HILLEL OF ERFURT

HILLEL OF ERFURT (d. before 1426), talmudic scholar. Known also as Hillel the Elder, he was a pupil of Meir b. Baruch ha-Levi of Vienna. From the fact that contemporary rabbis relied on the forms of gittin (bills of divorce) drawn up by him in Erfurt, it may be assumed that he occupied a rabbinic position there. Bruell identifies him with a "Hillel" mentioned in a document of 1416 as having been appointed by the margrave chief rabbi of Thuringia, of which Erfurt was the most important Jewish community. In fulfillment of a vow he set out for Ereẓ Israel, but on reaching Vienna was persuaded that his absence would adversely affect Jewish studies at Erfurt, and was absolved from his vow by the local rabbis. He then returned to Erfurt. Responsa and customs of his are quoted by isserlein and other scholars. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Jaraczewsky, Die Geschichte der Juden in Erfurt (1868), 51; Bruell, in: Jeschurun (ed. by Kobak), 6 (1868), 203–5 (Ger. section); J. Freimann (ed.), Leket Yosher, 2 (1904), XXVI, no. 32. (Yedidya A. Dinari)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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