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CALAHOR(R)A (Kalahora) , family of physicians and apothecaries in Poland. The name evidences the family's origin from Calahorra, Spain. Its first known member was solomon (d. 1596), a pupil of the physician Brasavola in Ferrara, who settled in Cracow, and in 1570 was appointed court physician to King Sigismund Augustus. The appointment was continued by King Stephen Bátory in 1578. Solomon is cited in the responsa of Moses *Isserles (no. 30) and Solomon *Luria (no. 21). He engaged in large-scale business enterprises, and, in partnership with other Sephardi Jews, Solomon Ḥadidah and Abraham Calahora, he leased the concession for the salt mines in Felsztyn. Of Solomon's six children, moses (d. 1622), a merchant, continued the Cracow branch of the family, and Israel Samuel ben Solomon *Calahorra, the Great Poland (Poznan) branch. Of the Cracow branch david (d. 1656), son of Moses, was an apothecary in the Jewish quarter in Kazimierz near Cracow. He supplied the needy members of the community with medicines on instructions from the elders and also cared for the sick in the hospital (hekdesh). For these services he was paid 114 florins in 1635 and 150 florins in 1643–45. Of his two sons mattathias (d. 1663) and nata, the former took over his father's dispensary, and, according to the contemporary Polish historian Kochowski, was a "well-known physician with an extensive practice in Christian and even clerical circles." A Dominican friar, Servatius Hebelli, accused him of blaspheming the Virgin, and after being tortured, he was condemned to death. His family obtained a reexamination of the charge at the *Piotrkow tribunal but the latter confirmed the verdict. On Dec. 13, 1663, Mattathias was burned at the stake after undergoing frightful torture. His ashes were shot into the air, but some of the remains were redeemed by the community of Cracow and given burial. The calamity is described in Theatrum Europaeum as well as by Kochowski in his Climacter (Cracow, 1683) and by *Schudt in Juedische Merkwuerdigkeiten (Frankfurt, 1715). It was the subject of an elegy composed by *Berechiah Berakh, as well as of a contemporary rhymed report in Hebrew (Cat. Bodl. 4030).

Mattathias' son michael took over the dispensary. His two sons were both physicians. One of them, aaron, was the first Jew to be examined by the professors of the Cracow academy and to qualify there (1723–24). He had many patients among the Christian nobility, and King Augustus iii granted him a writ of protection in 1750. Aaron was also active in communal affairs, and was involved in the dispute between the Landau and Fraenkel families over the Cracow rabbinate (1742). His brother mendel (d. 1772) was also a physician.

Aaron had two children, a daughter, jutta (d. 1776), who married the head of the Jewish community, Moses Jekeles (d. 1791), and a son, mendel (d. 1779), who in 1746 studied at the University of Frankfurt on the Oder where he also obtained his medical degree. His son isaac aaron kolhari (d. 1834) was a member of the Cracow communal board.

Of the Great Poland branch, the above-mentioned founder israel samuel b. solomon calahorra was rabbi of Lenchitsa. His son solomon (d. 1650), also a rabbi in Lenchitsa, married the daughter of the Posen physician Judah de Lima. Solomon's son, joseph b. solomon *calahora, and his grandson aryeh loeb (c. 1736) were preachers in Posen. The latter, with the community trustee Jacob b. Phinehas and the physician Wolff Winkler, son of Jacob Winkler, who had to leave Vienna in the 1670 expulsion, was accused in a *blood libel and died under torture. The Landsberg and Posner families were descended from him. Aryeh Loeb's great-grandson solomon posner (1780–1863) was the author of a family chronicle, To'ar Penei Shelomo (1870). In the course of the 19th century the family became assimilated. The Polish socialist leader stanislaw posner was a grandson of Solomon. Daughters of the family married into well-known Catholic families.


W. Kochowski, Annales Poloniae (Cracow, 1683), 90ff.; Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 636, no. 4030; S. Posner, To'ar Penei Shelomo (1870); H.N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi (1888), 23–24; M. Balaban, Z historji żydow w Polsce (1920), 90–103; idem, in: Yevreyskaya Starina, 6 (1913), 469–84; idem, in: Szkice historyczne (1927), 141; idem, in: Beit Yisrael be-Polin, 1 (1948), 32, 36; A. Bauminger (ed.), Sefer Kraka (1959), 17; I. Levin, in: Hadorom, 18 (1963), 28–34.

[Meir Balaban]