Auerbach, Meir ben Isaac

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AUERBACH, MEIR BEN ISAAC (1815–1878), rabbi of Jerusalem. Auerbach was born in Dobra, central Poland, and served as rabbi of the Polish towns of Kowal, Kolo, and Kalish (Kalisz). In 1860 he migrated to Jerusalem where, at the request of Samuel *Salant, one of the leading Jerusalem rabbis, he was elected rabbi of the Ashkenazi congregation. He refused to accept a salary, living on the great wealth he had brought with him. "The rabbi of Kalish," as he was usually called in Jerusalem, was noted for his efforts to develop Jewish settlement in Ereẓ Israel and to extend and strengthen the Jewish settlement in Jerusalem. He headed a society which attempted unsuccessfully to purchase land in Jericho for an agricultural settlement. In Jerusalem he gave generous aid to various charitable institutions and supported such projects as arranging the affairs of the *ḥalukkah, founding the general council of Keneset Yisrael, and the yeshivah Ohel Ya'akov. One of the founders of the Me'ah She'arim quarter, he was a vigilant defender of tradition, and fought vehemently against reformers, especially the supporters of secular education in Jerusalem. He was author of Imrei Binah, novellae on the Shulḥan Arukh and responsa on Oraḥ Ḥayyim and on Ḥoshen Mishpat (pts. 1, 2, Jerusalem, 1869–76); part 3, novellae to Evenha-Ezer, and part 4, glosses on the Talmud and on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah, as well as sermons, were not published. His glosses to Aryeh Leib Ginsburg's Turei Even were published along with that work in 1860. His will was published by A. Yaari (see bibl.).


Rivlin, in: Ha-Devir, 1–2 (1919), 72–75; 3–4 (1919), 12–16 (second pagination); 4–6 (1920), 36–40; 7–9 (1920), 42–44; 10–12 (1920), 55–60; 1–3 (1920), 50–55; Tidhar, 3 (1949), 1103–04; I.Y. Fraenkel (ed.), Sefer Lintshiẓ (1953), 79–86; Yaari, in: ks, 34 (1958/59), 371, 379–81. add. bibliography: J. Kaniel, Ba-Ma'avar (2000), index.

[Abraham David]