Russian town in the government of Wilna. The earliest mention of Jews there is dated 1539, when a dispute was adjudicated (July 8) between a Jew named Konyuk and a Christian in regard to a debt of the former. In 1551 the Jews of Merech were named among those of fourteen other towns to be exempted from the special tax ("Serebshchizna") levied upon all inhabitants, with the exception of villagers and Jews, at the Polish diet held in that year (Nov. 27) at Wilna. Merech produced in the nineteenth century some noted Hebrew scholars, as Mordecai Melzer, Isaac b. Elijah Margolis (d. New York 1887), and his son Max Margolis, of the University of California.
- Regesti i Nadpisi, pp. 117, 203.