KATZENELLENBOGEN, MEIR BEN ISAAC

KATZENELLENBOGEN, MEIR BEN ISAAC (known as Maharam (acronym of Morenu Ha-Rav Meir) of Padua; 1473–1565), one of the greatest Italian rabbis and halakhists of his time. Meir's father was the son-in-law of jehiel luria , the first rabbi of Brest-Litovsk (Brisk). Meir was born in Prague where together with shalom shakhna he studied under jacob pollak . From Prague he went to Padua, where he studied under judah b. eliezer ha-levi minz , marrying his granddaughter, Hannah, daughter of abraham b. judah ha-levi minz . In 1525, after his father-in-law's death, he was appointed rabbi of the Ashkenazi synagogue of Padua, serving there until his death. Meir was also head of the council of regional rabbis in Venice and he took an active part in their meetings despite his many other responsibilities. Many rabbis, including moses isserles , addressed him in their responsa as the "av bet din of the republic of Venice." He also represented the Padua region at Venice meetings in matters of a general nature, not only in religious affairs. On June 21, 1554 the heads of seven Italian communities (Venice, Rome, Bologna, Ferrara, Mantua, Reggio, and Modena) assembled in Ferrara and enacted takkanot for the benefit of the population. Katzenellenbogen presided and headed the list of signatories in the capacity of "delegate of representations of the republic of Venice." He was renowned for his modesty, his benign disposition, and the fatherly interest he took in the students in his yeshivah of Padua, to which aspiring scholars streamed from near and far. The great esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries found expression in a tablet affixed to his seat in the Ashkenazi synagogue which read, "No man (has) sat there till this day," as testified by Isaac Ḥayyim   Kohen, a cantor who saw the tablet 120 years after Meir's death. In 1555 joshua soncino of Constantinople appealed to him to intervene against the boycott by the Jews of the port of ancona , a boycott supported by don joseph nasi , his mother-in-law gracia mendes nasi , and the greatest rabbis of Turkey. It is not known, however, whether Meir took any action. In 1558 he signed two bans against the study of Kabbalah. The great scholars of the generation, including Samuel di modena , isaac foa , joseph katz , solomon luria , Moses Isserles, obadiah sforno , and moses alashkar , were in halakhic correspondence with him. His son Samuel Judah succeeded him after his death. Katzenellenbogen published the responsa of Mahari Mintz and Maharam Padua (Venice, 1553), including 16 responsa of Judah Minz salvaged from his writings, followed by the Seder Gittin va-Ḥaliẓah of Abraham Minz, completed by Katzenellenbogen, and finally 90 of his own responsa, and Maimonides' Mishneh Torah (Venice, 1550–51), with his own glosses and novellae. The publication of the Mishneh Torah, with an abridgment of Katzenellenbogen's commentary and without Katzenellenbogen's knowledge, by Marcantonio Justinian, rival of Katzenellenbogen's co-publisher, the non-Jewish printer Bragadin, gave rise to a quarrel and recriminations and led finally to the burning of the Talmud in 1554 by order of the pope. Moses Isserles placed a ban on Justinian's Mishneh Torah. In 1563 Katzenellenbogen, together with his partner, Ezra b. Isaac of Fano, published in Mantua the Midrash Tanḥuma. In 1546 he published in Heddernheim, Germany, seliḥot (penitential prayers) with omissions and changes dictated by censorship. S.I. Mulder (see bibliography) claims that the first portrait to be painted of a Jew was that of Katzenellenbogen, which was made without his knowledge. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ghirondi, in: Kerem Ḥemed, 3 (1838), 91–96; S.I. Mulder, Eene zeldzame medaille (1859), 3; Zunz, Gesch, 255f.; Zunz, Ritus, 148; I. Eisenstadt and S. Wiener, Da'at Kedoshim (1897–98), 82–84; S. Assaf, Mekorot u-Meḥkarim (1946), 240–6; M. Straschun, Mivḥar Ketavim (1969), 168–86; Schwarzfuchs, in: Scritti in Memoria di Leone Carpi (Italian pt.; 1967), 112–32; Siev, in: Hadorom, 28 (1968), 160–95; Tishby, in: Perakim, 1 (1967/68), 131–82; I.S. Lange, in: Miscellanea di Studi in Memoria di D. Disigni (1969), 49–76 (Heb. pt.). (Shlomo Tal)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen — (1482 – 12 January 1565) (also, Meir of Padua, Maharam Padua, Hebrew: מאיר בן יצחק קצנלנבויגן) was an Italian rabbi born in Katzenellenbogen, Germany. Meïr ben Isaac, who was generally called after his native town, was the founder of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Meir Katzenellenbogen — Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen (* um 1482 in Katzenelnbogen, Ebertshausen, Rheinland Pfalz; † 12. Januar 1565 in Padua, auch genannt Meir von Padua, Maharam Padua, Hebräisch:מאיר בן יצחק קצנלנבויגן) war ein venezianischer jüdischer Gelehrter,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KATZENELLENBOGEN — KATZENELLENBOGEN, family widely dispersed throughout Eastern and Central Europe. It originated in the town of Katzenelnbogen in Hesse, the birthplace of meir ben isaac katzenellenbogen (1473–1565), head of the Padua yeshivah. His son, SAMUEL… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Katzenellenbogen — Replaced page with Katzenellenbogen is a surname originating from the city of Katzenelnbogen. It may refer to:* Meïr ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen, Italian rabbiKatzenellenbogen is a surname originating from the city of Katzenelnbogen. It may refer… …   Wikipedia

  • Meir — ist ein jüdischer Vorname (hebr. erleuchtet), auch Familienname. Den Namen Meir tragen Golda Meir (ursprünglich Golda Meyerson, geb. Mabowitsch; 1898–1978), israelische Politikerin Absalon (Künstler) (* 1964 als Meir Eshel; † 1993), israelischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Meir Wahl — or Meir Wahl Katzenellenbogen,[1][2] (also known as Meir Shauls[3] and MAHARASH[4]) was a Polish rabbi. He was the son of Saul Wahl, who according to legend, was king of Poland for one day.[5] …   Wikipedia

  • Samuel Judah Katzenellenbogen — (born 1521 in Padua, Italy, died March 25, 1597 in Padua) was an Italian Rabbi, the son of Rabbi Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen). He was distinguished even in his youth for his scholarship and his oratorical gifts. He was associated, both as… …   Wikipedia

  • LAU, ISRAEL MEIR — (1937– ), formerly Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, since 2005 Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv. Born in Piotrkow, Poland, Lau is a member of a rabbinic family, descendants of meir ben isaac katzenellenbogen , the Maharam of Padua. His father, Rabbi Moshe …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ISSERLES, MOSES BEN ISRAEL — (1525 or 1530–1572), Polish rabbi and codifier, one of the great halakhic authorities. His full family name, Isserel Lazarus was shortened to Isserles, but he is usually referred to as the Rema (acronym of Rabbi Moses Isserles). Isserles was born …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • LEVI ISAAC BEN MEIR OF BERDICHEV — (c. 1740–1810), ḥasidic ḥaddik and rabbi; one of the most famous personalities in the third generation of the ḥasidic movement. Levi   Isaac was born into a distinguished rabbinic family and his father was rabbi in Hoshakov (Galicia). After… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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