Eisenstadter, Meir ben Judah Leib

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EISENSTADTER, MEIR BEN JUDAH LEIB (d. 1852), rabbi, author, and liturgical poet (paytan). Eisenstadter was born in Schossberg (Sastin), but in his youth moved to Eisenstadt, from which he took his name. He was also known as "Maharam Esh" (Hebrew acronym for Morenu ha-Rav Meir Eisenshtadt – "our teacher, the rabbi Eisenstadter"). He studied under Moses *Sofer and married the daughter of David Deutsch, the rabbi of Nove Mesto in Slovakia, where Eisenstadter was appointed head of the yeshivah. After serving as rabbi in Baja, Balassagyarmat (1815–35), he was appointed rabbi of Ungvar in 1835 and was regarded, together with Moses *Schick, as the leading rabbi of Hungary. In Ungvar, too, he headed a large yeshivah and many of the future rabbis of Hungary were his pupils. He took an active part in the communal life of Hungarian Jewry and exercised a profound influence on the course it was to take. He vehemently opposed the progressives who desired to introduce religious changes and reforms. He was the author of Imrei Esh, responsa in two parts (1852–64); Imrei Yosher, sermons (Ungvar, 1864); Imrei Binah, novellae on a number of tractates (1866), and, with the same title, his novellae and those of his son on the laws of *shehitah, appended to A.Z. Schorr's Simlah Ḥadashah (1927); Imrei Esh, in two parts, expositions of the Pentateuch with the novellae of his father-in-law and his son (1901); and Zikhron Yehudah, containing his testament and novellae (1900). The greatest rabbis of Hungary and Galicia including Solomon *Kluger of Brod, Ḥayyim *Halberstam of Neu-Sandec (Nowy Sacz), and Simon *Sofer of Cracow addressed problems to him. His son Menahem succeeded him as rabbi in Ungvar.


M. Eisenstadt, Zikhron Yehudah (1900); P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Ereẓ Hagar, 2 (1914), 1b, no. 15; A. Stern, Meliẓei Esh al Hodshei Kislev-Tevet (19622), 112b, no. 436; H.Y. Braun, Toledot Gedolei Yisrael Anshei Shem (1943), 1–12; J. Spiegel, in: Arim ve-Immahot be-Yisrael, 4 (1950), 9–12; S. Reinhasz, in: Enẓiklopedyah shel Galuyyot, 7 (1959), 403–10.

[Itzhak Alfassi]

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Eisenstadter, Meir ben Judah Leib

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