Barby, Meir ben Saul

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BARBY, MEIR BEN SAUL

BARBY, MEIR BEN SAUL (1729?–1789), rabbi of Pressburg. Barby took his name from his birthplace, Barby, a small town near Halberstadt. He studied under Ẓevi Hirsch b. Naphtali Herz Bialeh (Ḥarif) of Halberstadt and Jacob Poppers, rabbi of Frankfurt. On his return from Frankfurt, he was appointed dayyan of Halberstadt, was rabbi of Halle for a year, and was then appointed rabbi of Pressburg in 1763. In Pressburg he established a large yeshivah. Barby issued many community takkanot, some of them designed to prevent laxity in Jewish life – such as frequenting the theater and card playing. A vehement opponent of the *Shabbateans, he excommunicated one of their adherents, Nathan Erholz, and dismissed him from the post of rabbi of Stampen. In 1771 he was a candidate for the vacant post of rabbi of Frankfurt, but was not elected. He was in halakhic correspondence with many prominent scholars, including Ezekiel *Landau, Isaiah *Berlin, and Meir Posner, and he gave approbations to many works. Aside from his Torah erudition, Barby had a good knowledge of medicine and music. Though he opposed the publication of his responsa, many of his novellae are cited in the works of his contemporaries. His only published work is Ḥiddushei Hilkhot Maharam Barby (2 vols., Dyhrenfurth-Prague, 1786–92).

bibliography:

Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 7 (1960), 41–45.

[Itzhak Alfassi]