Online Encyclopedia

MEIR OF ROTHENBURG (c. 1215-1293)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 84 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MEIR OF ROTHENBURG (c. 1215-1293), German rabbi and poet, was born in Worms c. 1215. He played a great part in organizing the Jewish communal life of the middle ages. In 1286 for some unknown reason he was thrown into prison in Alsace, where he remained until his death in 1293. His friends offered to find a ransom, but he declined the suggestion, fearing that the precedent would lead to extortion in other cases. He wrote glosses to the Talmud (tosaphot) and many Responsa of the utmost value for historical research. Through his disciples Asher ben Yebiel and Mordecai ben Hillel, Meir exercised much influence on subsequent developments of Judaism. He was also a liturgical poet of considerable merit. One of his finest elegies is translated into English in Nina Davis's Songs of Exile. See L. Ginsberg, Jewish Encyclopedia, viii. 437-440. (I. A.)
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