AUERBACH , German rabbinical family. The Austrian branch of the family was also known as Wolf. meshullam zalman b. shalom (d. Vienna, 1622) belonged to the Wolf branch of the family which later became known as Auerbach-Fischhof. There were also other branches of the family in Vienna at that time: Linz-Auerbach and Metzlein-Auerbach. moses auerbach was court Jew to the bishop of Regensburg in 1497. simeon wolf was a rabbi at Lublin (1578–84), Przemysl, Poznan (1625–29), Vienna, and finally Prague. His tombstone mentions his writings which, however, remained unpublished. samuel of lublin, grandson of Simeon Wolf, wrote Ḥesed Shemu'el (1699) on the Pentateuch, which also contains a short account of the *Chmielnicki massacres in Poland. meshullam zalman fischhof, son of Simeon Wolf and head of the Vienna community, was expelled from the city in 1670 and died in Mikulov (Nikolsburg). Simon (1611–1638), son of Meshullam, lived in Cracow. At the age of 23 he composed a seliḥah to commemorate an epidemic that ravaged Vienna in 1634. This poem was published posthumously in 1639 in Cracow, went through several editions, and was republished with a commentary as Rav Shalom (1712), by his grandson, meshullam zalman fischhof ii, who was martyred in Lublin in 1692.
menahem mendel (1620–1689), considered the founder of the Polish branch of the family, was dayyan in Cracow in 1665, and also served as the rabbi of Prausnitz (Prusice) and Krotoszyn. He wrote Ateret Zekenim, a commentary on Oraḥ Ḥayyim of the Shulḥan Arukh. His grandson menahem mendel ben moses (d. 1732) succeeded him as rabbi of Krotoszyn, and was a leader of the *Council of the Lands. Responsa and 12 approbations of his are extant. phinehas, son of Simeon Wolf, who had succeeded his father as av bet din of Cracow, left Poland for Frankfurt in 1714 and died in Vienna. His Halakhah Berurah on the Shulḥan Arukh was published in 1891; the part on Oraḥ Ḥayyim was published in 1717. nathan of Satanov, son of moses, who was Simeon Wolf 's brother, had three sons: jacob, maggid in Haissin (Podolia); judah, rabbi of Glogory, near Lvov; and selig, av bet din in Gorokhow. Ẓevi benjamin (hirsch; 1690–1778), son of Selig and dayyan in Brody in 1710, moved to Vienna and later to Worms, where he was appointed rabbi in 1763. His son selig avi'ezri (1726–1767?), was rabbi of Edenkoben, near Worms, in 1750, and Buxweiler, Alsace, in 1763. His son *Abraham was a noted rabbi and author.
The Auerbach family had other noteworthy rabbis among its members. abraham ben isaac was rabbi of Coesfeld, Westphalia (17th century). When he was slandered by an apostate, Abraham's fortune was confiscated and he and his family expelled in 1674. He took refuge in Amsterdam but was later reinstated. In 1677 on the eve of the execution of the slanderous apostate he initiated a fast in his community with the recitation of seliḥot, which he composed. aryeh leibush ben mordecai mardush (c. 1740), rabbi of Stanislav, Ukraine, was the uncle and teacher of Meyer Margulies, author of the responsa Me'ir Netivim. His great-grandson was israel mattathias (b. 1838), av bet din of Bauska, Latvia, and rabbi of Ciechanow, Poland. He wrote seven halakhic works.
Ḥayyim ben isaac (1755–1840) was born in Leszno, Poland, and served there as dayyan. He was rabbi of Leczyca, Poland, from 1818. He wrote Divrei Mishpat (1835), glosses on the Ḥoshen Mishpat with those by his sons Menahem and Isaac. At the end of his son Isaac Itzik's Divrei Ḥayyim there is a selection of Ḥayyim's glosses on the Oraḥ Ḥayyim and Yoreh De'ah called Mayim Ḥayyim. menahem ben Ḥayyim (1773–1848) was rabbi of Ostrow, Poland, in 1822. He wrote the introduction to his father's Divrei Mishpat and appended to it some interpretations of the Pentateuch. isaac itzik ben Ḥayyim (19th century) was rabbi of Dobra, Plock, and, after his father's death, of Leczyca. His responsa, Divrei Ḥayyim (1851–52), were published posthumously by his son Meir Ben Isaac *Auerbach, together with some glosses by his brother. menahem Ẓevi hirsch ben menahem (b. Ḥayyim) was rabbi of Leszno and Konin. He wrote Divrei ha-Torah on Shulḥan Arukh Ḥoshen Mishpat (1881).
eliezer ben Ḥayyim, known as Reb Leizerl of Kalisz, wrote Migdanot Eli'ezer (1911), a commentary on Esther and Psalms. perez ben menahem nahum (18th century) wrote Pe'er Halakhah (1738), glosses to the Talmud and Maimonides' Code. judah leib ben israel was rabbi of Torchin in 1801 and Wiszmowice from 1807–08. He wrote Meḥokek Yehudah (1792), on the Passover laws.
After 1763 the Auerbach family was mainly concentrated in Germany and Alsace where its members served as rabbis, becoming prominent in the German Orthodox rabbinate, as well as in Jewish scholarship. The modern line of the family began with Abraham, who had 15 children, the oldest of whom was Ẓevi benjamin (hirsch; 1808–1872), a rabbi and rabbinical scholar. He belonged to the first generation of German rabbis with a university education. Ẓevi Benjamin's first rabbinate was Darmstadt (1831–57), where he preached in High German; selections of his sermons were published in 1834 and 1837. He resigned on account of his disagreement with leaders of the congregation, who wished to introduce Reform, and settled in Frankfurt, where he devoted his time to research and
writing. In 1863 he became rabbi at Halberstadt. In 1868–69 Auerbach published the 12th-century halakhic compendium Sefer ha-Eshkol by *Abraham b. Isaac of Narbonne with a commentary, Naḥal Eshkol (repr. 1962). In 1909 Shalom *Albeck published an "Open Letter" accusing Auerbach of forgery. He maintained that the Old Spanish manuscript on which Auerbach said he based his edition did not exist and that Auerbach, while in Frankfurt, had copied from the Carmoly manuscript, but with alterations and additions of his own. J. Schorr, H. Ehrentreu, D. Hoffmann, and A. Berliner wrote Ẓidkat ha-Ẓaddik (1910) in defense of Auerbach; Albeck wrote Kofer ha-Eshkol (1910) in reply. Albeck's own edition of the Sefer ha-Eshkol (1910, completed by his son Ḥanokh, 1935–38) shows wide divergences from Auerbach's edition. The alleged Spanish manuscript has never been found. Among Auerbach's other works are Berit Avraham (1880), on the liturgy of circumcision; Mishnat R. Natan (1862; repr. 1962), on Nathan *Adler's Seder Zera'im (1862; repr. 1962); Torat Emet (18933), a manual of the Jewish religion; and Ha-Ẓofeh al-Darkhei ha-Mishnah (1861), a polemic against Z. Frankel's Darkhei ha-Mishnah, whose orthodoxy he questioned together with S.R. *Hirsch and G. Fischer (see Hirsch's Jeschurun, 7, 1861).
selig avi'ezri auerbach (1840–1901), son of Ẓevi Benjamin, was a rabbi and educator. After serving as head of the Jewish High School at Fuerth, he succeeded his father as rabbi at Halberstadt. His son isaac emil (1870–1932) succeeded his father and directed the local Jewish school. For many years he was chairman of the Association of Orthodox Congregations (Halberstaedter Verband) and of the German *Agudat Israel.
moses (1881–1976) was rabbi, educator, and historian. He went to Palestine from 1909 to 1917 to direct the network of schools established by Orthodox German Jews (Freie Vereinigung), including the Neẓaḥ Yisrael school in Petaḥ Tikvah. Moses then served for a short time as principal of the Ḥavaẓẓelet Girls' School in Warsaw but left to teach at the Cologne Talmud Torah under his brother-in-law Benedict (Pinḥas) Wolf. In 1934 he returned to Palestine and once more became principal of Neẓaḥ Yisrael. In 1947–48 he and his son abraham samuel reorganized Jewish schools in Tripoli. In 1949 he began lecturing at the Beth Jacob Seminary in Tel Aviv. Among his published writings are the following: on Jewish history, Der Streit zwischen Saadiah Gaon und dem Exilarchen David b. Zakkai (1928); Zur politischen Geschichte der Juden unter Hadrian (in: Wohlgemuth's Jeschurun, 10 (1923), 398 ff.; 11 (1924), 59 ff., 161 ff.); Toledot Am Yisrael (4 vols., 1944–62); and on education, Torat ha-Ḥinnukh (1958). Auerbach was the last chairman of the *Juedische Literarische Gesellschaft and last editor of its Jahrbuch.
S.M. Auerbach, The Auerbach Family (1957); K. Lieben, Gal-Ed (1856), 75–76, no. 149; B.H. Auerbach, Geschichte der israelitischen Gemeinde Halberstadt (1866), 83f., 222; Bloch, in: Kaufmann-Gedenkbuch (1900), 318–24; L. Lewin, Geschichte der Juden in Lissa (1904), 233–5, 323; B. Wachstein, Inschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Wien, 1 (1912), index, 545f.; idem, Grabschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Eisenstadt (1922), 26, 84; idem, Urkunden und Akten zur Geschichte der Juden in Eisenstadt (1926), 12, 25, 30f.; G. Klemperer, in: hj, 12 (1950), 143–5; J. Hirsch, R. Benjamin Hirsch… Korot Bet Hirsch… ve-Auerbach (1948), 63 ff.; H. Schwab, History of Orthodox Jewry in Germany (1950), index; idem, Ḥakhmei Ashkenaz (1964), 15 ff.; Sefer Przemysl (1964), 57.