Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, MaHaRa'M of Rothenburg

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Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, MaHaRa'M of Rothenburg

Hebrew: רבי מאיר בן ברוך, המהר"ם מרוטנבורג (ראש ישיבה,מבעלי ה, French: Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, MaHaRam Rothenburg
Also Known As: "מאור הגולה", "מבעלי התוספות"
Birthplace: Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Death: May 02, 1293 (77-78)
Ensisheim, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France (Died in Prison)
Place of Burial: Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Baruch ben Meir and wife, Baruch bat Eleazar Kalonymus
Husband of Rachel wife, MaHaRaM of Rothenburg
Father of Child of. MaHaRam of Rothenburg and Suesskind ben Meir Rothenburg
Brother of Avraham ben Boruch and N.N. of of Rothenburg

Occupation: Tosafist, liturgical poet
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, MaHaRa'M of Rothenburg

Meir ben Baruch "of Rothenberg" was born in Worms, Germany in 1215. There were numerous scholars in his family, but Meir became, by far, the most famous. He was acknowledged as the authoritative Jewish legislator in 13th century Germany. Meir studied in Wuerzburg, Mainz, and France. He witnessed the famous Talmud Disputations of 1240 and saw the burning of the 24 cartloads of parchments in 1242. He wrote an elegy about their destruction, which is still used in Ashkenazic communities on Tisha B'Av. After the Talmud-burnings, Meir ben Baruch returned to Germany and settled in Rothenburg. Although only in his early thirty's he was already recognized as a leading Talmudic authority. Communities began to send him legal questions. Meir wrote almost a thousand responsa, thus having a tremendous influence on shaping Ashkenazic custom and lifestyle. His modification of synagogue and home rituals became the accepted forms for the Ashkenazic world. More important, the Jewish community of Rothenburg provided him with a 21-room home, where Meir taught numerous scholars. As their mentor, he had tremendous influence over them as well, and they transmitted his traditions and teachings to their students. Among his students was Mordechai ben Hillel HaCohen; Meir Ha-Cohen; and Asher b. Yechiel, whose son, Jacob, wrote the Tur. Besides influencing later generations of Ashkenazic scholars by providing legal decisions, Meir ben Baruch influenced Jewish tradition and customs through his personal life style. A number of his students studied Meir ben Baruch, noting carefully exactly what he did every moment of the day. These observations also became sources for authoritative Ashkenazic customs. The most famous of these chroniclers was Samson ben Zadok. In his book, the Tashbetz, he described in great detail the daily customs of Meir ben Baruch from the moment he woke up until he went to bed. The Tashbetz became a best-seller in Germany, Austria, Bohemia, and Poland. Many of the actions the Tashbetz described became Ashkenazic custom. Meir ben Baruch lived in Rothenburg for forty years, thus gaining the title "Meir of Rothenburg." He wrote commentaries and discussions on 18 tractates of the Talmud. In 1286, Emperor Rudolph I (of Hapsburg) declared that all Jews were his property (servi comarae, "serfs of the treasury"). Outraged at this threat of being enslaved, thousands of Jews left Germany. Meir ben Baruch intended to join them. He was betrayed by an apostate, however, and Rudolph I had him imprisoned. The Jews of Germany tried to get him released (even offering huge amounts of ransom money), but Rudolph I was adamant. The price for Meir ben Baruch's release was Jewish admission that they were slaves of the state. The Jews refused, and Meir of Rothenburg died in prison. While incarcerated, Meir ben Baruch continued to write responsa and letters to his students. His influence on Ashkenazic custom and law was tremendous.


Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (the Mahara"m" m) of the thirteenth century

Rabbi Meir ben Baruch of Rothenburg was a Tosaphist (codifier and commentator on the Talmud), as well as a liturgical poet. He is more popularly called the Mahara"m, a title of honor derived from the lead letters MHRM of the Hebrew, Morenu Harav Rabi Meir (Our teacher, the rabbi, Rabbi Meir). He has also been bestowed the title of Me'or haGolah (Light of the Exile), along with Rash"i and Rabbenu Gershom. R. Meir was born in Worms around 1215, ultimately ending his life in prison at Ensisheim, Alsace beginning in 1286, remaining there until his death in 1293. Fourteen years later his body was ransomed and reburied in Worms

Alexander Susskind ben Salomon WIMPFEN, gave his whole fortune as ransom for the body of Rabbi Meir of Rottenberg, died, 1307.



par Pascal FAUSTINI

...R. Méir de Rothenburg était considéré comme le talmudiste le plus éminent de son époque; il est l’auteur d’une correspondance prolifique sur des sujets de halakha (jurisprudence religieuse) et environ mille de ses responsa ont traversé le temps (1). Né vers 1215 ou 1220 à Worms, son premier maître fut son père R. Baruch ; il poursuivit sa formation à Würzburg puis en France auprès du grand maître R. Yehiel de Paris. Méir resta en France jusqu’en 1242, année où il fut témoin de l’autodafé du Talmud à Paris. Il quitta notre pays pour l’Allemagne et s’établit à Rothenburg, ville où il passa la plus grande partie de sa vie, et dont il prit le nom...

per Werner Frank:

The lineage of the Weil dynasty of Rabbis is cited in a number of sources including the book by Rabbi Dr. Leopold Loewenstein, "Beitrage zur Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland, II, Nathanael Weil", 1898; Rabbi Meir ben Baruch of Rothenberg was a Tosafist, codifier and liturgical poet. He has been bestowed the title of Me'or haGolah, Light of the Exile, along with Rashi and Rabbenu Gershon. R. Meir was imprisoned in 1286 at Ensisheim, Alsace remaining there until death in 1293. Fourteen years later his body was ransomed and reburied in Worms.

Cimetière juif de Worms Willy-Brandt-Ring, 67547 Worms, Allemagne




. . . Meir's first official teach was Isaac ben Moses of Vienna, under whom, as well as under Samuel ben Menahem, he studied at Wurzburg. Meir studied at the French yeshivoth also, his teachers there being Jehiel ben Joseph of Paris, Samuel ben Solomon of Falaise, and Samuel of Evreux. On his return to Germany he quickly gathered around him a band of devoted pupils.

The designations "Chief" and "Father of Rabbis," indicate is great scholarship. As far as is known, he officiated as rabbin in the following communities:

  • Kostnitz,
  • Augsburg,
  • Würzburg,
  • Rothenburg,
  • Worms,
  • Nuremberg,
  • Mayence.

He is generally called Meir of Rothenberg. The Weil family of southern n Germany claimed Meir as its ancestor, and there were also many Jews at Prague who designated themselves as his descendants. (Nneubauer, "La Famille de Meir de Rothenburg". . . . More

Meir of Rothenburg (c. 1215 – 2 May 1293) Rabbi Meïr ben Solomon of Perpignan, referred to Rab Meir of Rothenberg, as the "greatest Jewish leader of Zarfat" alive at the time, Zarfat is medeival Hebrew for France which was a reference to Charlemagne's rule of Germany.


In 1286, King Rudolf I instituted a new persecution of the Jews, declaring them servi camerae ("serfs of the treasury"), which had the effect of negating their political freedoms. Along with many others, Meir left Germany with family and followers, but was captured in Lombardy and imprisoned in a fortress near Ensisheim in Alsace.

Tradition has it that a large ransom of 23,000 marks silver was raised for him (by the Rosh), but Rabbi Meir refused it, for fear of encouraging the imprisonment of other rabbis. He died in prison after seven years. Fourteen years after his death a ransom was paid for his body by Alexander ben Salomon Wimpfen, who was subsequently laid to rest beside the Maharam.[


Rabbi Meir wrote many notes, commentaries, expositions, and poems—as well as 1,500 responsa. His disciple the Rosh (Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel) codified much of his teaching.

  • • His responsa are of great importance to advanced students of the Talmud, as well as to students of Jewish life and customs of those days, especially for the picture which they give of the condition of the German Jews, and of their sufferings from the caprice of princes and from heavy taxation. These responsa also contain rulings of other older and contemporary Ashkenazi poskim; see History of Responsa: Thirteenth century.
  • • Rabbi Meir is well known as a Tosafist and in particular, authored the Tosafot commentary of the Talmudic tractate Yoma; he is quoted in the Tosafot on various other tractates. He also authored commentaries on the Tohorot and Zeraim orders of the Mishnah.
  • • Rabbi Meir wrote a number of liturgical poems ("piyyutim").
  • • His writings on specific areas of Halakha (Jewish Law) include:
  • • Piske Eruvin on the laws of the Eruv;
  • • Halachoth Pesukoth a collection of decisions on controversial points of Jewish law;
  • • Hilchoth Berachot on the blessings;
  • • Hilchoth Avelut on the laws of mourning;
  • • Hilchoth Shechitah on the ritual slaughtering of animals for Kosher meat.


HAGGAHOT MAIMUNIYYOT, a comprehensive halakhic work which is one of the most important sources for the halakhic rulings of the scholars of Germany and France. The author, Meir ha-Kohen of Rothenburg (end of the 13th century), was the distinguished pupil of *Meir b. Baruch of Rothenburg. He compiled it as a supplement and notes (see *Haggahot) to the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, and its first part was published in the Constantinople edition of the Mishneh Torah .

The chief aim of the author was to attach the rulings of the scholars of Germany and France to the work of Maimonides, whose decisions and conclusions are in the main based upon the traditions and rulings of the scholars of Spain. This aim was the result of the great preoccupation with Maimonides' work in the school of Meir of Rothenburg (who also compiled works connected with Maimonides – see Urbach, 434ff.), as well as the need felt to adapt the work of Maimonides, which was spreading more and more as a comprehensive halakhic work, for use also in Germany and France.

There are differences between the editions of 1509 and 1524, some of which are material. The wording of the glosses in the Venice edition (from which the later editions were printed) is more original and the author generally speaks in the first person, while the wording of the 1509 edition shows signs of being a later version, and has obviously passed through adaptation and abbreviation at the hands of a later editor. In many places in the 1509 edition the passages end with the words: "thus far the language of R.M.K." (= R. Meir ha-Kohen); the editor even comments on the words of Meir ha-Kohen (see Hilkhot Zekhiyyah u-Mattanah 11:19; "however may the All-Merciful pardon Meir ha-Kohen…").

Certain passages appear in the Constantinople version which are absent from the Venice version, and vice versa. The Constantinople edition contains additions that may have been added by the editor, most of them taken from the Sefer Mitzvot Gadol (Semag) of Moses of Coucy, the Sefer Mitzvot Katan (Semak) of Isaac of Corbeil, the Sefer ha-Terumah of Baruch b. Samuel of Mainz, the Ha-Roke'aḥ of Eleazar of Worms, the Seder Olam of Simḥah of Speyer, etc.

The section of responsa contains a valuable collection of the responsa of the author's teacher Meir of Rothenburg, which in some cases gives a reading of greater value than other sources, while others are unknown from any other source. Also cited in it are responsa by Jacob Tam, Isaac b. Samuel ha-Zaken, Samson of Sens (copied from the Nimmukim of his pupil Jacob of Courson, who collected them into a book – see Resp. to Ma'akhalot Asurot, no. 13), and his brother Isaac b. Abraham, Simḥah b. Samuel of Speyer, Baruch b. Samuel of Mainz, etc.

No biographical details of Meir ha-Kohen are known other than that he was the pupil of Meir of Rothenburg; Mordecai b. Hillel ha-Kohen was his colleague and, according to some, his brother-in-law and colleague (Ishut 9, no. 1); and he lived in Rothenburg (Responsa to Shofetim, no. 16, where the reading should be "here Rothenburg" and not "in it, in Rothenburg"; see Sefer ha-Parnas (1891), no. 269). Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica.




par Pascal FAUSTINI

...R. Méir de Rothenburg était considéré comme le talmudiste le plus éminent de son époque; il est l’auteur d’une correspondance prolifique sur des sujets de halakha (jurisprudence religieuse) et environ mille de ses responsa ont traversé le temps (1). Né vers 1215 ou 1220 à Worms, son premier maître fut son père R. Baruch ; il poursuivit sa formation à Würzburg puis en France auprès du grand maître R. Yehiel de Paris. Méir resta en France jusqu’en 1242, année où il fut témoin de l’autodafé du Talmud à Paris. Il quitta notre pays pour l’Allemagne et s’établit à Rothenburg, ville où il passa la plus grande partie de sa vie, et dont il prit le nom...


Les aventures de rabbi Meïr de Rothenbourg

par Henri Smolarski



By : Solomon Schechter Louis Ginzberg


Meïr de Rothenburg




See http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/25067072/person/5018812717

About רבי מאיר בן ברוך, המהר"ם מרוטנבורג (ראש ישיבה,מבעלי ה (עברית)

ר' מאיר - המהרם מרוטנבורג

ר' מאיר - המהרם מרוטנבורג. יום: יט אייר אזור: גרמניה. אביו: ר' ברוך. מורו: ר' יחיאל מפריז, ר' יצחק (בעל "אור זרוע"). מתלמידיו: ר' אשר (הרא"ש), ר' מאיר הכהן (בעל הגהות מימוניות למשנה תורה של הרמב"ם), ר' שמשון.

ר' מאיר – מאחרוני בעלי התוספות נולד בשנת ד'תתקע"ה בעיר וורמס [%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%99%D7%96%D7%90] שבגרמניה.

חיבר פיוטים ופירושים לסדר זרעים וטהרות במשנה. התגורר בפאריס (צרפת) ובשנת ה'ד' לאחר שהמלך גזר לשרוף בפומבי את כל ספרי התלמוד הנמצאים בצרפת, נכח ביום שישי ט' תמוז בעת שהובלו 24 עגלות עם ספר התלמוד ושאר ספרי-קודש לחוצות פאריס ולקול תרועת המונים העלו אותם על המוקד והנציח את המאורע בקינה 'שאלי שרופה באש לשלום אבליך' שנקבעה כקינה לתשעה באב למנהג אשכנז ופולין. בעקבות שריפת התלמוד חזר לגרמניה, כיהן כאב"ד בערים: אויגסבורג, ווירצבורג, וורמס, מיינץ, נירנברג ועוד. בעיר רוטנבורג אוב דר טאובר (גרמניה) הקים ישיבה אליה נהרו תלמידים רבים מכול קהילות אשכנז, בזמן קצר התפרסם כפוסק גדול גם מעבר לגבולות גרמניה והיה הראשון אשר כיהן כרב כולל לכל מדינות אשכנז באישור הקיסר. השיב לאלפים שפנו אליו מכל קהילות אשכנז בשאלותיהם ובדורו לא היה מופלג ובקי כמותו. לאחר שעלה לגדולה לא רצה שאביו יגיע אליו משום מצוות כיבוד אב ופעל להגברת האחדות הקהילתית ולמניעת מחלוקות.

סמך בפסיקותיו על חידושי תורה שהראו לו בחלומותיו ואמר כי לאחר שאדם גמר בדעתו למסור את נפשו על קידוש ה' לא ירגיש המכות והעינויים וכל מיתה שיעשו לו!

עקב רדיפת היהודים בגרמניה ברח עם יהודים נוספים ללומברדיה (איטליה) בניגוד לפקודת הקיסר שלא לעזוב את הארץ והמתין לאנשי קהילתו על מנת לעלות עמם לארץ ישראל. בעקבות הלשנה של מומר נעצר ביום ד' תמוז שנת ה'מ"ו והושלך לכלא אנזיסהיים באלזס באשמת בריחה מגרמניה וארגון בריחה המונית. הקיסר (רודולף הראשון) תבע סכום עצום תמורת פדיונו ומאמצים רבים נעשו לשחרורו, הקהילות היהודיות היו מוכנות לשלם ממון רב אך ר' מאיר לא הסכים לתשלום הכופר על מנת לא להרגיל את השלטונות לבצע מעשים דומים.

צער רב נגרם לו על שאינו יכול לקרוא בתורה כל שבת ומשמים ניתן לו אחד מי"ב ספרי התורה שמשה רבינו כתב לכל אחד משנים עשר השבטים. ר' מאיר העתיק מילה במילה מספר התורה של משה רבינו וספר התורה שכתב נמצא כיום בבית הכנסת "אלטנוי שול" בפראג (צ'כיה). י

כעבור זמן התירו לו ללמוד עם תלמידו, ר' שמשון בן צדוק (בעל התשב"ץ) ובמהלך ישיבתו בכלא המשיך בכתיבת חידושים. תלמידו - רבינו אשר, ניהל משא ומתן עם ראשי השלטון על תנאי השחרור וגובה דמי הפדיון אך באמצע המשא ומתן, כעבור 7 שנים של ישיבה בכלא ר' מאיר השיב את נשמתו ליוצרה בשנת ה'נ"ג.

השלטונות לא אפשרו לפדות את גופתו ורק כעבור 14 שנים מיום פטירתו, ביום ד' לחודש אדר שנת ה'ס"ז הנדיב ר' אלכסנדר זיסקינד ב"ר שלמה מפרנקפורט (גרמניה) תרם את רוב רכושו על מנת לפדותו ולהביאו לקבורה וחודשים ספורים לאחר מכן ביום הכיפורים שנת ה'ס"ח הסתלק ולמחרת נטמן בסמוך לר' מאיר.

התוספות שכתב למסכת יומא הודפס בתלמוד ופירושו לנגעים ואהלות נדפס על גיליון המשנה.

מספריו: • הלכות ברכות • הלכות שמחות • שו"ת מהר"ם

הוא נתכנה בתואר ״מאור הגולה״, תואר כבוד, שניתן רק לרש״י ולרבינו גרשום בשעתם.


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Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, MaHaRa'M of Rothenburg's Timeline

Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
May 2, 1293
Age 78
Ensisheim, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France
Age 78
Worms, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber, Mittelfranken, BY, Germany