel [advanced Judaic studies' college] and studied with his prestigious Yeshivah students. Ascended to heaven on the first day of Sukkot [Tabernacles] 5282 [16.9.1521].”

5316 (1556). Rabbi Juda Leib ben R' Menachem. “A Lion ascended the mysteries of the Torah. Head of Yeshivah, who delved into the 1520

Halachah [Jewish law] and many imbibed his profusion, the source of wisdom… 3rd Av 5316 [10.7.1556].

5320 (1560). Rabbi Kalman of Worms. The first Rabbi to serve both communities [of Lwów]. In the preface to Yam shel Shlomo [Sea of Solomon] about the Chulin Tractate of the Mishnah, he is described as: “Aged and seated at the Yeshivah. The glory of Israel and its great scholar, its king, its master, the esteemed great scholar, our teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Kalman of Worms, the light of whose teaching shone over the holy community of Lwów, the great and important town, the centre of Jewish life”. (Several of his responses, and those of his son-in-law, the great scholar, Rabbi Eleazar [Eliezer] ben R' Monoach, were published in the Responsa anthology of Rabbi Mojżesz Isserles).

In Rabbi Dovid [Solomon] Gans's chronicle, Cemach Dawid [Tzemach David = David's Scion (1592)], and in Seder HaDorot [The Generations Order] Part I, by Rabbi Jechiel Heilpern, under the entry for Rabbi [Szalom] Szachna [Shachna], three heads of Yeshivah are listed for Lwów, of that time: Rabbi Kalman of Worms, Rabbi Kalman [Kalonymus] Haberkasten, and Rabbi Juda Karowiec [Karowitz]. It is possible that Rabbi Kalman Haberkasten succeeded Rabbi Kalman of Worms, and that Rabbi Juda Karowiec followed him to the post. This last Rabbi Juda, is Rabbi Juda Karo [Caro], known in Poland as “Karowiec”. For forty two years Rabbi Kalman of Worms taught the Torah within the town, as a quorum [Minyan]. “Who could praise and speak his glory. A man who dedicated his entire life to God. God's teaching was his expertise. He coveted no monetary gain. Saintly secrets were soon revealed to the Sage. He departed on 2 Iyar 5320 [28 March 1560].”

5332 (1572). Rabbi Juda Leib ben R' Moses. Prominent in the Jewish community. Head of Yeshivah and head of rabbinical court. Died on 1 Elul 5332 [10 August 1572].

5340 (1580). Rabbi Benjamin ben R' Moses. “Held a sermon over every calligraphic embellishment in the bountiful Halachah [Jewish law]. He was said to be saintly. All great men of his generation trusted his word on questions about the Almighty. He wrote the book Tav'nit HaBayit, and Ohel Shel Simcha… [A Tent of Joy…]. 2 Nissan 5340 [18 March 1580].” 5340 (1580). Rabbi Mojżesz ben Mardochaj Aszkenassy [Ashkenazi]. First head of the rabbinical court outside the town. He was engaged in charitable giving and fair judgements. He taught the Torah to the community, from which many benefitted. He served God wholeheartedly, and enlightened Jews with his teaching… 7 Nissan 5340 [23 March 1580].

5342 (1582). R' Naftali Hirc [Hirtz] ben R' Nachman, head of Yeshivah. He taught many students, some of whom turned into great rabbis. He wrote a short commentary on Midrash Rabba on the Torah, the Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther. 18 Nissan 5342 [10 April 1582].

5342 (1582). R' Aszer ben Izak Kohn, head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah. Rabbi of both communities, succeeding Rabbi Kalman of Worms head of Chevra Kadisha. He was one of the synagogue treasurers, like R' Pinkas [Pinchas] ben Jair [Ya'ir]… 30 Nissan 5342 [22 April 1582]. His son, Rabbi Jakób Koppel, served as rabbi outside the town during 1620-1630.

5352 (1592). R' Eleazar [Eliezer] ben Mojżesz,

[Pages 393-394]

head of Yeshivah of a group of experts in the Torah and he was engaged in good deeds. A collector of charity and benevolence for the poor and needy. 1 Tamuz 5352 [11 June 1592].

5356 (1596). R' Józef ben R' Szmuel, was at Yeshivahs of several communities and especially of Lwów. Fought as a lion for the Torah. 30 Sivan 5356 [26 June 1596].

5359 (1599). Rabbi Izak Eizyk ben R' Jechiel the saintly. He was the last rabbi of both communities, succeeding Aszer [Asher] ben Izak Kohn. He was head of Yeshivah, and president the of rabbinical court. The large Tamarisk tree. The glory of Israel. 9 Tishrei 5359 [9 October 1598].

5369 (1609). Rabbi Mojżesz ben R' Aron. Mojżesz was a righteous man, steeped in the Torah and God-fearing. He had great powers of deducing the Torah through argumentation, and reasoned according to the Halachah. He was at Yeshivahs of various communities, settling at a Yeshivah where argument was settled according to the Torah… 2nd day of Sukkot, [16 Tishrei] 5369 [26 Sept. 1608].

5371 (1610). Rabbi Chanoch Hendel ben R' Shemarja [Szmarja], head of Yeshivah and leader of the diaspora's Jews. Mighty shepherd, his signals were great and his example, mighty. Brimming with every wisdom… 1st day of Rosh HaSahanna [1 Tishrei] 5371 [18 Sept. 1610]. 5373 (1613). Rabbi Jehuda [Juda] Leib ben R' Mojżesz, expert in the secrets of the revealed and the concealed Torah. First head of rabbinical court at Podhajce [Pidhaitsi], and later head of Yeshivah at Lwów. 11 Cheshvan 5373 [6.10.1612].

5373 (1613). Rabbi Mojżesz ben R' Józef, head of Yeshivah in our great community, a town of Chachamim and writers. He drew spring-water out of a well, and answered his inquirers with the word of God, the Jewish law [Halachah]. 12 Sivan 5373 [1.6.1613].

5374 (1614). Rabbi Jozue Falk ben R' Aleksander HaKohen. A pupil of Mojżesz Isserles, and of Salomon Luria, he married the daughter of Izrael Parnas of Lwów, who set aside a large house for him where he studied with great rabbis, whom he supported. He was appointed rabbi at Ludmir [Włodzimierz Wołyński], and he returned to Lwów as head of Yeshivah. Amongst his students were R' Jozue, the author of Megine Schlomoh [Defenders of Solomon], R. Abraham Szrencel [Schrenzel], author of Ethan Haezrachi, Rabbi Jesaja HaLevy Horowitz [Hurwitz], author of Shne Luchot HaBrit [The Two Tablets of the Covenant] and others. Many regulations were issued, by the Council of The Four Lands, in his name. He dedicated twenty five years to the writing of his great works, Sefer Meirat Enayim, and Drisha VePrisha about the work Arba'a-Turim [Four-columns about the Halachah]. He also wrote other books, some of which were burnt, and some of which remained in manuscript form. “A great scholar [gaon] and God-fearing, crowned by all four crowns: Torah, leadership, sovereignty, and the good name he made for himself. He was at several Yeshivahs, he settled disputes, dispensed charity and generosity. He taught righteous and devout students, and before his light was extinguished, he made adjustments and amendments to regulations for his generation. Reached eternal life on 19 Nisan 5374 [25 March 1614].[A]

5376 (1616). Rabbi Majer ben Rabbi Gedalia of Lublin. Born in 5318 (1558), he was appointed head of Yeshivah in his home town Lublin at the age of twenty four. Aged twenty nine, he was accepted as head of the Yeshivah of Krakow, replacing his father-in-law, Rabbi Izak Schapira. At the age of thirty seven, he was appointed as head of the Yeshivah at Lwów, and head of the rabbinical court for the district of Lwów, a post which he held for eighteen years. In 5373 [1612/13], he returned to the town of his birth, Lublin, as rabbi, head of the rabbinical court and as head of Yeshivah. In one of his responses (Amendment 88), he states: “Glory be to God, I have taught many honest students about all the old great scholars, and most of my students are today heads of Yeshivah and teachers of Jewish studies.”

His reputation among the scholars of his generation can be derived from the letter of Rabbi Jochanan of Halicz [Halych], where he describes him as “A holy righteous man, king of Israel. Ever since our holy Rabbi, no one has combined both Torah and greatness, in one and the same place. A great light, his support, a great scholar like our teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Majer, head of Yeshivah and leader of rabbinical court of the holy community of Lwów and its district.” Of the books which he had written, the ones published were: Meir Eynei Chachamim, Tractate Innovations, and his Responsa. His soul rested on 16 Iyar 5376 [3 May 1616]. The Chariot of Israel, and his horsemen. He enlightens the people and its holy men. The light of wise and honest men. Unique in our generation among the Hebrews. Head of the committee of the elected… Speaker and judge of the difficult and serious. They responded to him in books. He showed his expertise in hidden wisdom… and an author for the last generation, level-headed like Moses and Ahron.”

R' Józef (Kazi), headed the rabbinical court for the entire land of Podolia. When our teacher, the rabbi, Rabbi Majer of Lublin, recalled his dispute with one of the great scholars of his generation, who responded to a Jewish law [halachic] ruling which he had determined, the Rabbi said: “I repeated my initial answer and presented it to the great scholars [Chachamim] of our generation, and they consented with all I said. All the elder and great teachers, the great scholars [geonim] in Poland and Lithuania, who included the great scholar, our teacher, the rabbi, Rabbi Mardochaj [Mordechai] Jaffe, may the creator safeguard and give him a long life, head of the rabbinical court of the holy community of Poznań; the wondrous great scholar [gaon] our teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Mojżesz, head of the Kraków rabbinical court; the wondrous great scholar [gaon] in the Torah and devoutness, out teacher, the rabbi, Rabbi Leib, head of the rabbinical court of the holy community of Brisk and of the whole of Lithuania; the great scholar [gaon], our teacher and rabbi, Rabbi Józef, may the creator safeguard and give him a long life, head of the rabbinical court of Lwów and the entire land of Podolia.” There are no further details about his life and undertakings. Later on he was a rabbi at Poznań, where he died. His son, Salomon Zelman, died at Lwów on 23 Tevet 5373 [16.1.1613].

5379 (1619). R' Izrael Eleazar [Eliezer] ben R' Mojżesz Abraham Graupen, an excellent rabbinical judge and head of the rabbinical court, taught

[Pages 395-396]

God's congregation, honest rules and laws. He taught and guided them in God's piety. 29 Sh'vat 5382 [11.1.1622]

5382 (1622). R' Natan ben R' Eleazer [Eliezer], physician. “He held a sermon over every thorn and mound in the Halachah [Jewish law]. Head of Yeshivah, he was one of the greatest rabbinical judges. He died on Chanukah 5382 [Dec. 1621].

5382 (1622). R' Abraham ben R' Dawid, “A righteous, holy and pure man, head of ritual court, leader of the wise, who wrote an interpretation of the works by [R' Isaac] Alfasi [al-Fasi], and by [R'] Mardochaj [Mordechai ben Hillel]. He also commented on the book Akedat Yitzchak [The binding of Isaac]. He taught students, great Jewish men, and responded to the inquirers into God's law. 5 Av 5382 [12.7.1622].

5389 (1629). R' Majer ben R' Naftali Hirc [Hirtz], head of Yeshivah. Like Abaye [Nachmani], R' Naftali Hirc ben R' Menachem wrote a commentary on Midrash Rabba [Talmudic legends based on verses from the Torah]. He exerted himself in the Torah like a lion and a lioness. Exalted in Chassidism and with much knowledge in the occult. 2 Tevet 5389 [28.12.1628].

5389 (1629). R' Józef ben R' Jechiel, head of Yeshivah, and head of rabbinical court. Minister of the Torah, who knew the secrets of the Torah. He studied and amended interpretations and compositions on most parts of the Mishnah and the Talmud. 1 Av 5389 [21.7.1629].

5390 (1630). R' Jakób Koppel ben R' Aszer [Asher] Ansel HaKohen. One of those exiled from Spain, his lineage extended as far back as the priest [Kohen] Ezra. He taught and augmented the knowledge of the Torah amongst the Jewish People. In 5350 [1589/90], he signed the regulations at the Gromnice fair [the Candlemas, winter fair], as “Rabbi Koppel from the Lemberg allotment,” and in 5380 (1620) he was made head of the rabbinical court outside the town (succeeding R' Mojżesz ben R' Mardochaj Aszkenassy [Ashkenazi]). Later on he was also promoted to leader of the rabbinical court within the town. A faithful shepherd who was invited to join the Yeshivah of heaven. Died 23 Tishrei 5380 [10.10.1629].

5390 (1630). R' Izrael ben Mojżesz Charif. A great Torah scholar [gaon], minister of the Torah, legislator for the Jewish People, a great Chassid, a charity collector. Died on 23 Av 5390 [1.8.1630]. R' Koppel Kalmankes (of the Lemberg [Lwów] suburb) is also mentioned as head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah, at about the same time. He (Rabbi Koppel), together with 30 rabbis, signed a ban on payment for joining the rabbinate.

5391 (1631). R' Jakób ben Eleazer Kikenes, one of the descendants of the prophet Jonah. A holy and pure man, head of Yeshivah who wrote several essays. He died on Hoshanah Raba [the last day of Sukkot =Tabernacles] 5391 [28.9.1930].

5391 (1631). R' Mardochaj [Mordechai] ben R' Natan Neta HaKohen, was at first head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah at Brzeżany [Brzeziny]. Later on, he was head of Yeshivah at Lwów. A friend of Abraham Chaim Schorr, author of Torat Chaim, he collaborated with him on the writing of the book Tzon Kodashim [Sacrificial Lambs]. Dedicated to Chassidism, he was a righteous man. After the prayer of forgiveness for the charitable dowry of a needy bride, on 21 Tishrei 5391 [27.9.1630], he was swept up to heaven.

5391 (1631). R' Mardochaj [Mordechai] ben R' Dawid Katz, head of Yeshivah. A big man. Good in disputation over the Mishnah and the G'marah, in reasoned argumentation and hypotheses. He dived into the sea of the Talmud and retrieved jewels. An aged man who gained wisdom, day and night, through incessant reiterations. He attained old age. 1 Nissan 5391 [3.4.1631].

5391 (1631). R' Jekusiel Zelman [Jekutiel Zalman] ben R' Chanoch. A righteous man, devout and holy. Head of Yeshivah who pursued deep argumentation. 3 Tamuz 5391 [3.7.1631].

5391 (1631). R' Juda Löw ben R' Jakób Segal Epstein. A rabbinical judge [Dayan] and head of rabbinical court who kept a Yeshivah and taught the Torah. 1 Elul 5391 [29.8.1631].

5396 (1636). R' Elijah [Eliasz] ben R' Abraham Kalmankes, head of Yeshivah and head of rabbinical court. He was the first rabbi within the town, after the rabbinate had been split up. An active member in the Council of Four Lands. “As he approached the Holy Ark, holding a sermon and clarifying the departure of the bird released on the day of purification. While walking back and forth, imparting innovations of the Torah, his soul rose in holiness and purity out of the words of the Torah.” 8 Nissan 5396 [13.4.1636].

5396 (1636). R' Mardochaj [Mordechai] ben Cwi [Tzvi] Hirsz Aszkenazy [Ashkenazi]. During 1630-1636, he was rabbi of the community outside the town, succeeding R' Jakób Koppel ben R' Aszer [Asher] Kohen. “A great scholar [gaon] of his generation, wholly infused with God's law, who delved into disputation in greatness and wisdom. He passed fair judgements and taught the Torah to Jews and had many pupils. Died on the first day of Pessach 5396 [20.4.1636].

5397 (1637). R' Juda [Jehudah] ben R' Szmaja. A righteous and holy man. A kabbalist, expert in the Torah, head of rabbinical court and an excellent judge. He established a Yeshivah at home, and endlessly repeated the Talmud, out loud. 7 Nissan 5397 [1.4.1637].

5397 (1637). R' (Józef Jakób) Abraham ben R' Joel Aszkenazy Neustettel-Katzenellenbogen. He headed the rabbinical court for forty-four years, and for twenty three years he served as head of Yeshivah and teacher of Jewish law at Lwów. Leader of Sages [Chachamin]. Silver-tongued, scholarly speech, light of the brave, mild and severe invisible trends. Just like his greatness, so was his modesty throughout his entire life. His grandson, the author of K'neset Jecheskiel, described him as “The great eagle, one in a generation.” 6 Iyar 5397 [30.4.1637].

5398 (1638). R' Majer ben R' Józef, head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah. The ultimate leader of his generation. Full of wisdom and learning, he wrote many essays. Second day of Rosh HaShana 5398 [20.9.1637].

5398 (1638). R' Salomon [Szloma] Charif ben R' Izak Abraham Halevy. Son-in-law of the author of She'erit Yosef, brother-in-law of Rabbi Mojżesz Isserles, he served at the rabbinate of Lwów (within the town, succeeding Rabbi Elijah [Eliasz] ben R' Abraham Kalmankes). During the period of the author of Magine Shelomoh [Defenders of Solomon; Jozue Heszel [Höschel], and of R' Abraham Szrencel [Schrenzel], aged, he continued studying at Yeshivahs

[Pages 397-398]

of the great and glorious communities for forty years. He taught righteous students, many of whom lead Yeshivahs, and Solomon's wisdom rose over the ancients. He was exalted in his devotion and appealing attributes, and all his deeds were in the service of God. 26 Cheshvan 5398 [13.12.1637].

5399 (1639). R' Dawid Tebele ben R' Szmuel, master of the Torah and of piety. Head of Yeshivah and a great rabbinical judge [Dayan]. Second day Chol HaMoed Pessach 5399 [2.4.1638].

5400 (1640) R' Mojżesz ben R' Dawid Halevy Horowitz, head of Yeshivah. His heart was full of wisdom, knowledge and science, and no reason or secrecy escaped him. 1 Elul 5400 [19.8.1640].

5401 (1641). R' Süsskind ben Elchanan Halevy. A leading educator, head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah. He delved deeply into disputation over the six parts of the Mishnah, dived into the sea of the Talmud, and taught students, many of whom turned into great men in the Torah. 13 Nissan 5401 [13.4.1642].

5402 (1642). R' Cwi [Tzvi] Hirsz ben R' Natan, holy scion. Champion in the Torah, a great rabbinical judge. He passed fair judgement and regularly taught the Torah at his renowned Yeshivah. 1 Nissan 5402 [1.4.1642].

5402 (1642). R' Jakób ben R' Eljakim [Eljakum] Heilpern, a scholar who reasoned according to the Halachah [Jewish law]. He was head of Yeshivah and taught many great students. 18 Elul between 5401-5405 [September 1641-45].

5403 (1643). R' Majer ben Abraham of the Levy family. An excellent rabbinical judge and head of Yeshivah. One of the leading teachers. 2 Kislev 5403 [24.11.1642].

5403 (1643). R' Aron Abba ben Jochanan Halevy. For 35 years rabbinical judge and head of Yeshivah, at Lwów. Master of the Torah, pillar of tuition. He taught men who became great Jewish scholars. 1 Tamuz 5403 [18.6.1643].

5405 (1645). R' Abraham ben R' Majer, holy scion. Son-in-law of R' Natan Schapira, author of Megale Amukot [Revealer of the Depths]. He was promoted to rabbi at Bar [Ukraine]. Later he was accepted as head of Yeshivah at Lwów, while his father, R' Majer, was the rabbi and head of rabbinical court within the town, 1638-1654. He did not last long, however, dying during his father's life. 16 Tishrei 5405 [16.10.1644].

5405 (1645). R' Izrael Isser ben R' Simcha Bunim. Grandson of Rabbi Mojżesz Isserles, disciple of R' Joel Sirkis,[Serkes] author of Bayit Chadash. Head of rabbinical court at Opatów, where he was appointed as head of Yeshivah at Lwów. The Torah pouch, leader of the herd… Second day of Sukkot 5405 [16.10.1644].

5405 (1645). R' Samson ben R' Kalonymus. One of the greatest teachers, head of rabbinical court. 13 Adar 5405 [13.3.1645].

5405 (1645). R' Meszulam ben R' Abraham Salzburg. Head of Yeshivah, leader of rabbinical court and teacher of Jewish law, outside the town, who succeeded R' Jozue [Joshua] ben Józef, author of Magine Shelomoh and Pneh Jesua. “He paid attention to the ancestral religion, ensuring that neither its body nor its roots were tempered with, and he led his People from banning, to allocating.[”] 8 Iyar 5405 [4.5.1645].

5405 (1645). R' Abraham ben Azrjel [Azriel]. Head of Yeshivah, community trustee, head and leader of the Council of Four Lands. A Magid Mesharim [Preacher of righteousness] for the society Shomrim LaBoker [Chewra szomrim laboker]. A prominent preacher, head of the holy society, who was fluent in most parts of the Talmud with commentary by Rabbi Isaac Alfasi [al-Fasi; Rif], and by Rabbi Abraham ben David [RaBad]. Brother-in-law of the author of Magine Shelomoh [Jozue Heszel /Höschel]. 13 Elul 5405 [4.9.1645].

5408 (1648). R' Mojżesz ben R' Elijah [Eliasz]. Master of the Torah, he was head of Yeshivah for 24 years. Prominent among those pursuing disputations over the Mishnah, the G'marah and reasoned argumentation. Shushan Purim 5408 [9.3.1648].

5408 (1648). R' Isaiah [Izajasz] ben R' Jecheskiel. An exceptional and courageous rabbinical judge, who led his community with wisdom, reason and knowledge, and who reprimanded fairly. 13 Adar 5408 [7.3.1648].

5408 (1648). R' Jozue [Joshua] ben Józef. A disciple of our teacher Rabbi Majer of Lublin and the author of Sefer Meirat Enayim who was promoted to rabbi and head of Yeshivah at Tykocin [Tykotzin], Grodno, and was accepted as head of rabbinical court at Przemyśl. Later on, he served at the rabbinate of Lwów outside the town walls. From there he moved to Kraków to replace the [author of] Megale Amukot, as head of Yeshivah. When R' Jomtob [Yom Tov] Lipman Heller, author of Tosafot Jomtob arrived at Kraków, he was appointed as second head of Yeshivah to R' Jozue. As R' Jozue was wealthy and did not receive a salary from the community, while R' Jomtob had lost his assets, R' Jozue gave all his income to R' Jomtob. He was also appointed as rabbi at Kraków. R' Jozue taught the Torah to his disciples. These included R' Shabbatai Kohn, author of Siftei Kohen, the author of Avodat HaGershuni [R' Gerszon Ashkenazi], the author of Ateret Zekenim [R' Menachem Mendel Auerbach], and others. He wrote the book Megine Schlomoh, to clarify the contradictions in the Tosafot [annotations to the Talmud] about Rashi, and the responsa, Pneh Josua. He died in Kraków, 27 Av 5408 [16.8.1648].

5409 (1649). R' Abraham ben R' Mojżesz Aszkenassy [Ashkenazi]-Heilprin [Heilpron]. Brother-in-law of our great teacher Rabbi Samuel Eideles MaHaRaSh. He was born in 5338 [1577/8]. Head of the rabbinical court at Lwów, he wrote the book Ahavat Tzion about the entire Bible [Tanach], out of which the section about the Torah and the Scrolls [Megilot] was published (Lublin 5399 [1638-9]). He was exemplary in all aspects, in the Torah, in piety and in modesty. 19 Sh'vat 5409 [1.2.1649].

5409 (1649). R' Mojżesz Meisels [Meizels] ben R' Isak Ashkenazi who set a fence and prevented disaster. An excellent rabbinical judge, he enlightened the Jewish People with his teachings. 21 Tevet 5409 [5.1.1949].

5409 (1649). R' Samuel (Shmaria [Szmarja]) ben R' Eleazar [Eliezer]. He led the Yeshovahs of various communities, and taught many outstanding disciples. 27 Tevet 5409 [11.1.1649].

5409 (1649). R' Isaac, an Austrian man,

[Pages 399-400]

head of Yeshivah, and head of the rabbinical court. One of the great teachers who was a good speaker. 13 Av 3409 [22.7.1649].

5411 (1651). R' Matitjahu [Mattathias] ben R' Sinai. Head of Yeshivah and an influential rabbinical judge, he taught and guided his generation. Devout and humble, he was among the followers of Hillel. 7 Kislev 5411 [1.12.1650].

5411 (1651). R' Eleazar [Eliezer] Lipman ben R' Akiba. A leading figure, an exceptional great scholar [gaon] and a Kabbalist. Aged thirty-two, he immersed himself in the Torah, deeper than a veteran disciple. 7 Kislev 5411 [29.1.1651].

5411 (1651]. R' Abraham ben R' Izrael Jechiel Katz Rappoport-Szrencel [Schrenzel]. His father, R' Izrael Jechiel, was one of the greatest Torah scholars in Kraków. When his son, R' Abraham, turned thirteen, he held a sermon at the great synagogue of Kraków, and the biblical interpretation by this wise youth was later published in the book Naki Kapayim (Kraków 5411 [1597/8]). When he married the daughter of R' Mardochaj Szrencel of Lwów, R' Abraham also settled at Lwów and studied Torah under Sefer Meirat Enayim [Rabbi Jozue Falk Kohn]. He spent much time at the Yeshivah and used his fortune to provide for his disciples. He was appointed town rabbi and collector of dues [Gabai] for Eretz Israel. Minister and influential, father and benefactor, he wrote the book Ethan HaEzrachi, which, apart from its significance in the decision of the Halachah [Jewish law], it is an important source of Jewish history in his time, and of the history of the sages during his period. 18 Sivan 5411 [7.6.1651].

5411 (1651). R' Aron ben R' Pinkas. He was head of Yeshivah and an influential rabbinical Judge. Greatly devout, he prayed with his entire being. 28 Tamuz 5411 [17.7.1651].

5412 (1652). R' Józef ben R' Eljakim [Eliakim] Goetz [Giec], son-in-law of our teacher Rabbi Majer [MaHaRaM] of Lublin. He was head of the rabbinical court outside the town 1645-1652, head of Yeshivah for an extensive congregation. 17 Tishrei 5412 [2.10.1651].

5412 (1652). R' Jakób ben R' Józef Izrael of the house of Abraham Szrencel [Schrenzel]. Extreme in Chassidism, sanctity and purity. He was head of rabbinical court and an excellent rabbinical judge of the Council of Four Lands. 12 Av 5412 [17.7.1652].

5413 (1653). R' Jezajasz [Ishaiah] ben R' Józef. Head of Yeshivah and an influential rabbinical judge. He strengthened the status of the faith, and many followed him. First day of Chanukah 5413 [25.11.1653].

5413 (1653) R' Józef Jozue Heszel [Heschel] Ben R' Benjamin. Minister of the Torah, head of Yeshivah. Aged forty-two, he ascended to heaven. 24 Adar A, 5413 [21.2. 1653].

5414 (1654). R' Majer ben R' Abraham, holy scion. He succeeded R' Salomon [Szloma] Charif as Rabbi within the town (during 1638-1654). Eminent in every wisdom and Chassidism. Lighting mirror of the capital, head of Yeshivah and leader of rabbinical court. He assisted the needy, his righteousness contemplative as that of one who is aged. 20 Kislev 5414 [10.12.1653].

5414 (1654). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsch] ben R' Juda Leib Pfefferkorn. He enlightened the Jews with his teaching. He elucidated speculations, according to the Halachah. An excellent Dayan. First day of Chanukah 5414 [15.12.1653].

5417 (1657). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsch] ben Aron Szalom [Shalom] Segal. He was at Yeshivahs of several communities, studying day and night. 6 Tevet 5417 [16.12.1656].

5418 (1658). R' Naftali ben R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsch]. A disciple of the author of Sefer Meirat Enayim. Fluent in the adjudicative literature, and in most parts of the Mishnah and of R' Isaac Alfasi [al-Fasi; Rif]. He was one of the foremost rabbinical judges [Dayanim]. 22 Tishrei 5418 [29.9.1657].

5418 (1658). R' Józef ben R' Abraham Heinisch. He was head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah. He engaged in deep debates on the Bible. 29 Tevet 5418 [4.1. 1658].

5419 (1659). R' Mordechaj Mendel ben R' Menachem Mendel. One of the greatest instructors, and excellent rabbinical judge who engaged in deep debates on the Bible. 7 Tevet 5419 [2.12.1658].

5419 (1659). R' Józef ben R' Natan HaLevy Heller, the brother of R' Jomtob Lipman [Heller], author of Tosafot Jomtow [Yomtov]. Head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah. A man imbued with God's spirit to lead the community members and to stabilise the status of the faith. 29 Tevet 5419 [24.1.1659].

5420 (1660). R' Jakób ben Abraham Jakób, Josef Aschkenasi Katzenellenbogen [Kacenelenbogen], who filled his father's place in the Torah. Head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah, he was wise and devout and led his community, wisely. 13 Adar 5420 [25.2.1660].

5424 (1664). Thirty-six righteous and holy men. During the terrible massacre led by the oppressors between 8 Iyar and 24 Sivan 5424 [3.5.1664-17.6.1664], about one hundred men were murdered, among them the leading lights in the Torah and heads of Yeshivahs . Of these holy men we know the names: On 8th Iyar: R' Abraham ben Józef (head of Yeshivah at Kołomyja [Kolomyja; Kolomea]); R' Aron Jechiel ben R' Aszer (head of Yeshivah); R' Eleazar [Eliezer] ben R' Szmuel; R' Eleazar ben R' Avigdor; R' Baruch ben R' Mordechaj; R' Dawid ben R' Izak Nechamisch; R' Zacharyasz [Zecharia] ben R' Jakób; R'Chaim ben R' Baruch; R' Chaim ben R' Mojżesz HaLevy; R' Juda Leib ben R' Szmul Katz Margulies (Rabbi at Przemyśl, one of the great Dayanim and head of Yeshivah at Lwów); R' Izak ben R' Jakób; R' Majer [Meir] ben R' Menachem Chazan HaLevy; R' Menachem ben R' Izak (head of Yeshivah); R' Mordechaj Ben R' Jechiel (head and leader of the State); R' Mordechaj ben R' Salomon (head of Yeshivah); R' Mojżesz ben Abraham; R' Mojżesz ben R' Szalom; R' Mojżesz Moszko ben R' Chaim (head of Yeshivah); R' Nachman ben R' Salomon; R' Ozer ben R' Salomon; R' Azriel ben R' Avigdor; R' Salomon ben R' Dawid; R' Salomon ben R' Szmuel; R' Szalom ben R' Nissan; R' Szmuel ben R' Juda (head and leader of the State); R' Szmuel ben Józef Chajes [Chajut] (cantor at the synagogue outside the town. He was murdered during his prayer); R' Simon ben R' Majer; R' Samson ben R' Becalel [Bezalel] (head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah of several communities). All were martyred for keeping their faith. 8 Iyar 5424 [3.5.1664].

[Pages 401-402]

On 10th Iyar: R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsch] ben R' Abraham Katz (the great author of the Jewish People. An outstanding rabbinical judge).

On 11th Iyar: R' Abraham ben R' Salomon (rabbinical judge and head of Yeshivah. A Chassid with the mellifluous voice of the Levite poets at the Temple).

On 13th Iyar: R' Aron ben R' Lapides (An excellent rabbinical judge who was murdered, together with his wife, in their home, while in their beds).

On 14th Iyar: R' Eleazar [Eliezer] and R' Izak, sons of R' Eliasz [Elijah] (Exalted disciples who study regular lessons with their students).

On 8th Sivan: R' Izak ben R' Mordechaj (rabbinical judge and head of rabbinical court).

On 20th Sivan: R' Chaim ben R' Mordechaj (his life was cut short, he immersed himself in the study of the Torah like a hundred years' old scholar).

5424 (1664). R' Mojżesz ben R' Abraham. Leader of the rabbinical court at Byerazino [Berezyna; Berezin], and later head of the rabbinical court at Lwów. A pocket Torah, leader of the pack, cedar of Lebanon who wholeheartedly worshipped God through the Torah and in prayer. 29 Av 5424 [20.8.1664].

5425 (1665). R' Isaiah [Izajasz] ben R' Izak. Head of the rabbinical court at Żółkiew and later head of Yeshivah at Lwów, head of the Chevra Kadisha [burial society]. 1 Adar 5425 [16.2.1665].

5425 (1665). R' Mojżesz, head of Yeshivah, devout and saintly. He led his community in the worship of God and his laws. Day and night he studied the Torah with friends and students. 12 Adar 5425 [27.2.1665].

5426 (1666). R' Jekusiel Zelman [Jekutiel Zalman] ben R' Noah Jechiel. The light of Israel imbued with the divine spirit. Head of Yeshivah, pure and pious head of rabbinical court. He was charitable towards the living and the dead. 10 Tevet 5426 [18.12.1665]

5426 (1666). R' Isachar Ber ben R' Mojżesz. An excellent rabbinical judge, head of Yeshivah. Proficient in the revealed and the concealed. A holy light. Devout and exalted. A prominent Kabbalist, who knew to direct with his prayer, like Hezekiah. 13 Adar A' 5426 [18.2.1666].

5427 (1667). R' Dawid [David] ben R' Samuel HaLevy. Stalwart of the Torah and of teaching. The light of his teachings enlightened generations. He was privileged to see his Jewish ritual [Halachah] established during his lifetime. He was the author of Turei Zahav [Ture Zahaw]. Born at Ludmir [Włodzimierz -Wołyński; Volodymyr-Volyskyi] in the district of Wołyń [Volyn]. He was a son-in-law of R' Joel Sirkis [Serkes], the author of Bayit Chadash, an interpretation of Arba'a Turim. He was rabbi at Potylicz [Potelysch], head of Yeshivah at Kraków and at Poznań, head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah at Ostróg [Ostroh]. During the Khmelnytsky [Chmielnicki] massacres, he migrated to Moravia. Wherever he went, he revised useful religious regulations. After the turmoil had subsided, he returned to Poland and was appointed head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah at Lwów, succeeding Rabbi Jakób ben Eljakim [Eljakum] Goetz [Giec]. He wrote Turei Zahav about the Shulchan Aruch [an abbreviated form of the Jewish ritual law], and Divrei David [the Sayings of David] about the Torah. He ascended heaven on 26 Sh'vat 5427 [20.2.1667]. One of his contemporaries attested that when he died, he possessed no money to purchase his Tachrichim [shroud], because he had never accepted any money not honestly acquired, and he had not accepted any gifts.

5428 (1668). R' Gerschon Beck ben R' Beinisch. He ascended and transcended the study of the Torah. He fought back, hitting the target. Head of Yeshivah and a great rabbinical judge [Dayan]. 8th day of Hannukah, 5428 [18.12.1668].

5429 (1669). R' Naftali Hirc [Hirtz] ben R' Juda Zelki [Selki] was a descendant of Ashkenazi conversos. The forebears of the family, descendants of Jewish conversos, arrived in Poland from Germany. R' Juda Zelki was a son-in-law of R' Joel Sirkis [Serkes], the author of Bayit Chadash, and his son, Naftali, was taught the Torah by this grandfather. He acted in the rabbinate within the town of Lwów (1654-1669). He was a secret expert in the Torah, studying Torah to arrive at practical determinations rather than theoretical ordinances. 8th day of Hannukah 5429 [6.12.1669].

5429 (1669). R' Mojżesz ben R' Jakób Kikenes, a scion of the prophet Jonah, he was the author of Kikayon [Kikayon deJonah = Jonah's castor-oil plant]. Devout and trustworthy like Eithan and Heman. Head of Yeshivah and head of rabbinical court, his students became great scholars [Geonim] in their time. 2 Iyar 5429 [3.5.1669].

5430 (1670). R' Jakób ben R' Juda Leib. He acted as Magid Mesharim [a Preacher of Righteousness] at the Torah-study school outside the town. 19 Adar 5430 [11.3.1670].

5441 (1681). R' Aszer [Asher] Jakób Abraham ben R' Arje-Leib Kalmankes. A Dayan [rabbinical judge] and an instructor in Jewish law. He delved into vast expanse of the Torah, and wrote the book Eshel Abraham [Abraham's Tamarisk] about the Torah, and the book Ma'ayan HaChochmah [Well of Wisdom], a key and rules to the wisdom of the Kabbalah, and the mystery of the act of Genesis. Nisan 5441 [March/April 1681].

5445 (1685). R' Józef ben R' Abraham Chajes [Chajut]. Head of rabbinical court and preacher. He ruled and elucidated the Torah. A dear soul and pure spirit. He wrote the book Ben Porat Josef. 10 Adar 5445 [14.2.1685 or 16.3.1685].

5445 (1685). R' Juda Judel ben R' Mojżesz. Born at Kowel [Kovel], he was expelled from one exile to the next by the oppressor. He took part in the Council of Four Lands. After the demise of the author of Turei Zahav [Dawid HaLevy], he was appointed to replace him at the rabbinate of Lwów outside the town. His soul rested at around the year 5445 (1685).

5451 (1691). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsch] ben R' Zechariah Mendel Klausner. Born in Kraków, he studied under the author of Bayit Chadash, and under the author of Megine Schlomoh, and under the head of Yeshivah, author of Zemach Zedek, of Nikolsburg [Mikulov]. He succeeded Rabbi Naftali Hirc [Hirtz; Herz] ben R' Judah Zelki [Selki], as head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah within the town (during that time Juda Judel was Rabbi outside the town). Later on, he was confirmed (1685) head of the rabbinical court of Lublin where he rests in peace. 17 Tishrei 5451 [20.9.1690].

5456 (1696). R' Simcha ben R' Mojżesz Izak. Aged in wisdom and tender in years, he was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Stryy [Stryj] and the region.

[Pages 403-404]

Later on he taught the Torah while he was head of Yeshivah and leader in Lwów. Isru-chag Shavuot [the day following the Weeks Holiday] 22 Nisan 5456 [24.4.1696].

5457 (1697). R' Juda Leib ben R' Jakób, son-in-law of the head of the rabbinical court, Rabbi Mojżesz Charif. Head of Yeshivah. 2 Tishrei 5457 [28.9.1696].

5457 (1697). R' Dawid from Lyda [Lida, Belarus] ben R' Arje Leib. Born around the year 5390 [1629/1630], to Arje Leib, head of the rabbinical court at Zwoleń, and to his wife, the sister of R' Mojżesz Riwkes author of Be'er HaGolah [Well of the Diaspora]. He was taught the Torah by his uncle and by Rabbi Heszel [Heschel], in Lublin. He married the daughter of R' Józefs of Lwów, the great-grandson of R' Abraham Horowitz [Hurwitz], author of Yesh Nochlin. In 5434 [1673/1674], he published his first book Divrei Dawid [the Sayings of David], the same year in which he was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Lyda in the Wilno [Vilna; Vilnius] region. With reference to this rabbinate, he was known as Dawid Lyda. From there he was appointed rabbi at Ostróg [Ostroh], and in 5437 [1676/1677], he was appointed as head of the rabbinical court for Mainz and the regions. On 1 Elul 5440 [26.8.1680], he was appointed head of the rabbinical court of Amsterdam's Ashkenazi community, where he published his books Sod Adonai [God's Secret], Sharvit Hazahav [The Golden Wand] and the book Migdal David [The Tower of David] and Shomerei Shabbat [upholders of the Sabbath]. He also started to print his big book Ir David [City of David].

At the time, a confrontation with him started, on the suspicion that in one of his sermons he hinted at the greatness of Sabbataj Cwi [Shabtai Tzvi]. The community-elders believed the rumour and he was dismissed from the rabbinate, as a result of which he left and returned to his family in Lwów. The dispute was brought before the Council of Four Lands. All the greats of the generation resolutely backed him, and boycotted those who conspired against him, including Amsterdam's community-elders. Rabbi Dawid returned to his post, but as the dispute within his community did not stop, he agreed with the community-elders to a compensation from the community. He resigned from the rabbinate, left the town, and returned to Lwów. Apart from the aforementioned books, he also wrote the book Ir Miklat [City of Refuge], about the 613 commandments mentioned in the Torah, (Dyhernfurth [Brzeg Dolny] 5450 [1689/1670]); Chelkei Avanim [Fragments of Stones] about the commentary by Rashi (Fürth–Prague 5453 [1692/1693]); Tapuchei Zahav [Oranges] (Fürth 5453 [1692/3]); and Yad Kol Bo (Frankfurt am Mein, 5487 [1726/1727]). His book Ir David was published posthumously, in (5479 [1718/1719]). His soul came to rest at Lwów, on 17 Cheshvan 5457 [1696/1697]).

5457 (1697). R' Izak ben R' Jakób Kikenes. The greatest of rabbinical judges and the greatest of leaders. A raiser of fences and preventer of disasters, who understood the secrets of the Torah. 1 Tevet 5457 [25.12.1696].

5460 (1700). R' Jozue [Yehoshua] Falk ben R' Juda Leib. A religious preacher, author of Emek Yehoshua [Joshua's Valley]. 5 Iyar 5400 [24.4.1700].

5462 (1702). R' Jakób ben R' Abraham. He exerted himself in the Torah like a lion and a lioness, and enlightened the Jews with his teachings. Head of Yeshivah. He was the son of R' Abraham, head of the rabbinical court at Rotterdam, and a son-in-law of Dawid Lyda. 1 Adar 5462 [1.3.1702].

5462 (1702). R' Józef ben R' Mojżesz Charif Segal. Head of Yeahivah, and later head of rabbinical court at Przemyśl [Pshemishel]. Son-in-law of R' Juda Leib Chassid head of rabbinical court at Lwów. 1 Iyar 5462 [29.4.1702].

5462 (1702). R' Mojżesz Pinkas ben R' Izrael Charif. Head of the rabbinical court of both communities, inside the town and outside the walls. He was a leading member among the Council of Four Lands. He wrote commentary and supplements to the section Gett [divorce certificate under Jewish law] of his grandfather Mojzesz Charif the First. 24 Elul 5462 [17.9.1702].

5463 (1703). R' Aszer [Asher] ben R' Ruben. An excellent rabbinical judge. He was killed in a bombardment sparked by an explosion in a gunpowder storage. 2 Kislev 5463 [22.11.1702].

5469 (1709). R' Mojżesz ben R' Dawid. He was extreme in his Chassidism, expert in the revealed and the concealed. An excellent rabbinical judge who studied regular classes with students. First day of Sukkot [Tabernacle] 16 Tishrei 5469 [29.8.1708].

5469 (1709). R' Benjamin Wolf ben R' Juda Kalmankes. Head of Yeshivah. He sat in his sack and in penance from one Sabbath to the next. He founded the pamphlet Hanhagat HaBayit [Guide to the Household]. 10 Sh'vat 5469 [21.1.1709].

5469 (1709). R' Izajasz [Isaiah] ben R' Menachem Mendel Kacenelenbogen [Katzenellenbogen]. He was a son-in-law of the head of the rabbinical court, R' Mojżesz Pinkas Charif. Excelled as a rabbinical judge and in his teachings of Jewish ritual. He led his community wisely, and taught many students. 1 Iyar 5469 [11.4.1709].

5470 (1710). R' Chanoch ben R' Mordechaj. Head of Yeshiva at Lwów for 34 years. 29 Tevet 5470 [1.1. 1710].

5472 (1712). R' Naftali Hirc [Hirtz] ben R' Izrael Aszkenazy [Ashkenazi]. In his day, he was known as “Rabbi Hirc [Hirtz].” He left no part of the Torah unattended. The leading holy treasurer was R' Pinkas ben Jair [Ya'ir]. He succeeded his father-in-law, Rabbi Mojżesz Pinkas Charif, as head of the rabbinical court, and teacher of Jewish law [Moreh Tzedek], at Lwów and the district, during 1702-1712. A large number of his sayings are mentioned in the books of the greats of his time. 18 Cheshvan 5472 [31.10.1711].

5472 (1712). R' Samuel ben R' Chaim. Head of Yeshivah and preacher at the Torah study school outside the town. He followed his own preachings. 4 Av 5472 [6.8.1712].

5474 (1714). R' Joel ben R' Izak Eizik Heilpern. He was known by his generation as “Der Grosser Rabbi, R' Joel” (the Great Rabbi, R' Joel). At first he was head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah at Łuck [Lutsk], and later at Pińsk [Pinsk]. When Rabbi Naftali Katz was appointed at Poznań, Rabbi Joel replaced him at Ostróg [Ostroh]. In 5474 [1714], after the demise of Rabbi Naftali Hirc [Hirtz] Aszkenazy [Ashkenazi], he was appointed as head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah at Lwów. Notwithstanding, before he had reached Lwów, his soul came to rest at Ostróg. 4 Tishrei 5474 [24.9.1713].

5477 (1717). R' Menachem Mendel ben R' Aszer Potiker. He was rabbi and religious judge at Berezań. Later on he was head of the rabbinical court in the district

[Pages 405-406]

of Lwów and on the Council of Four Lands. He wrote many essays. 3 Tevet 5477 [17.12.1716].

5478 (1718). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] Aszkenazy ben R' Jakób. He was known by the title of his book Chacham Cwi [Sage Tzvi]. His father, R' Jakób ben R' Benjamin, scion of holy lineage, was a son-in-law of R' Efraim, head of the rabbinical court in Wilno [Vilnius], the author of the book Sha'ar Efraim [Efraim's Gate]. In 5408 [1647/48], R' Jakób and his family wandered from his homeland and settled in Moravia. There, at Trebitsch [Třebíč] and Buda [Budin; Ofen], he served as head of the rabbinical court. Later on he settled in Ofen, and he was known as far away as Turkey and the lands of the east. Then, he fathered his son Cwi [Tzvi]. When the situation had quietened down in the country, his grandfather, the author of Sha'ar Efraim, and his father, R' Jakób, settled in Buda, Hungary. As a young boy, the grandson Cwi was taught the Torah by his grandfather and by his father. In his youth he went to Thessaloniki [Salonica] to familiarise himself with the Sephardi Sages' [Chachamim] ways of learning. There, he assisted R' Eliyahu Kobo in particular.

When he returned home, still in his youth, he was already considered amongst the revered, while he observed utmost Chassidism. There, he married the daughter of one of the wealthy members of the community, but when the Prussian armies laid siege to the town, firing cannons, a cannon-ball hit the house where he and his family lived. His young wife was killed together with their only daughter. R' Cwi [Tzvi] alone was saved. He left the town and moved to Sarajevo, where he was appointed rabbi. He left Sarajevo when he learnt that his parents were taken prisoners and brought to Berlin by the Brandenburg[-Prussians]. He moved to Venice, where he lodged in the house of R' Samuel Aboab, who welcomed him with great affection. From Venice he moved to Ansbach, Prague and Berlin. In Berlin he remarried, the daughter of R' Meschulam Zelman Neumark-Mirels, the rabbi and head of the rabbinical court of the three communities –Altona, Hamburg and Wandsbek. R' Cwi [Tzvi] settled at Altona and established a Yeshiva in a house founded by the well-to-do in these communities. There he focused on the revealed and the concealed until no secret of the Torah eluded him. He was faithful to the books of the Kabbalah, and was fluent in the writings of the holy Rabbi Izak Luria Askenazy [HaAri]. During his wandering, he taught himself foreign languages, and was known to have spoken Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Hungarian and German. He was also familiar with all types of philosophy and other types of knowledge, and in his spare time he read secular books and world affairs.

Along his long and arduous road he never accepted a gift from anyone. He was never known to joke or jest, even though he had a convivial attitude and warmly welcomed everyone. He was respected and feared and at the same time loved and liked by all who knew him. He focused solely on Jewish law. He considered it by day and by night. Despite being a Torah scholar of growing stature, he was welcomed by his acquaintances who were aware that he was purely guided by the spirit devoid of any personal aspect.

For twenty years he taught the Torah at the Altona Kloyz. Learners and rabbis from Poland and Lithuania, expert in the Torah, assembled there to study with great diligence, the Talmud, Rashi's interpretations, annotations of the Talmud, the adjudicators, Jewish laws and rabbinical literature [Aggadot], together with other knowledge and grammar. His renown spread throughout the diaspora and he attracted, from far and wide, queries about instruction and on uncertainty that had arisen during their study. From him emanated the Torah to the Jewish People, and he was also responsible for the public wellbeing of the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi members of the three communities. Even during the lifetime of his father-in-law, R' Meschulam Zelman Neumark, as head of the rabbinical court, when R' Tzvi was officially only appointed head of Yeshivah at the Kloyz, he was nonetheless instrumental in all of the affairs of the community, because his father-in-law, Rabbi Meschulam Zelman, was old and frail for several years. R' Cwi [Tzvi] handled all the affairs of the communities without receiving any salary or reward from the management of the communities. For his income, he first joined someone with an understanding of commodities, to trade together and share the profits. Soon, however, the invested sum dissipated and the partner escaped to Amsterdam, leaving R' Tzvi without assets. A few benevolent individuals in Altona and Hamburg accepted however some money from him, to use in joint trading, and gave him his share of the profit, but he set the condition that they should not forego any of their share in his favour.

Burdened with sons and daughters, and lacking a large, permanent income, he was nevertheless generous, and helped the poor in his communities. He also took upon himself the responsibility as collector of alms for the poor in Eretz Israel. He sent the donations collected for the poor in Jerusalem, and he ensured that the shares were fairly distributed, so that each individual received their portion depending on their status, their needs and their dependents. He also introduced the practice that every individual signs an acknowledgement of the sum they received. Subsequently, the community in Eretz Israel grew stronger.

On 22 Tamuz 5447 [3.7.1687], R' Meschulam Zelman [Zalman] Neumark entered eternal life, and the post of head of the rabbinical court for the three communities was left vacant. R' Cwi [Tzvi] was then appointed as head of the rabbinical court for Hamburg and Wandsbek, but at Altona the post was shared between him and R' Mojżesz Süsskind Rottenberg, with each of them heading the presidency for half a year. In 5452 [1691/92], R' Cwi [Tzvi] published a manuscript of the section: “Choshen HaMishpat” from the Shulchan Aruch by [the author of] Turei Zahav, supplemented by his added innovations and commentary. Next to every comment, some of which clarified and expanded and some of which disagreed and replied, he noted “said the commentator.” His name was not mentioned on the title page or in the introduction, but at the end of the book, at the insistence of his students, he agreed to enter his name with the saying: Who guards the Great Torah study school and the Kloyz at the holy community of Altona, in the year “in his Temple.”

[Pages 407-408]

This situation persisted for over twenty years, until 5469 [1709/10], when R' Cwi [Tzvi] issued a decision which led to a controversy between him and his colleague at the rabbinate, R' Mojżesz Süsskind Rottenberg. This disagreement spilt out beyond the boundaries of town, with some of the great rabbis of the generation siding with R' Tzvi, and some rejecting his decision. The relations between these two presidents of the rabbinical court had escalated, until R' Cwi [Tzvi] removed himself from the rabbinate and returned to his previous post as head of Yeshivah at the Kloyz. Not much later he was appointed rabbi in Amsterdam. As soon as he had settled there, he rushed to publish Chacham Cwi, a collection of his responses, in which his responses to the disputed decision occupied the principal part. It seemed as if its frequent printing served purely to publish his reasons for that particular decision.

Both communities, the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi, honoured and admired him for his greatness in the Torah, his charitable characteristics and for the religious rulings he instituted in the rabbinate to improve the lot of the communities. Notwithstanding, a dispute erupted between him and the rabbi of the Sephardi community, Rabbi Solomon Ajalon [Ayalon], who had approved the book Divrei Nechemya, by Nehemiah Chaya Chayun, while R' Tzvi considered that book as one which aligned itself with the cult of Sabbataj Cwi's [Shabtai Tzvi]. R' Cwi [Tzvi] left once more the rabbinate of Amsterdam and travelled to London. There, he was welcomed with great honour and his stay was commemorated with a portrait by a professional artist. He did not remain there for long, however. He returned to Poland via Emden, Halberstadt, Berlin and Wrocław [Breslau], until 5474 [1714/15], when he was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Lwów. He led this presidency with great dignity. Even ministers of state treated him with such great honour as had never been bestowed on a Jewish rabbi. He was also licensed to judge capital cases, but he did not remain long on his seat, as he rose to heaven on the evening of 2 Iyar 5478 [3.5.1718].

5478 (1718). R' Simcha ben R' Nachman HaKohen Rappoport. After the demise of Chacham Cwi [Tzvi], R' Simcha was invited to succeed him. Previously he had been head of Yeshivah at Dubno, Grodno and Lublin, when he was invited to serve in the rabbinate of Lwów, but he did not occupy the seat for long. The wording on the tombstone of his son, Chaim HaKohen Rappoport, confirms that R' Simcha occupied the seat of Lwów's rabbinate for a while. It is possible that after his advancement, he returned in order to bring his family to Lwów. Midway, at Szczebrzeszyn [Shebreshin], he fell ill however, and died on 7. Av 5478 [4.7.1718]. A few of his homilies appear in his son, R' Chaim's book, Zecher HaChaim [The Recollection of Chaim = Life].

5479 (1719). R' Salomon Zelman [Zalman] ben R' Izak. A preacher and head of rabbinical court. A Chassidic great scholar [gaon] who taught many great Jewish scholars. 9 Cheshvan 5479 [3.11.1718].

5482 (1722). R' Cwi [Tzvi] ben R' Saul Landau of the Kikenes family. At first he was head of the rabbinical court at Żmigród [later Nowy Żmigród] [Schmiedeburg], and later he was one of the great rabbinical judges in Lwów. He saved the oppressed from the grasp of his oppressor. He taught men who turned into great rabbis and he composed shrewd essays. 1 Tamuz 5482 [16.6.1722].

5488 (1728). R' Chaim and his brother, R' Jozue [Jehoshua] Bnei R' Izak HaLevy Reizes [Reices], the holy men who were martyred. R' Chaim (born 5447; 1687), was head of Yeshivah at Lwów. His brother, R' Jozue (born 5457; 1697), was also exalted in the Torah and in Chassidism. Affluent men, they were generous and philanthropic towards the poor and the down-and-outs. Then, a converted man arrived from afar, one who regretted what he had done, and reverted to Judaism. The head-priest heard of it and the convert was caught. When he was questioned about the person who had advised him to return to Judaism, he said that he did not know the community members, but that he would recognise the inciter, if he were to stand in front of him. The head-priest ordered the entire community, including the rabbis and heads of Yeshivah, to come and line up, because the leading members of the community were suspected in particular of influencing the convert to revert to Judaism. After the convert had considered all the members without picking out anyone, R' Chaim said to the head-priest in Latin: “You see, Sir, I am innocent of this event of which I was wrongly accused.” When the convert heard these words, he turned to R' Chaim and to his brother and said: “Now I recognise them. They have tempted me.” The two brothers were caught and suffered severe torture and on the eve of Shavuot [the festival of Weeks] 5488 [24.3.1728], these holy scholars underwent a severe death. They were murdered and burnt and stabbed.

5492 (1732). R' ‘Jezi’ [Jezaja] ben R' Abraham HaLevy Horowitz [Hurwitz], a preacher and head of rabbinical court. He remained steadfast. He gave exceptional instructions. 29 Tevet 5492 [27.1.1732].

5493 (1733). R' ‘Jezi’ [Jezaja] ben R' Aron Meschulam from Łuck [Lutsk], head of Yeshivah, a great rabbinical judge and teacher of Jewish law. Died at Kolomyia [Kolomea]. 9 Tishrei 5493 [28.9.1732].

5500 (1740). R' Jakób from Kulików [Kulykiv]. At first he was rabbi at Kulików, and later he was preacher in Lwów. 23 Kislev 5500 [24.12.1739].

5506 (1746). R' Menachem Maneli ben R' Baruch HaLevy. Rabbinical judge and teacher of Jewish law. He was the author of the book Zera Baruch [Scion of Baruch; also, Blessed Scion], new interpretation of Mishnah tractates, and of the book Ta'am Man [Taste of Manna] on the Torah portions. 7 Sivan 5506 [26.5.1746].

5510 (1750). R' Pinkas ben R' Jakób Kacenelenbogen [Katzenellenbogen]. Head of the rabbinical court at Krakowiec [Krakovets], and later, for 31 years, a Magid Mesharim preacher within the town [of Lwów]. 11 Adar 5510 [17.2.1750].

5514 (1754). R' Mojżesz Chaim ben R' Eleazar [Eliezer]. At first he was head of rabbinical court at Komárno [Komárom] and Złoczów [Zlochiv], and later, head of the rabbinical court at Lwów. During the dispute among the community management over the status of the author of Pneh Jesua [Jehoshua; Yehoshua] in the rabbinate, and when in 5488 (1728) the heads of Yeshivah, R' Chaim and R' Jozue Reices, were falsely accused and brutally murdered,

[Pages 409-410]

the town rabbi was also accused together with them, but he succeeded in escaping Lwów. He crossed the border and got away. He reached the town of Khotyn [Chocin; Hotin] and remained there for the rest of his life, until approximately 5514 (1754), where his rest is honoured.

5515 (1755). R' Arje [Aryeh] Leib ben R' Saul. His father was the son of the rabbi Rabbi Heszel [Heschel]. He was head of the rabbinical court at Łokacze [Lokatschi], Brest [Brześć; formerly Brześć-Litewski], Opatów, Kraków and Głogów [Glogau]. R' Arje Leib also served in the rabbinate of several significant communities, such as Rzeszów [Resche] and Głogów [Glogau]. Later, he was appointed to head the rabbinate of Lwów, the seat which his father-in-law, Chacham Cwi, had occupied. He served the rabbinate there, for a period. However, the lawsuits rift within the community over the author of Pneh Josua [Pnei Jehoshua], stopped him from settling in Lwów. He did not abandon his position at the rabbinate of Głogów until he was appointed to serve as rabbi in Amsterdam, where he died on the seventh day of Pessach 5515 [15.12.1754].


Manuscript of the great scholar [gaon] Rabbi Jakób Jozue [Josua], author of Pneh Josua [Pnei Jehoshua]


5516 (1756). R' Jakób Jozue ben R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh]. Known for his book Pneh Josua, he was a grandson of the author of Magine Shelomoh [Jozue Heszel /Höschel], and was named after him. He was born in Kraków on 28 Kislev 5441 [19.12.1680]. In his youth he migrated to locations where the Torah was followed, and studied at various Yeshivot with his name spreading far and wide. He married the daughter of the head and leader of Lwów's community, R' Salomon Segal Landau, and settled in Lwów. There he taught the Torah to upright students and started to write the book of his innovations to the tractates of the Mishnah. Respected and revered by all the townspeople, he was elected elder and leader of the community.

One day, on 3 Kislev 5463 (1703), a barrel of gunpowder inside the military warehouse in the vicinity of the Jewish Street was set alight by a spark. An immense explosion ensued, destroying many houses and killing scores of people. Amongst these were also his young wife and their single daughter, as well as several members of their family. R' Jakób Jozue was also among the casualties. He lay covered by the heaped ruins, unable to move or breath. In this crisis, he vowed that if God were to save him from the collapse, he would increase the number of his students, he would persevere in the Halachah, and would follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, the author of Megine Schlomoh, including his teaching methods. Before he even concluded his prayer, God heard him and showed him steps through the heaps. He found a kind of path which led him to safely. After that, he concentrated his study primarily on clarifying the Halachah and on delving into questions on the Talmud, while excluding from his writings all irrelevancies, remote from the actual truth.

Even though he remarried the daughter of one of Lwów's prominent residents, the leader and magnet, Isachar Ber, R' Jakób Jozue was not inclined to settle in the town where his first wife's parents resided, to spare causing them any grief. He moved and settled in the small town of Kurów, in the Lublin district. In 5466 (1706), he was elected to serve the rabbinical court at Ryczywół, nevertheless, his solid character and his principle not to face a community-elder or leader, stopped him from sitting amongst them, and in 5469 (1709) he moved at Łuków. There again he found no rest and supplies to his Yeshivah. His resolute mother-in-law, lobbied to have him appointed to the rabbinical court at the village Tarłów near Ostrowiec, and built there a Torah study school for his Yeshivah. There, however, he also faced opposition from those who wanted to rule over the public. At the time, Chacham Cwi was in Poland, where he visited several small towns, and by chance he met R' Jakób Jozue, appreciated his character and his greatness in the Torah, and wondered that he was head of a rabbinical court, at a small town, and declared that he [Jakób Jozue] deserved a larger town. As the people of the town Lisko [Lesko] asked Chacham Cwi whom they should appoint as rabbi, he recommended R' Jakób Jozue.

Not long after, on 2 Elul 5474 [13.8.1714], R' Jakób Jozue

[Pages 411-412]

was elected to the rabbinical court of the community of Tykocin [Tykotzin]. He did not accept the post however, and that, since Chacham Cwi [Tzvi Hirsh Aszkenazy] had died a few months earlier. With many acquaintances and those who respected R' Jakób Jozue from the days he had resided at Lwów, he was favoured as head of the rabbinical court of the town, and as Rabbi of the Land and the regions. There were also those who wished to appoint to these honorary posts the son-in-law of the revered Chacham Cwi, R' Arje Leib ben R' Saul [Shaul] the son of R' Heszel [Heschel] of Kraków. The family of R' Jakób Jozue in Lwów, with his mother-in-law in particular, lobbied however on his behalf. Meanwhile, the district Governor delayed the appointment of the Rabbi, insisting that prior to settling the question of the Rabbi's appointment, the community had first to pay their debts to the government, of over thirty thousand Gulden. The family of R' Jakób Jozue paid the debt and obtained authorisation to appoint the Rabbi for the town and the district, at which point R' Jakób Jozue became head of the rabbinical court of the town [Lwów] and of the district.

Still, the disputes did not cease, with the residents of the district breaking away from the townspeople. The leaders of the districts sided with R' Jakób Jozue, unlike those in the town proper. But R' Arje Leib ben R' Saul refused to relinquish his rabbinate and go to Lwów so long as a truce was not reached in Lwów, and the Rabbi of Złoczów [Zolochiv], R' Mojżesz Chaim, was brought to Lwów. R' Jakób Jozue, who did not renounce the rabbinate of Lwów, especially due to the financial claims from the community in respect of their debt payment, left the town and settled at Buczacz [Buchach], the town of his father-in-law, R' Arje Leibusz, leader of the Land of the Lwów region. The Council of Four Lands sided with R' Jakób Jozue, and the dispute did not subside until 5490 [1730], when R' Jakób Jozue was elected to the post at the rabbinate of Berlin, and he left for Berlin.

Even in Berlin R' Jakób Jozue found no rest, since he feared no oppressor and did not flinch from a tyrant, did not turn to any officer and did not flatter any benefactor. Consequently he attracted the objection of the most adamant in Berlin, the community-elder and leader, Feiwel ben R' Efraim, who once stood trial before R' Jakób Jozue, together with the father of Mr. Daniel Jaffe. R' Jakób Jozue, who investigated the dispute between them, admonished Feiwel for his violence. He thus engendered the hatred of the adamant man. The head of the rabbinical court of Metz at the time, R' Jacob Reischer, author of Chock Ja'akov [Jacob's Law], and of Sh'vut Ja'akov [Jacob's Response], died, and R' Jakób Jozue acquiesced to the request of the Metz community and headed the rabbinate there, in 5494 [1733/34]. In 5499 [1738/39], R' Jakób Jozue travelled to Amsterdam to print his book Pneh Josua [Pnei Jehoshua; Yehoshua] on the Mishnah's women tractate [about family life]. There he lobbied for the acceptance of the second candidate in Lwów, R' Arje Leib, the son-in-law of Chacham Zwi, as head of the rabbinical court in Amsterdam.

The resolute views of R' Jakób Jozue led at times to rulings that opposed the views of his predecessors at the Metz rabbinate. Many complained about him, especially about his instruction regarding priests [Kohanim] sitting in the street, neighbouring a deceased. R' Jakób Jozue ignored his detractors, but when the Sages of Eretz Israel approached him and appointed him their president, he left the Metz rabbinate and prepared to go to Eretz Israel. Then, the rabbi of Frankfurt-am-Main, Jacob HaKohen Popers, the author of Lev Ya'akov, [Jacob's Heart], died, and R' Jakób Jozue was asked to succeed him, thus delaying his departure to Eretz Israel. While he was in Frankfurt-am-Main, an emissary for Eretz Israel, R' Chaim Yosef David Azulai, visited him, and the impression R' Jakób Jozue made on Azulai, was noted by the latter: “I, the youth, was blessed to welcome the divine spirit for a few days, and he appeared like God's angel.”

Just as in teaching, so also in all public issues, he would not budge from his set view, and always fought hard for everything he considered right and necessary to maintain Judaism and the Torah. In 5482 (1722), while still in Lwów, he headed the conference to boycott and ostracise the remainder of Sabbataj Cwi's [Shabtai Tzvi] cult. Ever since, he suspected anyone who diverted from the Shulchan Aruch, and followed the custom of the Kabbalists, and wondered if they were a kind of Sabbateans. When he heard that Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschütz had stopped laying [tefillin] phylacteries during Chol Hamo'ed, he ensured that the entire world heard of it. When the dispute broke out over the amulets, he again opposed him. However, with the town's majority siding with Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschütz, and the dispute escalating, R' Jakób Jozue gave up this rabbinate too. He left the town and settled at Mannheim. Meanwhile, Rabbi Moses Braude, the rabbi of Worms, died, and R' Jakób Jozue was accepted there. The government, however, would not confirm his rabbinate. He attempted to return to Frankfurt-am-Main, but the dispute had heated up even further, and so he left for Offenbach. On 14 Sh'vat 5516 [16.1.1756], before the start of Shabbat, he entered eternal life, and on Sunday his coffin was brought to Frankffurt-am-Main, where he rests in peace. It was said that he was born in righteousness and died in integrity.

5525 (1765). R' Menachem Manis ben R' Jokel Halevy, a Horowitz, brother-in-law of R' Jecheskiel [Ezechiel] Landau, author of Noda BeJehuda [Known in Judah]. Head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah. 19 Sh'vat 5525 [10.2.1765].

5528 (1768). R' Izak Segal Landau. At first, he was head of the rabbinical court in his birth town of Opatów, and later at Żółkiew. From there he was elected rabbi to the Lwów region. Following the controversy over the rabbinate of Pneh Jesua [R' Jakób Jozue] which led to the severing of the district, from the town of Lwów, he was accepted as head of the rabbinical court and the head of Yeshivah at Kraków. Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschütz described him as “First amongst the prime Sages [Geonim] of the period. None was greater than him. Leader of the Levites in a generation replete with esteemed men, the Sage Izak Segal who had been head of the rabbinical court of the Lwów region, and now head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah of the holy community of Kraków and of the district… entered eternal life at Kraków on Simchat Torah 5528 [23.12.1767].”

5530 (1770). R' Chaim Juda Leib ben R' Eleazar [Eliezer] Segal Ettinger [Ettinga]. He was the brother-in-law, and father-in-law of

[Pages 413-414]

R' Chaim Kohen Rappoport, head of Yeshivah during the rabbinate of Chacham Cwi, and Pneh Jesua [R' Jakób Jozue], and later, during the interregnum, he replaced them in the rabbinate of Lwów. He rests, honoured, at Jaryczów Nowy [Novyi Yarychiv]. 3 Sh'vat 5530 [29.1.1770].

5531 (1771) R' Chaim ben R' Simche HaKohen Rappoport. He was rabbi at Zitel, Słuck [Slutsk] and in 5501 (1741), he was appointed to replace his father and serve as head of the rabbinical court of Lwów and of the region. He was blessed with a long life, and occupied the seat for some thirty years. During his tenure at the town-rabbinate, his son, R' Arje Leib, served as head of Yeshivah, and died during his father's lifetime, in Sivan 5509 [May-June 1749]. R' Chaim Kohen was considered in his day as the noblest of Sages, and he was approached from near and far with many inquiries about the Halachah [Jewish law]. In 5519 (1759), he was forced to confront the followers of Jacob Frank's cult, and defend the Talmud. He was active in the Council of Four Lands. Part of his answers were published after a long time, under the title Responsa of R' Chaim Kohen (Lwów 5621 [1860/61]), and part of his sermons, under the title Zecher Chaim (Lwów 5626 [1865/66]). He entered eternal life on 13 Tamuz 5531 [25.6.1771].

5533 (1773). R' Majer ben R' Józef Teomim. He was at first head of the rabbinical court at Lubartów, and later a Magid Mesharim [Preacher of Righteousness] in Lwów. An influential preacher, who replied thoroughly to many. He wrote the book Brachat Josef [Joseph's Blessing], Eliyahu Rabba, and Rav P'ninim veNofet Zufim. He fathered R' Józef, author of Peri Megadim [Precious Fruit]. 19 Tamuz 5531 [1.7.1771]. 5539 (1779). R' Dov Berisz ben R' Arje Leib. His father, R' Arje Leib was rabbi at Zamość [Zamosch], and he officiated at the rabbinate of Kozienice [Kozhnits] (5505 [1744/5]), Kraśnik (5514 [1753/4]), and Rzeszów [Resche] (5518 [1757/8]). There, he was appointed as head of Yeshivah at Lwów, where he taught the Torah for fourteen years, until 3 Iyar 5539 [27.6.1779].

5545 (1785). R' Salomon ben R' Mojżesz of Chełm. Born at Zamość, he became head of the rabbinical court and head of Yeahivah at Chełm, rabbi at the Kollel [advanced Judaic studies programme] on the estates of Count Zamojski [Zamoyski], on whose territory stood the towns of Zamość and Szczebrzeszyn [Shebreshin]. In 5531[1770/71], after the demise of R' Chaim Kohen Rappoport, he was appointed to take over his post at Lwów. A very great scholar in the Torah, who also had secular knowledge, he wrote Merkewet HaMischna, about Maimonides. Atzeh Shulchan, which followed the four parts of the Shulchan Aruch (out of which only the part on the Shabbath Laws, and the section Even-HaEzer from the Shulchan Aruch, were published). New interpretations about the Six Orders of the Mishnah, and responses, were left in manuscript form. In 5537 [1777/78], he left the rabbinate and moved to Eretz Israel. He remained there for a certain period, then left for Thessaloniki [Saloniki] in order to publish another volume of one of his books. There, his soul came to rest, around the year 5545 [1784/85].

5546 (1786). R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev] ben R' Mojżesz. Known as “The great R' Mordechaj-Zew,” he was said to be a holy man of God. He was head of the rabbinical court at Kamianka, Satanów [Sataniv] and Jampol [Yampil], and later at the two communities of Lwów, inside, and outside the town. He was the father of R' Jakób Ornstein, author of Jeschies Jacow [Yeshuot Ya'akov]. 2 Sh'vat 5544 [25.1.1784].

5550 (1790). R' Majer ben R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] Margulies. He was rabbi at Jazłowiec [Yazlovets], and in 5515 [1754/55], he was appointed as head of the rabbinical court of the Lwów region. During his tenure, R' Chaim Kohen Rappoport and later R' Salomon of Chełm, were head of the rabbinical court within the town. A thorough adherent of R' Izrael Baal Shem Tov. In one of his books he writes: “Ever since childhood, from the day I got devotionally attached to my teacher, my friend, the rabbi, the Chassid, our teacher, Rabbi Izrael Baal Shem Tov, of blessed memory, I faithfully knew that his leadership was of sanctity and purity with great devotion and asceticism of a righteous man who lives within his faith. To whom the concealed and the mysterious was unveiled.” From Lwów he moved to Ostróg [Ostroh] as rabbi, head of the rabbinical court. He wrote the Responsa Meir Netivim, Or Olam and Sod Yachin VeBoaz. 10 Iyar 5550 [24.4.1790].

5552 (1792). R' Józef ben R' Majer Teomim, the stalwart of education. Renowned for his compositions Peri Megadim about Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, Yore De'a and others. Born at Szczerzec, near Lwów, his parents moved to Lwów in his childhood, where he grew up. He married the daughter of R' Eliakim [Elyakum] of Komárno [Komárom], where he taught children the Torah, and he signed his name Makreh Dardakeh [infants' teacher]. In 5526 [1765/66], at Komárno, he finished his book Rosh Yosef [Joseph's Head] about Masechet Chulin [Part of the Mishnah]. In 5532 [1771/72], he was appointed member of the Daniel Jaffe Torah study school, in Berlin. There, he found the books which he required to complete the books which he wrote himself. Subsequently, he finished his book Peri Megadim, to Yore De'a. From there he returned to Lwów and stood in for his father for seven years. In 5544 [1784/85], he was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Frankfurt-an-der-Oder. Apart from the above mentioned books, other books published by him were, Ginat Veradim, Matan Secharan Shel Mitzvot, Noam Megadim, Notarikon, Porat Yosef, with Masechet Yabamot and K'tovot, Rosh Yossef with Masechet P'sachim and Beyza, Shoshanat Ha'Amakim and Teyvat Gama. Many of his writings remained in manuscript form. Died 4 Iyar 5552 [26.4.1792].

5553 (1793). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] ben R' Mojżesz. At first, he was head of the rabbinical court at Biały Kamień [Bilyi Kamin`], later, he was head of the rabbinical court at Lwów. He was the father of R' Majer Kristianpoller, head of the rabbinical court at Brody. 19 Av 5553 [28.7.1793].

5554 (1794). R' Aszer Anszel [Asher Anshel] ben R' Mojżesz Askenazy [Aszkenassy]. Rabbi at Rozdól, later he was Magid Mesharim at Lwów, minister of the Torah and Wisdom. He kept and supported the poor, shored up the orphans and the widows. He was the father of R' Mojżesz Dawid Askenazy [Aszkenassy], of Tolcsva [Hungary], and later in France, author of the book Toldot Adam [History of Man]. 12 Cheshvan 5554 [12.10.1793].

5557 (1797). R' Schmuel Saler ben

[Pages 415-416]

R' Abraham Scheindlinger [Sheindlinger] was born at Dobromil. He was head of the rabbinical court at the town of Sale, and was named after it, R' Schmuel Saler. Later he was Magid Mesharim, Moreh Tzedek [teacher of Jewish law] and head of the rabbinical court within the town. He wrote the book Schem Meschmiel [Shem MiShmuel], Bayit Chadash about the Torah, the Gmara and Halachah. 3 Av 5557 [26.7.1797].

5565 (1805). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] ben R' Isachar Dov-Berisz Rosanisch [Rosanes]. R' Isachar is the grandson[B] of the author of Pneh Jesua [Pnei Jehoszua; Yehoshua]. R' Cwi Hirsz was promoted to head of rabbinical court at Bolechów, and was later appointed head of rabbinical court and head of Yeshivah at Lwów. He wrote the book Tesha Shitot [Nine Methods]. 23 Kislev 5565 [26.11.1804].

5566 (1806). R' Izak ben R' Cwi Aszkenazy [Tzvi Ashkenazi]. Rabbi at Chodorów [Khodoriv], he was later Magid Mesharim and Moreh Tzedek in both communities, within, and outside the town. A profound great scholar. He wrote the book Taharat HaKodesh [The Purity of Sanctity] about Masechet Zevachim and Masechet Menachot. 28 Nissan 5566 [16.4.1806].


Handwriting of Rabbi Józef Saul Natansohn


5570 (1810). R' Meszulam [Meshulam] ben R' Joel HaKohen, brother of R' Izak Eizyk, head of the rabbinical court at Korzec [Korets] and Ostróg [Ostroh]. Author of Brit Kehunat Olam, he numbered amongst the privileged priesthood. R' Meszulam was promoted to head of the rabbinical court at Żurawno [Zhuravne], Korzec [Korets] and Bolechów [Bolekhiv]. Later on, he was head of the rabbinical court and teacher of Jewish law, at Lwów. He wrote the books Pitcheh Neda and Gufeh Halachot. First day of the festival of Sukkot [Tabernacle] 5570 [25.9.1809].

5570 (1810). R' Juda Leib ben R' Jechiel Michał, Magid Mesharim and Moreh Tzedek [teacher of Jewish law] within the town. A supreme saint. Conscientious and extraordinary as one of the Ancients. 25 Tishreh 5570 [5.10.1809].

5596 (1836). R' Naftali Hirz ben R' Abraham Chaim Suchystaw [Suchestow]. Head of the rabbinical court, he was the father of Gabryel [Gawril], author of Maceweth Kodesz [Matzevet Kodesh]. 6 Nissan 5596 [23.3.1836].

5599 (1839) R' Jakób [Jakub] Meszulam Ornstein ben R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev] Lwów, renowned for his book Jeschies Jacow [Yeshuot Ya'akov]. He was born in 5535 [1774/75]. When he was twelve years old, his father, R' Mordechaj Zew, head of Lwów's rabbinical court, died. In the same year, he married the daughter of R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] Meitlis from Jarosław [Yaroslav], in whose house he studied the Torah and wrote his book, part of the Avoda Zara. In 5563 [1802/3], he was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Żołkiew [Zhovkva], and in 5565 [1804/5], after the demise of R' Cwi Hirsz Rosanisch [Tzvi Hirsch Rosanes], head of the rabbinical court at Lwów, R' Jakób was appointed head of the rabbinical court, and for thirty five years he did his office proud. His book Jeschies Jacow [Yeshuot Ya'akov] spread his name throughout the Jewish diaspora. His sermons on the Torah and a collection of his responsa were also published. His son, R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev], the father of Cwi Ornstein, died on 17 Cheshvan 5597 [28.10.1836], and R' Jakób, on 25 Av 5599 [4.8.1839].

5611 (1851). R' Jozue Izak Jair [Ya'ir] ben R' Jakób Horowitz. He was rabbi at Dukla, Magid Mesharim within the town of Lwów, and finally, rabbi at Żórawina. He published the book Emunot VeDe'ot [Beliefs and Opinions] (Lwów, 5618 [1858]) a clarification of all the commandments, the principles and the basics, and all shoots of faith and the articles. Died at Żórawina, 16 Kislev 5611 [20.11.1850].

5612 (1852). R' Aron Mojżesz ben R' Jakób Taubes. Born in Lwów in 5547 [1787], he was taught the Torah by R' Jakób Ornstein. He was rabbi at Śniatyn (5580 [1820]), and later at Iași [Jassy] (5601 [1840/41]. He composed the responsa Tofa'ot Ra'am and the rabbinical commentary Karneh Ra'am. Died at Iași [Jassy] 11 Tamuz 5612 [28.7.1852].

5619 (1859). R' Simcha Natan ben R' Arje Leib Öhlenberg, was head of the rabbinical court at Mościska [Mostyska], and later he was Magid Mesharim and teacher of Jewish law in Lwów. After the demise of

[Pages 417-418]

Rabbi Jakób Ornstein, he acted as head of the rabbinical court. He died on Simchat Torah 5619 [9.12.1858].

5623 (1863). R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev] ben R' Izak Aron Segal Ettinga [Ettinger], the brother-in-law and friend of Rabbi Józef Saul Natansohn. Together they wrote Mifraseh HaYam [The Sea Sails] about the sea of the Talmud, and their uncle, R' Jozue Heschel of Tarnogród [Tarnegrod], the brother of Rabbi Jakób Ornstein the author of Jeschies Jacob [Yeshuot Ya'akov], Magen Giborim, Meirat Enayim -about Halachot Trefat HaRe'a-, Ma'ase Alfas (commentary about the pronouncements of R' Isaac Alfasi [al-Fasi]), Masoret HaShisha Sedarim and Ner Ma'aravi about the Jerusalem Talmud. A large collection of responses was also left, in manuscript form, Shevet Achim, which they had written together, in reply to questions posed by others about the Halachah. Apart from these books, his responsa book Ma'amar Mordechaj was also published. He was the father of R' Izak Aron Ettinger, who later became head of Lwów's rabbinical court. R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev] died on 20 Tamuz 5623 [7.7.1853].


Verdicts by Lwów's rabbinical judges [Dayanim] – the signatures of R' Natan Neta ben R' Jekusiel Zelman [Jekutiel Zalman], R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] son of head of the rabbinical court


5638 (1878). R' Józef Saul ben R' Arje Leibusz HaLevy Natansohn, was born at Berezań in 5571 [1810/11]. He married the daughter of R' Izak Aron HaLevy Ettinger of Lwów. In the home of his father-in-law he studied the Torah together with his brother-in-law, his wife's brother, R' Mordechaj Zew, and together they wrote the above mentioned books. On 17 Sh'vat 5617 [11.2.1857], R' Józef Saul was appointed head of Lwów's rabbinical court. He responded to every inquirer about Jewish law, and he wrote books about Jewish law and rabbinic literature. Amongst these, his Sho'el VeMashiv [Inquirer and Responder], appeared in five editions. Yosif Da'at, regarding Part II of Yoreh De'a; Torat Moshe on the teachings of R' Mojżesz Isserles on the laws that prohibit and those that allow; Haga'hot Yad Sha'ul, a new publication of Shulchan Aruch; Beit Sha'ul on the six Orders of the Mishnah. Page proofs of the book Nachalat Shiv'a. Divreh Sha'ul, on the Torah two editions Divreh Sha'ul sermons, and Divreh Sha'ul on the legends of the Babylonian Talmud. Several pamphlets explaining his rulings on the Halachah, which attracted his detractors, such as: the permission to knead Mazot by machine, and also a few sermons. He was appointed as head of the rabbinical court at Brześć-Litewski [Brest-Litovsk], but he did not leave Lwów. His soul came to rest on 27 Adar 5635 [4.3.1875].

5648 (1888). R' Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] ben R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev] Ornstein. His father, Rabbi Moses Zacuto [ReMeZ], the sole son of R' Jakób Ornstein, died young, before his father, in 5597 (1837), when R' Cwi Hirsz was a youth. Later on, R' Cwi Hirsz married the daughter of R' Jechiel Mechel Kristianpoller, who was the son-in-law of R' Aron, one of Brześć-Litewski's great, author of the book Minchat Aharon, about the Sanhedrin tractate. In 5625 (1865), he was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Brześć-Litewski [Brest-Litovsk], where he served at the rabbinate for nine years, until the Russian government ordered him to leave Russia, as he was a national of a foreign country. In 5633 (1873), he was appointed as head of the rabbinical court at Rzeszów [Resche] and the region, and after the demise of Józef Saul Natansohn, head of the rabbinical court of Lwów, he was appointed to replace him. Many of his innovations and responses were published in the second edition of his grandfather's book, Jeschies Jacow [Yeshuot Ya'akov]. After his demise, his son-in-law, Arje-Leib Braude published a collection of his responses under the title Birchat Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh [Blessing of Rabbi Cwi Hirsz]. Died on 9 Nissan 5648 [21.3.1888].

5651 (1891). R' Isaak Aron ben R' Mordechaj Zew [Ze'ev] HaLevy Ettinga [Ettinger], president for the whole of Galicia, to tend to the poor in Eretz Israel. He was appointed head of the rabbinical court at Przemyśl [Pshemishl], but as he was well to do, he did not need the income from a rabbinate, and he did not wish to uproot himself from his home in Lwów, his birth place. In 5648 [1888], after the demise of R' Cwi Hirsz Ornstein, he was appointed to replace him as head of Lwów's rabbinical court. Apart from [his] replies which were published in diverse books, two parts of his responses were also published

[Pages 419-420]

under the title Responsa of Rabbi Isaak Aron HaLevy. His soul rested on 7 Sh'vat 5651 [18.1.1891].

5668 (1906). R' Izak-Juda [Yitzchak-Yehudah] ben R' Chaim-Szmuel Szmelkes [Samuel Shmelkes], one of the giants of the Torah in the previous period. He was rabbi at Żurawno [Zhuravne], and later on at Brzeżany [Brzeziny], Przemyśl and finally at Lwów. He wrote the six-volumed responsa, Beit Yitzchak [Isaac's House], on the four sections of the Shulchan Aruch; the book Si'ach-Yitzchak [Isaac's Conversation], on R' Salomon Kluger; Divreh Yitzchak [Isaac's Sayings], homily for the appointment as head of the rabbinical court at Lwów. Died on the eve of Yom Kippur 5668 [8.10.1905].

5676 (1916). R' Mojżesz ben R' Izak, head of the rabbinical court. He was born in 5618 [1857/58] to his father, Rabbi Kalisz [Kalisch]. At the age of eighteen, he was appointed rabbi at Trembowla [Terembowla], and in 5668 [1907/08], as rabbi and head of the rabbinical court, within the town of Lwów. Died 26 Iyar 5676 [29.5.1916].

5688 (1928). R' Arje [Arye] Leib ben Chaim Braude, was the last head of the rabbinical court of Lwów. The son-in-law of Cwi Hirsz [Tzvi Hirsh] Ornstein, he published his Responsa Bircat Rabbi Cwi Hirsz together with the addition


Rabbi Izak-Juda [Yitzchak-Yehudah] Szmelkes


Milchement Arye [Arye's War]. He was a member of the rabbinical court of R' Izak Szmelkes, and later, head of the rabbinical court, and deputy within the town. After the demise of Rabbi Izak Szmelkes, he was appointed as rabbi of the rabbinical court. He wrote the Responsa Mitzpe Arye, Kama [First] (Lwów 5640 [1880]) and Tinyana [Second] (5672 [1912]), the book Mukdam VeMe'uchar Benevolence (5686 [1926]). Died in 5688 [1928].

All notes in square brackets [ ] were made by the translator.

  1. At the behest of Rabbi Margulies, his hand-written article was published, unaltered. The sources: Klilath Jofi, A guide to the book by Dembitzer; Anshei Shem, by Salomon Buber; Notes and addenda to Anshei Shem, which I have published in my book Sinai (Jerusalem 1950-1952); Most of the descriptions and acknowledgements follow the inscriptions on the gravestones that were copied in Mazewes Kodesch by R' Gabryel Suchystaw [Gawril Suchestow], with various corrections in my annotation. Return
  2. See the Responsa of Rabbi Izrael Bruna [of Brno; Brünn] (Born approx. in 5160 [1400]) Return
  1. At the end of the book, Mizbe'ach Adama (Thesaloniki 5537 [1776/7]) [sections] 54-59, mention is made of the “Pamphlet of the great scholar [gaon], our teacher, the rabbi, Rabbi Alkabetz, of eternal memory, author of the book Ma'or Enayim.”
  2. His father was rabbi at Podhajce [Pidhaitsi], later he was head of Yeshivah at Frankfurt-am-Main. Died 22 Cheshvan 5505 [28.10.1744]. Return


« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

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.

  Lviv, Ukraine     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page

Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Jason Hallgarten

Copyright © 1999-2023 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 8 Jan 2023 by LA