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Bacharach, Moses Samson ben Abraham Samuel


BACHARACH, MOSES SAMSON BEN ABRAHAM SAMUEL (1607–1670), rabbi and author. Bacharach was born in Pohořelice, Moravia, where his father Abraham Samuel (a prominent scholar in rabbinics and in other fields) was then rabbi. His mother Ḥavvah, the daughter of Isaac Katz, son-in-law of R. Judah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague, was also distinguished for her learning and even wrote comments on Midrash and Targum. At the age of eight, upon the death of his father, Bacharach was taken to Prague, where he was educated under the tutelage of his two uncles, R. Ḥayyim and R. Naphtali ha-Kohen, both distinguished scholars. In 1627 he married a daughter of R. Isaac b. Phoebus, chief rabbi of Moravia. His father-in-law was taken prisoner, and the payment of a 10,000 gulden ransom left Moses impoverished, forcing him to accept the rabbinate of Hodonin (Moravian Slovakia) in 1629. In 1632 he became rabbi and head of the yeshivah at Leipnik. He experienced the travails of the Jews in the Thirty-Years' War, to which he gave expression in a seliḥah which the Jewish community of Leipnik recited annually on the 17th of Tammuz. Subsequently, on the foundation of a charitable religious association (the Barukh she-Amar society), he composed a joyous song of thanks for deliverance from danger during the war, which was recited every year on Simḥat Torah. In 1650 he was chosen rabbi of the community of Worms – perhaps the most influential position in German Jewry. He was in that office 20 years until his death. Some of his writings were included in the published works of his son, the famed R. Jair Ḥayyim *Bacharach.


D. Kaufmann, R. Jair Chajjim Bacharach… (Ger., 1894), 23–28, 45, 53–54, 129 30; F. Hillel, Leipniker Rabbiner (1928), 16–43; A.E. Franklin, Records of Franklin Family (19352) 4, 45.

[Jacob Haberman]

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