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Tomb of Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen

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Tomb of Rabbi Meir Katzenellenbogen


Basic Information

Location Borgo degli Ebrei, Padua
Country Italy
City Padua

General Information

Open to visitors yes
Need appointment no
Handicap accessibility no
Geographical Coordinates 45.40643,11.87676


Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen (c. 1482 – 12 January 1565) was an Italian rabbi born in Katzenelnbogen. Meïr ben Isaac, who was generally called after his native town, was the founder of the Katzenellenbogen family. After studying at Prague under the well-known casuist Jacob Pollak, he went to Padua and entered the yeshiva of Judah Minz, whose granddaughter, Hannah, he afterwards married. He succeeded his father-in-law, Abraham Minz, in the chief rabbinate of Padua, which office he held until his death on 12 January 1565.

Meïr was also nominal rabbi of Venice, where he went several times a year, but he had his fixed residence at Padua. Meïr was considered by his contemporaries a great authority on Talmudic and rabbinical matters, and many rabbis consulted him, among them: Moses Alashkar, Obadiah Sforno, and his relative Moses Isserles (who addressed him as "Rabbi of Venice"). It may be seen from his responsa (ninety in number, published by himself, with those of Judah Minz, under the title of She'elot u-Teshubot, Venice, 1553), as well as from those of Isserles, that he was disposed to be liberal in his decisions. Another indication of his leaning toward liberalism was his use in his responsa of the civil names of the months, a thing not done by other rabbis of his time.

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