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GÜNZBURG-ULMA, SIMON BEN ELIEZER:

German scholar; communal worker; born at Günzburg, Bavaria, 1506; died at Burgau Jan. 9, 1585. He was the first who adopted and transmitted to his descendants the name "Günzburg" as a family name. He was a rich merchant, and traveled around in Germany and Poland in the interests of his business. He was also a great Talmudist, and had some knowledge of secular sciences. It is probably owing to these facts that Simon Günzburg is variously described by different historians. Albertrandy, quoted by Sternberg ("Gesch. der Juden in Polen," p. 148), says: "Simon, also called Selig Günzburg, was known as a celebrated architect and geometer. He wrote many works, and was the head of the rabbinate and yeshibah." It seems that Albertrandy confused Simon Günzburg with the physician Selig Günzburg of Slutsk. Czacki cites him as the court physician of King Sigismund August and chief of the community of Posen (Grätz, "Gesch." ix. 448). But Simon Günzburg never settled at Posen. His residence was first at Günzburg, where, he built a synagogue and established a cemetery; and then he settled at Burgau, a neighboring town. There also he worked for the welfare of the community, for which reason his name is commemorated in a special prayer.

Bibliography:
  • Sternberg, Geschichte der Juden in Polen, p. 148;
  • Grätz, Gesch. 3d ed., ix. 448;
  • Maggid, Toledot Mishpeḥot Ginẓburg, pp. 4 et seq.;
  • David Kaufmann, ib. p. 175.
H. R. M. Sel.
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