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AUERBACH, MENAHEM MENDEL BEN MESHULLAM SOLOMON:

Austrian rabbi, banker, and commentator; born in Vienna at the beginning of the seventeenth century; died at Krotoschin, Posen, July 8, 1689. He was descended from the well-known Auerbach-Fischhof family, both his father, Meshullam Solomon, and his maternal grandfather, Rabbi Judah Loeb Rofe, being members of the Vienna Ghetto.

Auerbach received a Talmudic education, and was a pupil of Joel Särkes (), of Joshua ben Joseph of Cracow, and of Menahem Mendel Krochmal of Nikolsburg. He married the daughter of Judah Loeb Cohn of Cracow (died 1645), and then settled in Cracow with his brother Ḥayyim. For many years Auerbach held the position of dayyan of the Cracow community, being at the same time engaged in thebanking business with his brother. Later, both returned to Vienna, where Menahem remained after his brother's death in 1666, up to the expulsion of the Jews from Vienna by the emperor Leopold I. in 1670. Benjamin Leb (Wolf) Fischhof, probably the youngest of the brothers, was also expelled at the same time, and became rabbi in Nikolsburg.

After the expulsion Auerbach became rabbi at Rausnitz, Moravia, and in 1673 of Krotoschin, where for sixteen years and until his death he occupied the double position of rabbi and parnass of the district of Posen. In Krotoschin he established a yeshibah, which soon became known throughout Poland, and to which he devoted much of his time and energy (Eliakim ben Meïr, "Responsa," § 61). His son Moses was parnas of the district of Posen, one of the leaders of the Synod of Great Poland, and president of the Assembly of Kobylin in 1733. The following pedigree exhibits the relationship of this branch of the Auerbach family:

Auerbach was the author of "'Aṭeret Zekenim" (The Crown of Old Men; compare Prov. xvii. 6), a commentary on Oraḥ Ḥayyim, a division of the Shulḥan 'Aruk, printed at Dyhernfurth, 1720, and republished in most editions of that work. He also left in manuscript "'Akeret ha-Bayit" (The Barren One of the House; compare Ps. cxiii. 9), a commentary on another division of the Shulḥan 'Aruk; namely, Ḥoshen Mishpaṭ.

Bibliography:
  • Kaufmann, Die Letzte Vertreibung der Juden aus Wien, pp. 172 et seq., Vienna, 1889;
  • H. N. Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofi, passim, Cracow, 1888;
  • I. Eisenstadt-S. Wiener, Da'at ḳedoshim, passim, St. Petersburg, 1897-98.
G. H. R.
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