Rabbiner von Augsburg: der Maharil


Rabbi Jakob ben Mosche Ha-Levi wurde 1365 geboren und war in Mainz Schüler seines Vaters Rabbi Mosche Molin, der in zumindest in der Zeit zwischen 1364 und 1368 Rabbiner in Augsburg war und dort in den städtischen Steuerlisten als “Meister Molin” verzeichnet ist. Es ist deshalb plausibel anzunehmen, dass sein Sohn nicht wie allgemein vermutet in Mainz, sondern in Augsburg geboren wurde. Rabbi Jakob lernte auch bei Rabbi Schalom ben Jitzchak in Wien Neustadt und war selbst in den Jahren 1412-1414 wie bereits sein Vater als Rabbiner in Augsburg, wo er als “Rabbi Jakob” verzeichnet ist.

Bekannt ist er unter dem Akronym maharil, was abgekürzt steht für “morenu haraw raw jakow levi” (unser Lehrer der verehrte Rabbiner Jakob Levi”) und für sein Hauptwerk “Sefer Minhagim” (Buch der Bräuche), das gelegentlich nach ihm auch “Sefer ha Maharil” genannt wurde, welches eine wesentliche und oft zitierte Grundlage für den Kommentar “HaMapa” von Mosche Isserles zum “Schulchan Aruch” des Josef Caro bildete. Der Maharil gilt als einer der herausragendsten jüdischen Gelehrten des ausgehenden Mittelalters und wurde auch als Chazan (Vorsänger) berühmt. Eine Anzahl heute noch gebräuchlicher Melodien aus dem Gottesdienst geht auf ihn zurück. Allgemein volkstümlich geworden ist sein Beharren, die bestehenden Ordnungen in Mainz unverändert zu lassen: “Mainz bleibt Mainz“.

Der bedeutendste der zahlreichen Schüler des Maharil war Rabbi Jakob ben Jehuda Weil (MaHaRiW), der ihm nachfolgte und Augsburgs letzter bedeutender Rabbiner war.

Rabbi Mosche ben Jakow Ha-Levi Molin, der MaHaRIL

Rabbi Mosche ben Jakow Ha-Levi Molin, der MaHaRIL

 

Rabbi Moshe ben Jacob Ha-Levi was born in 1365, and was a student of his father Rabbi Moshe Molin in Mainz (Mayence), who at least between 1364 to 1368 was rabbi in Augsburg where he is listed in the municipal tax book as a “Meister Molin”. It therefore is plausible to assume that his son was not born in Mainz, as commonly assumed, but rather in Augsburg. Rabbi Jacob also learned with Rabbi Shalom ben Yitzchak in Vienna Neustadt. In the years 1412-1414 as his father he was Rabbi of Augsburg, where he is noticed as “Rabbi Jacob” in the tax payer list.  
He is known by the acronym MaHaRIL, which is abbreviated for “raw morenu haraw Yakov levi” (our dear teacher Rabbi Jacob Levi) and his main work “Sefer Minhagim” (Book of Customs), which is occasionally referred to him as “Sefer ha Maharil”, which is an essential and often-cited basis for the comment “HaMapa” by Moshe Isserles to the “Shulchan Aruch” of Joseph Caro. The Maharil is regarded as one of the greatest Jewish scholars of the late Middle Ages and also was considered as a famous Chazan (precentor). A number of still common melodies go back to him.

                                                                                    
The most important of the many disciples of the Maharil was Rabbi Jacob ben Yehuda Weil (MaHaRiW), who himself follow him to be the last significant rabbi of Augsburg.

4 Responses to Rabbiner von Augsburg: der Maharil

  1. k grobholz says:

    As a resident of Gelnhausen from 1978-1991 I tried to do research on a Rabbi who during the middle ages (1360) by the name of Rabbi Jakob v. Gelnhausen was supposed to be related to the Maharil. I even have a copy of 2 pages of a work accredited to him from a small book I found once in the university library in 1980 written in 1517 by Torah scribe Menachem Oldendorf.
    In the abstract of his doctor´s thesis (1985) “Rabbis and Rabbinate in Germany” Dr. Israel Jacob Yuval mentions Jacob Gelnhausen, ” .. Maharil´s nephew, served as the rabbi of Augsburg from 1412 until his death in 1428.” (Chap.IV Pg. 223). These dates seem to contradict each other.although perhaps he began his career in little Gelnhausen very young?
    Is there any documentary evidence of sorts concerning the legitimacy of the claims of this rabbi´s time in Gelnhausen? It´s a mystery I´d like to solve. In the Festschrift created for the opening of the Gelnhausen synagogue in 1986 I attempted to write about Rabbi Jacob of Gelnhausen (my last name was Pscheid at that time) but later realized that my scant research sources were at that time quite lacking.

  2. moshe says:

    Hi, Can you please explain the meaning of the picture with the caption that it is the Maharil – is it a copy of an old seal? Please elaborate!
    Thank you!

    • yehuda says:

      the Maharil- as well as the Mahariv- and Maharam- figure is based on the Hebrew initials of the acronym (נוטריקון) of title and name, arranged in a narrative appearrance of an Augsburg background. As far as I know no medieval depiction or seal is known, it is an own creation.

  3. ron says:

    Great picture

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