Uri ben Simeon of Biala

views updated


URI BEN SIMEON OF BIALA (second half of the 16th century), emissary of Safed to Europe. Uri was born in Biala, Poland, and immigrated to Ereẓ Israel, settling in Safed. From there he was sent as an emissary of the Ashkenazi congregation of the city to Italy, Germany, and Poland. In 1575 he was in Verona, as well as Venice, where he published, one year on each page, a 40-year calendar, and Yiḥus Avot, a description of the holy places and the graves of the righteous in Ereẓ Israel. He took these pages, which served to publicize his mission, with him to Germany, where they were reprinted many years later by Christian theologians.

The calendar was reprinted in 1594 in Frankfurt by Jacob Christmann, and Yiḥus Avot was reprinted twice in a Latin translation by Johann Heinrich Nottinger, under the title Cippi Hebraici, with drawings (Heidelberg, 1659 and 1662). This list of holy places and graves of the righteous in Ereẓ Israel served emissaries of succeeding generations as a pattern for similar lists called Iggeret Mesapperet Yeḥusta de-Ẓaddikei de-Ara de-Yisrael ("A genealogical tree of the righteous of the Holy Land," Venice, 1626, 1640, 1646, 1649; Verona, 1646, 1647; Mantua, 1676; Frankfurt, c. 1700).


Yaari, Sheluḥei, 80f., 248.

[Avraham Yaari]