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LURIA (Lourie, Lurje, Loria, Lurja) , well-known family traceable to the 14th century. The Luria family spread throughout Germany, Bohemia, Eastern Europe, Italy, and Oriental countries. The name perhaps derives from Loria, a small town near *Bassano in the Vicenza region of Italy, but this is by no means certain. All who bear this name did not necessarily belong to one family, and there is certainly no connection between this family and the Luria family (who were Levites) to which Isaac *Luria (the Ari) belonged. The main Luria family is descended from *Rashi and legend extends its descent to the tanna*Johanan ha-Sandelar. The source of the family history is the genealogical document compiled by Johanan b. Aaron Luria (see later) which *Joseph b. Gershom of Rosheim received from the author and incorporated in his Sefer ha-Miknah. Solomon b. Aaron b. Jehiel, Johanan's grandson, sent a copy to his relative, Solomon *Luria (Maharshal), who made an addition to the copy detailing his connection with Jehiel, brother of the author of the document. This copy is important for determining the link between the German and Polish branches. The document passed to Solomon Luria's descendants from generation to generation, each successive member adding his own name. One copy was published, after 300 years, in Ha-Maggid (vol. 1 (1857), 178) by Moses Eliezer *Beilinson, himself a member of the Luria family. This copy, which completed the German branch, was published in Solomon Luria's responsa (Fuerth, 1767; Lemberg, 1859).

The founder of the family was solomon spira (a son-in-law of Mattathias Treves; see *Treves family). It is related of his daughter miriam (1350 – the second generation) that she taught halakhah from behind a curtain in the yeshivah. Nothing is known of Samson of Erfurt (third generation), Jehiel (fourth), and Nethanel (fourth) but their names, but Nethanel's son, aaron luria (1450), was known and honored as a rabbinical authority. He was one of the opponents of the convention of rabbis called by Seligman Oppenheim in Bingen in 1456 and his responsum on the subject was printed in the responsa of R. Moses *Mintz (no. 63) along with the views of other opponents. A number of the responsa (16, 19, 23, and 24) of Mintz and Israel *Bruna (nos. 259–61) are addressed to him. johanan (late 15th–early 16th centuries), who compiled the genealogical table, was Aaron's son. He was given the right to establish a yeshivah in *Strasbourg or *Colmar. Losing all his wealth in the Burgundian wars of 1475, he passed the last years of his life in *Worms. He is the author of Meshivat Nefesh, a homiletical and kabbalistic commentary on the Pentateuch (Mss. Bodleian, nos. 257–8) with an appendix, Teshuvat ha-Minim u-She'ar Inyanim, which is a defense of Judaism against Christian criticism. His didactic ethical poem Hadrakhah has been published a number of times. His grandson solomon (d. before 1583) compiled the second version of the Luria family tree for Solomon Luria. His only son, joshua moses (d. 1591), who was responsible for the third version, served as rabbi in Worms. He is referred to in the customal of Worms (Mss. Breslau Seminary lxxxvii, 123) and in other works. His son aaron (d. 1613) was a dayyan in the bet din of Isaiah *Horowitz in Frankfurt. After him, unbroken knowledge of the German branch of the family ceases, but the family history does not come to an end then. Joseph of Rosheim was related to the head of the family, Solomon Spira, and his grandson, Elijah b. Moses *Loanz (1564–1636), was also the maternal grandson of Johanan Luria.

The name Luria is found in Prague until the end of the 16th century and still later, but the connection between this branch and the German one cannot be established. It is doubtful if the kabbalist Jehiel *Luria of Safed (late 16th–early 17th centuries) belonged to this family. Some identify him with Jehiel Ashkenazi *Luria, author of the Heikhal ha-Shem (Venice, 1601). The founder of the Russian-Polish branch was jehiel luria, brother of Johanan (above). Around 1470 he left Germany and died in Bassat, Lithuania, where he had apparently served as rabbi. His great-grandson was Solomon Luria (the Maharshal). jacob moses ben abraham helin ashkenazi, a grandson of the Maharshal, compiled a commentary, Yedei Moshe, on the Midrash Rabbah (Frankfurt on the Oder, 1705). solomon luria (early 17th century), "the physician of Lublin," was a cousin of the Maharshal. Jehiel *Heilprin, author of Seder ha-Dorot, was the eighth generation from the Maharshal, and Abraham *Gombiner, author of Magen Avraham, the sixth generation. David b. Judah Judel *Luria (Radal) was the tenth generation. His nephew, David b. Jacob Aaron *Luria (1800–1873), devoted himself to improving Jewish education in Minsk.

In the 19th century, when the Jews of Russia were compelled to adopt surnames, many chose the name Luria without having any connection with the family. It is unclear what connection, if any, there is between bearers of the name Loria in Italy and the Luria family, and it is possible that the genealogical tree of this branch, transmitted by Z. *Margolioth in his Ma'alot ha-Yuhasin (1900), 61–63, is a 17th-century forgery intended to connect the Italian family with the more renowned one.

In 2004, Neil Rosenstein published a complete Luria family genealogy. He traces the family back to the tanna Hillel, and from him back to King David. He presents numerous interlocking genealogical tables, many of which connect the Luria family to the leading rabbinic sages of the past 500 years.


A. Epstein, Mishpaḥat Luria, Shoshelet Yiḥusah… (1901); jjlg, 5 (1907), 91ff.; A. Lourié, Die Familie Lourié (Luria) (1923); J. Cohen-Ẓedek, Dor Yesharim (1898). add. bibliography: N. Rosenstein, The Lurie Legacy: The House of Davidic Royal Descent (2004).

[Jacob Rothschild]