Teomim, Aaron ben Moses

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TEOMIM, AARON BEN MOSES (c. 1630–1690), rabbi. Teomim was a member of the well-known Teomim-Fraenkel family of Vienna, which had settled in Prague. In 1670 he succeededSamson *Bacharach as rabbi of Worms. After refusing a call to Lissa in 1677, he accepted one from the Cracow community in 1687. At that time the French army was besieging Worms and it was only with the greatest difficulty that Teomim succeeded in leaving, and for three years he had to travel from place to place before reaching Cracow in March 1690. A few months later, on his way to a meeting of the *Council of the Four Lands, he was arrested at Chmielnik on a Sabbath on the orders of a Polish nobleman, probably in order to blackmail the Cracow congregation. As a result of the ill-treatment to which he was subjected, he died before reaching prison.

Teomim's best-known work is a commentary on the Haggadah, Matteh Aharon ("the rod of Aaron"; Frankfurt, 1678) which he wrote in fulfillment of a vow should he recover from a serious illness which had befallen him on Passover 1675. It has been reprinted many times (26 entries in Ya'ari's bibliography of Haggadot). Teomim also wrote Bigdei Aharon (Frankfurt, 1710), sermons, and a volume of unpublished responsa, some of which are quoted in contemporary works. These writings found a severe critic in Jair Ḥayyim *Bacharach, son of Samson. His motives were probably not disinterested, as he claimed the rabbinate, which had been held by both his father and grandfather. He accused Teomim of distorting the import of the Talmud and falsifying the true meaning of the aggadah.


J.M. Zunz, Ir ha-Ẓedek (1874), 128–50; Fuenn, Keneset, 88f.; H.N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi, 2 (1893), 71b; D. Kaufmann, R. Jaïr Chajjim Bacharach (Ger., 1894), 54f.