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Fischels, Meir ben Ephraim

FISCHELS, MEIR BEN EPHRAIM

FISCHELS, MEIR BEN EPHRAIM (also known as Meir Fischels ; 1703–1769/70), rabbi and talmudist. He was born in Bunzlau, and was a descendant of Judah Leib b. Bezalel ("the Maharal") of Prague and a contemporary of Ezekiel Landau. His father is mentioned under the name Ephraim b. Meir Bums (Bimes) Margolioth of Bunzlau. Meir Fischels served for 40 years as head of the bet din and the yeshivah in Prague until his death. Of his work nothing has remained apart from a few responsa collected by his son and by his contemporary Eleazar Fleckeles, all his manuscripts having been burnt in the great fire that swept Prague in 1754, except for his novellae on Bava Batra and Berakhot that were still extant in 1905. He was a signatory of the ruling given in 1754 of the Allufei ha-Kehillah ("leaders of the community") with regard to the settlement of the disputes that arose in consequence of the conflagration. His name appears as Mayer Feischel Buntzl in the list of those who suffered loss through the fire. Ezekiel Landau refers to him as "enlightening me as well as halakhic scholars" (responsa Noda bi-Yhudah, yd, no, 82), makes appreciative reference to his erudition and capacity (no. 72), and mentions his halakhic decisions (nos. 81, 83, 89).

bibliography:

K. Lieben, Gal-Ed (1856), 55–56, no. 114 (German section); 60–61, no. 114 (Hebrew section); S.H. Lieben, in: jjlg, 2 (1904), 329–30; 18 (1927), 193; S. Seeligmann, Catalog … hebraeischer und juedischer Buecher, Handschriften … Nachgelassen von N.H. Van Biema (1904), xi–xiv; Ta-Shema, in: Ha-Sefer, 9 (1961), 47–49.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]

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