Sunday, November 02, 2008

We’re all connected, Baroque-era Rabbinate

While looking for info whether Rav Shach (20th century Israel, Rosh Yeshivas Ponevitch) is descended from The Shach (R’ Shabsi Hakohen, 1600s), I found someone’s genealogy back to Rashi. Some interesting tidbits in there, that I had not known before:

1) The Rema is the son of the Trumas haDeshen, R’ Israel (b. Israel) Isserlein . Just like “My Man Godfrey.”

2) Moses Mendelssohn, 18th-century Germany, is a 5th-generation descendent of the Rema’s sister, Miriam Beila Isserles Horowitz --> Hinda Horowitz Wahl --> Judah Wahl (Katzenellenbogen) --> Saul Wahl (K..n) --> Beila Rochel Sara Wahl --> Moses Mendelssohn.

3) A couple of years later, this tree picks up the line of the Shach – from whom, along with R’ Akiva Eger, the Barkai’s are descended (the family which assembled this genealogy).

4) The blog that Josh Waxman often remarks upon, for its odd ideas, Dreaming of Moshiach, has a story about the Shach and his “only daughter, Esther,” who is lost and raised as an orphan, later reuniting with her father. But that piece claims that the Shach’s son was Meir, while the genealogy has the Shach’s son as Moshe, while the Shach’s father was Meir.

5) On another branch of their tree, via the Maharal, I find that the Maharsha was a great-grandson of the Maharal.

7 comments:

nachum j said...

"Some interesting tidbits in there, that I had not known before:

1) The Rema is the son of the Trumas haDeshen, R’ Israel (b. Israel) Isserlein . "

rema was born in poland 70 years after terumat hadeshen died in germany

Mike S. said...

The Rema's name Isserles is not a surname, it is a patronymic. His father's name was israel, but he was not the Terumat Hadeshen, and the father did not use Isseles or Issrlein as a surname.

thanbo said...

The first commenter made the same point, essentially.

But look at the PDF - he lists the Rema's father as "Israel Isserles (ISSERLEIN)". Which was the name of the Trumas haDeshen, albeit, as you say, decades earlier.

Actually, the Trumas haDeshen seems to have been Israel Isserlein b. Petachiah, so Isserlein was a surname rather than a patronymic.

28. Dinah Malka Schrenzel Luria Isserles #109, b. 1485, d. 1553. She married Israel Isserles (ISSERLEIN),
Rabbi #120, b. BEF 1505, (son of Josef (Joseph) LAZARS, Rabbi #193 and Gittel AUERBACH #194) d.
1568 Cracow.
Children:
30. i. Moses Isserles Rabbi "ReMA" #107 b. 1520.
31. ii. Miriam Baila Isserlis Horowitz #170.

micha said...

Steven Isserlis, cellist, plays a lot of Felix Mendelssohn (grandson of Moses M). He says it was nice to learn that they are connected "through a very distant cousin, but it's nice to have him in the family tree."
http://www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/Strings99/CoverStory.html

-micha

micha said...

So, the family went from one patronymic turned surname (Isserlis/ein) to another (Mendelssohn).

BTW, is this a good place to open the discussion whether Yitzchaqi was a surname? I'm convinced it is, given the "-i" suffix is used in Chumash to name the "batei av" (clans?), not as a synonym for "son of".

It would bolster the "vintner" story, though. Surnames in Rashi's era were rare for non-nobility. However, a vinyard which passed from father to son would require a constant name. And so vintners did tend to have surnames.

-micha

thanbo said...

I used to work with an Isserles descendant - it was her mother's maiden name. We were shmoozing one day, and she mentions this, and I look at her and gasp - you're descended from the REMA??? She responds - you're the first person I've met who wasn't a rabbi who knew that. She went to a big family reunion for Isserles' many years ago. Only she pronounced it "eye-sur'leez."

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