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AUERBACH:

A family of scholars, the progenitor of which was Moses Auerbach, court Jew to the bishop of Regensburg, about 1497. One of his daughters, who went after her marriage to Cracow, is the reputed ancestress of the celebrated R. Moses Isserles ().

Another branch of the family settled at Vienna. A near relative, Meshullam Solomon Fischhof-Auerbach, occupied such an eminent position in the community of Vienna that he married Miriam, the daughter of a well-known rabbi and physician Leo Lucerna (Judah Löb Ma'or-ḳaṭon). She died July 29, 1654 (Frankl, "Inschriften," No. 202). In his old age it was his misfortune to be driven from Vienna and exiled (1670) with his coreligionists. Before his death (1677) he had the satisfaction of seeing his sons occupy honorable positions. Nearly twenty years before, his son Menahem Mendel Auerbach was called as rabbi to Reussnitz, Moravia, after having officiated as assessor to the rabbinate at Cracow. The pupil of such men as Lipmann Heller, Joel Särkes, Joshua b. Joseph, at the Talmud school in Cracow, Menahem Mendel attained such a reputation as a Talmudic authority that the rabbis of large foreign communities submitted difficult questions to him for decision. (For detailed account of his career see separate article.)

The best known among Mendel's brothers is Simon, who at the age of 23 wrote a penitential poem, on the occasion of an epidemic that broke out among children in Vienna, in 1634. This poem passed through several editions, under the title "Mish'on (sic) la-Yeladim" (Support to Children), Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1711. The author died March 11, 1638, at Eibenschütz. The poem was printed by the grandson of the author, Meshullam Solomon Fischhof, who added a commentary, "Rab Shalom" (Much Peace). He also published several prayers and hymns of Israel Nagara, with additions of his own (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1712).

Hayyim, a second brother of Menahem Mendel, settled at Cracow, but later returned to Vienna as assessor of the rabbinate, dying there Oct. 7, 1665. A third brother, Benjamin Wolf, settled at Nikolsburg, and was held in high esteem as elder of the community, even officiating temporarily as chairman of the college of the rabbinate. His testament, printed together with the work "Meḳor Ḥokmah" (Source of Wisdom), which contains an abundance of worldly wisdom and pious reflection, was published by his son, Meshullam Solomon, assessor of the rabbinate at Nikolsburg, who published an ethical work at the same time. Menahem Mendel's successor as rabbi of Krotoschin was his grandson who bore the same name (the son of Moses Auerbach—died May 9, 1739), and was president of the congregation of Krotoschin and of the Synod of the Four Lands. He was the son-in-law of Rabbi Saul of Cracow. A son of the Simon Wolf mentioned above was David Tebele, surnamed "Ha-Kadosh" (the Holy), who died as rabbi of Prague. His name was commemorated by his son Samuel, the author of "Ḥesed Shemuel" (Samuel's Charity), Amsterdam.

A member of the same family was Phineas Auerbach, president of the Jewish court at Cracow (1695), and author of "Halakah Berurah" (Lucid Law), a commentary on Oraḥ Ḥayyim.

Hirsch Auerbach belongs to another branch of the family. He was first assessor of the rabbinate at Brody, fleeing thence to Germany with a part of the community to escape exorbitant taxation and the machinations of informers. After wandering from one place to another he settled at Worms, whither he had been called in 1733 to R. Löb Sinzheim's college, and was appointed rabbi in the same community in 1763. He died at Worms May 3, 1778, in the 88th year of his life, his pious wife Dobresch (daughter of the president Isaac at Brody) dying a few weeks before him. His son, born at Brody, Abiezri Selig, was at first rabbi at Edenkoben, then at Buxweiler, where he died 1767; his wife was the daughter of Isaac Sinzheim, rabbi at Trier and Niederehnheim.

D. L. L.
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