A prominent family (originally from Lucca, Italy), which, after the settlement at Mayence and Speyer of several of its members, took during many generations a leading part in the development of Jewish learning in Germany. The name ought really to be spelled "Kalonymos," as Kalonymus b. Kalonymus and Immanuel of Rome both rime it with words ending in "-mos" (see Zunz in Geiger's "Zeitschrift," iv. 199). The origin of the name, which occurs in Greece, Italy, and Provence, is uncertain. Wolf thought it a translation of the Hebrew "Shem-Ṭob" (Zunz, "G. S." ii. 33); Zunz, that it represented the Latin "Cleonymus" (Geiger's "Zeitschrift," ii. 316). See also Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." col. 1372. Traces of the family in Italy may be found as early as the second half of the eighth century. As to the date of the settlement of its members in Germany, the opinions of modern scholars are divided, owing to the conflicting statements of the Jewish sources (Eleazar of Worms, "Maẓref la-Ḥokmah," p. 14b; Solomon Luria, Responsa, No. 29; Joseph ha-Kohen, "'Emeḳ ha-Baka," p. 13). Rapoport, Zunz, and many others place the settlement in 876, believing the King Charles (), mentioned in the sources as having induced the Kalonymides to emigrate to Germany, to have been Charles the Bold, who was in Italy in that year; Luzzatto and others think that it took place under Charlemagne, alleging that the desire to attract scholars to the empire was more in keeping with the character of that monarch; still others assign it to the reign of Otto II. (973-983), whose life, according to the historian Thietmar von Merseburg, was saved in a battle with the Saracens by a Jew named Kalonymus. The following table, compiled from the accounts of Eleazar of Worms and Solomon Luria, gives the Italian and German heads of the family, which produced for nearly five centuries the most notable scholars of Germany and northern France, such as Samuel he-Ḥasid and Judah he-Ḥasid (for another genealogical tree, see Kalonymus ben Isaac the Elder):

Although all of them are mentioned as having been important scholars, the nature of the activity of only a few of them is known.

1. Hananeel I. (ben Kalonymus):

Liturgical poet; flourished at Mayence or Speyer in the eleventh century; brother of Moses III. He was the author of the piyyuṭ to the ḳerobot of the last day of Passover, to which his brother wrote the .

2. Ithiel I.:

A short seliḥah in eight strophes, beginning with and concludingwith , bears the name of Ithiel without any other indication as to its authorship. It was translated into German by Zunz ("S. P." p. 289).

3. Jekuthiel ben Moses:

Liturgical poet; flourished at Speyer in 1070. He was the author of the reshut to Ḳalir's ḳerobah for the feast of New-Year. A son of Jekuthiel named Moses of Speyer is quoted as a high Talmudical authority ("Pardes," p. 48a; "Roḳeaḥ," p. 311; "Pirḳe Reḳanaṭi," p. 189; "Maimoniyyot," , xxx.; "Shibbole ha-Leḳeṭ," p. 89, where the name is erroneously given as Simḥah instead of Moses).

4. Kalonymus II. (ben Moses):

Halakist and liturgical poet; flourished at Lucca or at Rome about 950. He was consulted on ritual questions by Gershon Me'or ha-Golah; and twelve responsa of his are included in the collection compiled by Joseph ben Samuel 'Alam Ṭob and published by D. Cassel under the title "Teshubot Geonim Ḳadmonim" (Nos. 106-118). Gershon Me'or ha-Golah remarks ("Shibbole ha-Leḳeṭ," § 18) that there exists in rabbinical literature a confusion concerning the identity of Kalonymus and his son Meshullam the Great, and the saying of one is sometimes attributed to the other. Thus Rashi quotes three emendations in the Talmudical text in the name of R. Meshullam (Zeb. 45b), while Jacob Tam (Tos., Men. 109b) gives them in the name of R. Kalonymus. Kalonymus was the author of a ḳerobah for feast-days ("Ma'aseh Geonim," § 172). To him probably belong the rehiṭim which bear the signature "Kalonymus" or "Kalonymus the Elder." Eleazer of Worms attributes also to him the piyyuṭ .

5. Kalonymus III. (ben Meshullam):

Liturgical poet; flourished at Mayence about 1000. He figures in the Amnon legend as having written the "U-Netanneh Toḳef," which had been revealed to him in a dream by the martyr Amnon of Mayence.

6. Kalonymus ben Isaac the Elder:

German balakist; lived at Speyer in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; father of Samuel he-Ḥasid, grandfather of Judah he-Ḥasid, and great-grandfather of Judah ben Kalonymus, as the following pedigree shows:

Kalonymus is quoted in the Tosafot (Ḥul. 47b), and a responsum of his is included in the collection of responsa of Meïr of Rothenburg (No. 501). From the account of Kalonymus given in the "Mordekai" (Pes. , end), in the "Pardes" (§§ 75, 88, 245, 290), and in the "Maẓref la-Ḥokmah" (p. 14a), it may be inferred that he was rabbi in Mayence, and that during the First Crusade (1096) he was compelled to flee to Speyer. He died in Dec., 1127. His body could not be buried because of the investment of the city by Lothar, the burial-ground being outside of the place. At a later time it was interred at Mayence.

  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, p. 572;
  • Wiener, in Monatsschrift, xii. 164;
  • Epstein, ib. xli. 448.
7. Kalonymus b. Judah or Kalonymus the Elder:

Lived in Mayence at the beginning of the twelfth century. He was a contemporary of Eliakim b. Joseph, the teacher of Eleazar b. Nathan (RaBaN).

8. Kalonymus ben Judah or Kalonymus the Younger:

Liturgical poet; flourished at Speyer (?) about 1160; probably a grandson of Kalonymus ben Isaac the Elder. He was a contemporary of Isaac b. Shalom, grandfather of Isaac Or Zarua', and was the author of many liturgical poems in various styles, e.g., ofan, zulat, and reshut, and especially of seliḥot. Thirty of his poetical productions have been incorporated in the Maḥzor. Among his seliḥot the most noteworthy are: , in which the author describes the readiness shown by the Jews, in the persecutions of the Crusades, to die for the faith of their fathers; the ḳinah , on the sufferings of the Jews during the persecutions of 1147 ("Monatsschrift," xx. 257); and , on the fate of the Jews from the times of the Pharaohs to the destruction of the Temple by Titus. The whole of the first seliḥah and the end of the second have been translated into German by Zunz.

  • Zunz, S. P. pp. 16, 196;
  • idem, Literaturgesch. pp. 164-166, 255;
  • Epstein, in Monatsschrift, xii. 449.
9. Meshullam the Great (called also the Roman, ):

Halakist and liturgical poet; flourished at Rome or at Lucca about 976. He carried on with Gershon Me'or ha-Golah and Simon the Great a scientific correspondence, which is included in the "Teshubot Geonim Ḳadmonim" (13a), and was the author of a commentary on Abot ("'Aruk," s.v. ). Meshullam engaged in polemics with the Karaites. From the Bible text he demonstrates that, contrary to their opinion, one may quit one's house on Sabbath and have one's house lighted on the night of Sabbath ("Semag," No. 66; "Sefer Ḥasidim,"No. 1147). Meshullam was a prolific liturgical poet. Of the piyyuṭim contained in the ḳerobah of the "Shaḥarit" service of the Day of Atonement, at least twenty (possibly thirty-two) belong to him. He wrote also: an "'Abodah," recited after the prayer for the synagogue reader and containing a cursory review of Biblical history from Adam down to Levi; a yoẓer for Passover; and two zulot. Altogether thirty-eight piyyuṭim are attributed to him. Although their language is labored, they are distinguished by their elevation of thought and conciseness. There was another payyeṭan called "Meshullam the Great," to whom probably belongs the Aramaic poetical Targum on the Decalogue which is generally attributed to Meshullam the Great ben Kalonymus (comp. Landshuth, "'Ammude ha-'Abodah," s.v.).

10. Meshullam ben Moses:

Liturgical poet; lived at Mayence in 1080. He was the author of the following five piyyuṭim: (1) , a yoẓer for a marriage Sabbath, based upon I Chron. xxix. 11-12; (2) , in seven-lined strophes; (3) an Elijah poem, ; (4) an Aramaic illustration of the third commandment, beginning with ; and (5) a ḳedushshah for the Musaf service.

Meshullam was among those who killed themselves May 27, 1096, in order not to fall into the hands of the Crusaders (Neubauer and Stern, "Hebräische Berichte über die Judenverfolgungen," p. 6).

11. Moses I. (ben Meshullam):

Liturgical poet; lived at Rome or at Lucca about 850. Two taḥanunim of his are incorporated in the Maḥzor: one, beginning with , comprises thirty-eight lines of four words each; the other, beginning with , consists of forty-six lines, with a double acrostic on the name of the author at the beginning of the line; translated into German by Zunz ("S. P." p. 193).

12. Moses ben Kalonymus:

Liturgical poet; flourished at Mayence in 1020. He was the author of and of a ḳerobah consisting of various poems for the seventh day of Passover, which used to be recited in the congregations of Mayence. Citations from several of the ḳerobah poems are given in various earlier Bible commentaries. (On the confusion existing in the rabbinical sources concerning the identity of the author of the , see Zunz, "Literaturgesch." pp. 104-108.)

  • Rapoport, in Bikkure ha-'Ittim, x. 40 et seq., 111 et seq.; xi. 100;
  • Carmoly, in Jost's Annalen, i. 222;
  • Luzzatto, Giudaismo Illustrato, p. 30;
  • Zunz, G. V. Index;
  • idem, Literaturgesch. Index;
  • idem, Z. G. Index;
  • Monatsschrift, 1854, pp. 236 et seq.; 1878, pp. 250 et seq.;
  • Grätz, Gesch. v. 193;
  • Güdemann, Gesch. i. 11 et seq.;
  • Giesebrecht, Kaiserzeit, i. 849;
  • Bresslau, in Zeitschrift für die Gesch. der Juden in Deutschland, i. 156 et seq.;
  • Aronius, ib. ii. 82 et seq.;
  • Vogelstein and Rieger, Gesch. der Juden in Rom, i. 139.
G. I. Br.
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