Weyl, Meir ben Simḥah

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WEYL, MEIR BEN SIMḤAH (1744–1826), German rabbi. Weyl was born in *Lissa and studied under Ẓevi Hirsch of Janow. He arrived in Berlin in 1783 and was soon elected head of the bet midrash and dayyan. After Hirschel Levin's death (1800) the reform-minded community leaders delayed his appointment as rabbi until 1809, when they reluctantly made him Vize-Ober-Landrabbiner. His patriotic sermons of 1809–13 won him renown. One such sermon of 1813 was republished after World War i as proof of Jewish patriotism. Weyl battled against the Berlin *Haskalah movement and its chief representative, David *Friedlaender. An acknowledged talmudic authority as well as a vehement opponent of Reform, in 1818 the Orthodox elements in the community of Copenhagen appealed to him in their conflict with a Reform group. He sharply attacked the use of German in prayer, and largely through his efforts a royal order was issued dated Dec. 23, 1823, that Jews were to pray only according to their previous custom. When in 1824 the elders of the Berlin community contemplated establishing a teachers seminary and invited L. *Zunz and L. *Bendavid to plan the syllabus, Weyl retaliated by appealing directly to Altenstein, the minister of religion, with his own plan, which was approved. For lack of community support, however, the plan for a seminary was soon dropped. Weyl held halakhic discussions with Akiva *Eger of Posen and Solomon Zalman *Posner of Warsaw.


mgwj, 28 (1879), 568–70; M. Stern, Aus der Zeit der deutschen Befreiungskriege, 1 (1918); idem, in: Jeschurun, 13 (1926), 187–95, 290–308; G, Weil, in; mgwj, 76 (1932), 385–9; idem, in; JJS, 8 (1957), 91–101; H. Fischer, Judentum, Staat und Heer in Preussen (1968), 107–9.