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Rabbi Eliyahu Hayim Maizel

1821- 1912; Born in Horodok ;was rabbi of Horodok from 1840 to 1843. Later rabbi of Drazin 1843-1861, Prozan 1861- 1867were he showed heroic dedication during a deadly epidemic, Lomza.1867-1879 were he was able to reduce by 500 a year the number of people called for army service. Was Chief Rabbi of Lodz from 1873 until his death in Lodz. He greatly cared about the social- economical predicament of his people. When the Jewish factory workers in Lodz were replaced by none Jews, he financed his own factory and hired only Jews. He had a plan to establish an agricultural ranch to train Jews for immigrating to Israel [influenced by Rabbi Shmuel Maholiver] but it was met by opposition.
During his time no poor Jewish kids were kidnapped in the area to serve in the Russian Army, as was common elsewhere. He helped other communities raise money to obtain releases for their kidnapped people. He built an orphanage, a home for the elderly, a Jewish hospital, and Talmud Torah schools. He helped thousands of Jews who came from many communities to receive his help. He would pawn all his possessions to help others. Despite the fact that he often came to the non-Jewish authorities with requests, he was liked and respected by them. He worked diligently until the age of ninety. Many tales were told about his greatness, and when he passed away, many mourned him as if they became orphaned. A Yiddish book was written about him in 1925, For 15 years since his death [title memoir with his name in Yiddish].
From the internet;
Rav Eliyahu Chaim Meisels, the Rav of Lodz, would raise money for the poor widows and orphans of his city. During one particularly freezing winter, he went to visit one of the prominent members of his community, Reb Isaac, a banker who served as the president of the community council.
Bundled in a coat and scarf, the Rabbi approached the banker's mansion and knocked on the door.
The valet who answered the door was shocked to see the great Rabbi Meisels standing outside in the bitter cold. He immediately asked him to enter the home where he said there would be a hot tea waiting.
Rabbi Meisels refused. "It is not necessary. Please tell Reb Isaac to see me by the door."
The banker heard that the Rav was waiting near the portal and rushed in his evening jacket to greet him. Upon seeing the Rabbi standing in the frigid weather, he exclaimed. "Rebbe, please step inside. I have the fireplace raging, and my butler will prepare a hot tea for you! There is no need for you to wait outside!"
"That's alright," countered Reb Eliyahu Chaim. "It won't be long, and all I need could be accomplished by talking right here. I'm sure you won't mind. Anyway, why should I dirty your home with my snow-covered boots?"
By this time, Reb Isaac was in a dilemma. The frigid air was blowing into his house. He did not want to close the door and talk outside in the cold, and yet the Rabbi did not want to enter!
"Please, Rabbi, I don't know about you, but I am freezing," cried the banker. "I don't mind if your boots are wet! Just come on in!"
But the Rabbi did not budge, He began talking about the plight of some the unfortunate members of the community as the bankers teeth chattered in response.
"Please, Rebbe, just tell me what you need! I'll give anything you want, just come inside!”
With that, Reb Elya Chaim relented. He entered the man's home and followed him to the den, where a blazing fire heated the room. Then he began: "I need firewood for 50 families this winter." The banker smiled. “No problem, I commit to supplying the wood. Just one question. You know I give tzedoka, so why did you make me stand outside?”
"Reb Isaac," smiled Reb Eliyahu Chaim. "I know you give, but I wanted to make sure you understood what these poor people are going through. I knew that five minutes in the freezing cold would give you a different perspective than my initial asking while basking in the warmth of your fireplace."
The Chasam Sofer explains that because Levi was a special tribe of teachers and leaders it could be possible they would be aloof. Thus, though they were counted separately, they could not be above the crowd. Therefore, the Torah's command was stated in clear terms, "their heads you shall not lift (v'es rosham lo sisah) among the Children of Israel". Leadership may put you in a class by yourself, but remember, says the Torah, you must not feel that you are above the folk. You cannot bask in warmth while you are oblivious to those who suffer in the cold. Your head can not be "lifted" from among the children of Israel.
©2000 Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky
In the city of Lodz, the large industrial city in Poland, Rabbi Eliyahu Hayim zs"l would routinely be honored with the third "aliyah." The judges, elders of the community and town dignitaries would generally receive the sixth aliyah to the Torah. The "maftir" aliyah was reserved for hatanim and those who were observing the anniversary of the passing of a relarelative. The rest of the aliyot were, of course, distributed among the other worshippers. Needless to say, this system fell far from avoiding all strife and tension. On one week two people would be observing days of memorial, on another Shabbat the community would be celebrating both a wedding and a bar-missvah, etc. Unquestionably, the lives of the "gabbaim" in the large Bet Kenesset of Lodz were not easy.Once, however, there occurred an incident which was, by any standard, exaggerated.A certain ignorant, ill-mannered man gradually worked his way up the economic ladder and eventually became among the wealthier members of the community. He was proud of his fortune and proceeded to flaunt his wealth. He affixed a gold "atarah" to his tallit, he purchased a respectable seat by the eastern wall of the Bet Kenesset for a huge sum of money, and, one day, he turned to the gabbai and said, "This Shabbat I am celebrating a birthday.""May you live a long, happy and healthy life," answered the gabbai innocently."Thank you. I want to receive an aliyah," continued the wealthy man."It would be an honor," responded the gabbai, "but just know that someone is commemorating the memorial day for his relative, so he will receive 'maftir.'""No problem," assured the arrogant aristocrat. "The sixth aliyah is good enough for me.""But this Shabbat is the turn of the old judge," noted the gabbai. "I will call you for the fifth aliyah, like I always have.""Don't you dare!" warned the wealthy man sternly, his furious eyes flashing like lightening. "You better not insult me this way. You will give me the sixth aliyah, and no other aliyah!"Threats could never frighten the old gabbai. And so, when the fifth aliyah came around, he called the name of the wealthy man. The latter stood up from his seat by the eastern wall and approached the bimah. Only instead of stopping by the Torah to recite the berachot, he continued to the gabbai and forcefully punched him across the face. One can only imagine the turmoil which ensued in the Bet Kenesset - shouts, insults, name-calling and fiery spirits.Needless to say, such an incident can in no way be ignored. After Shabbat, the infuriated gabbaim went to the rabbi's home to decide upon a proper response. One thing was absolutely clear: things cannot continue in this way."Of course," agreed the rabbi. "So what do you suggest?"The gabbai which was hit stood up and raised an amazing proposal: to do away with all "kibbudim," to eliminate the procedure of honoring people with the various aliyot and other parts of the service, thus removing the root of all the ill-will and strife. The gabbai was well-stocked with dozens of examples where someone was insulted, another was hurt, how one individual needed to be asked forgiveness, the other needed to be appeased somehow - the standard headaches suffered by gabbaim throughout the years, in every community. What would be simpler than simply deciding to eliminate this entire system and decide once and for all that all aliyot are to be considered of equal stature? The distribution would be conducted randomly, and peace will finally be restored to the communities heretofore stricken by strife and dissent.The idea sounded great. Everybody focused their attention on the rabbi sitting at the head of the table, waiting for him to give his stamp of approval to the proposal at hand.The rabbi finally spoke up. "It certainly sounds like a good idea. No, a terrific idea. Yet, I cannot accept it."They didn't understand.The rabbi explained, "As you of course realize, it is a tragedy when people come to the Bet Kenesset looking just for honor. But it would be even worse if people would stop looking for honor in the Bet Kenesset."Indeed, for good reason Rabbi Eliyahu Hayim Maizel was called "Hakima D'Yehudai," the wisest among the Jews. Certainly, the seeking of honor - not to mention the pursuit of honor - is a trait to be discouraged. But, what can we do? Everyone (except us, of course) are stricken by this negative characteristic, to one extent or another. Perhaps they won't always call it honor. Maybe they'll refer to it as recognition, dignity, a show of appreciation, what have you. If this drive is not channeled in the direction of the Bet Kenesset, people will seek and find honor in all other walks of life. They will find it in large measure in all types of groups and other organizations. It is therefore preferable that the groups and organizations in which they look for honor are part of the system of the Bet Kenesset, that in this structure people satisfy their need for recognition and distinction. To the contrary, by seeking honor specifically in the context of the Bet Kenesset, an individual makes the strong statement that therein he finds his social circle, that particularly in the religious service he looks for appreciation. This will give him impetus to contribute from his time, energies, talents and money to the sacred institution of the Bet Kenesset.
Apoor Jew from the city of Kalisch agreed to bring smuggled merchandise from the German border to the city of Lodz. He took the merchandise, loaded it on a wagon, and set out on the road.
Once they were traveling on the road, the wagon driver realized that the merchandise was contraband, and saw that he had a chance to blackmail his passenger. He stopped the wagon and said to the Jew, "We are now going to the nearby police station. I know that your merchandise is contraband. Unless you give me one hundred rubles, I am going to take you to the police."
The Jew, seeing that the wagon driver was in earnest, pleaded for mercy saying, "This is not my merchandise. I am simply transporting it for someone else. How can I give you such a large sum? In my pocket there are no more than a few rubles. Where can I possibly obtain a hundred rubles to give you? Will my boss believe that I had to pay a hundred rubles from my own pocket? Besides that I will lose my job!"
"Everything that you are saying," replied the wagon driver, "is worthless. Neither am I the owner of this wagon; I receive a salary only for my work. But does anyone have mercy on me? If you do not have cash, I am willing to let you off and take a hundred rubles' worth of merchandise instead."
Seeing that he had no other choice the Jew agreed, and only after he had given the wagon-driver the merchandise did the wagon driver take him to his destination.
The Jew noted the details of the wagon and the driver, and when he reached Lodz, he went to the rabbi of Lodz, Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisels, and told him of his woes. The rabbi requested that the Jew stay in town a few days, and promised to try to help him.
The rabbi then told his aide to go to the place where the wagon drivers congegrate, to find the wagon which fit the description he had been given, and to tell the driver that he should come to him at noon to take the rabbi for a trip immediately after lunch. When the driver arrived on time, the rabbi said to him, "I am busy now. Why don't you sit down and have lunch at my house, and soon I will be ready to travel." The driver agreed, and while he was eating, the rabbi's aide hid the horse and wagon.
The wagon driver ate until he was full. When he left the house he could not find his horse and wagon. He searched everywhere, but to no avail. "That meal that I ate cost me a bundle," the driver said to himself.
He went back into the rabbi's house and told him, "Rabbi, a great misfortune has just befallen me. The horse and wagon are not mine, and the owner is known to be very harsh. He will take revenge on me and report me to the police, claiming that I have sold his horse and wagon and kept the money for myself. Please help me out of this horrible situation!"
"Why are you so worried?" asked the rabbi. "Just take the hundred rubles that you stole from the Jew from Kalisch yesterday, and buy yourself a horse and wagon."
The driver turned white. The rabbi continued, "You crook! Did you have mercy upon a Jew when he pleaded with you? Did you have compassion when he cried and asked you to leave him alone? He told you that it was not his merchandise and that he was likely to lose his livelihood. His boss would also have suspected that he had stolen the merchandise. Why now should anyone have mercy on you? Is that what you deserve?"
Seeing that he was caught red-handed, the driver relented. "Rabbi," he said, "the merchandise that I took is still completely intact. I am willing to return it," said the driver.
"If so," replied the rabbi, "Go quickly and bring it here. Afterwards we will talk about your loss."
The driver hurried home, and immediately returned with the merchandise. The rabbi called in the Jew who was waiting in an adjacent room and asked him to inspect the merchandise to see if there was anything missing. The Jew did so, and discovered that everything had indeed been returned.
Since the rabbi was dealing with a thief, he had to use force to recover the stolen merchandise from him. But our children are not thieves, and therefore they should not be forced to do anything against their wills. Rather we must train them through gentle persuasion, and by setting a good example.
One year before Pesach, Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisels, the Rabbi of Lodz, made great efforts to arrange for the twelve thousand Jewish soldiers who were camping near the city to be allowed time off so that they would be able celebrate the seder night. On erev Pesach, Rabbi Meisels discovered, to his dismay, that only ten thousand of the soldiers had been given leave, while the other two thousand remained in the army camp where they would be unable to have a seder.
The Rabbi decided that he would neither start his own seder, nor even enter his house, before he had made one last attempt to free the other two thousand soldiers. He tried to find out the address of the commanding general, but he received only the following information: that the general was in a closed army camp which no civilian was allowed to enter.
The Rabbi asked of one of the city's elders to accompany him, and together they went to the army camp. When they arrived, they saw that it was entirely fenced off. Having no other choice, the Rabbi jumped over the fence. A military guard immediately approached to apprehend him. To his surprise, he found that the intruder was an elderly gentleman dressed in Rabbi's garb and was also wearing medals that he had received from the Russian king. The Rabbi told him that he had come to try to get leave for the two thousand Jewish soldiers who were still in the camp. The guard went to notify the general, who allowed the Rabbi in to see him.
The general asked, "How did you dare to enter a closed camp?
The Rabbi burst Into tears and told the general how the plight of the two thousand soldiers who had not been freed had not left him any peace of mind. The general was very impressed by the kind heart and the devotion of the Rabbi, and gave orders to immediately let out the two thousand soldiers still in the camp. Only then did the Rabbi return home and begin his own seder, a four o'clock in the morning!
Brzezinski, Avraham Yehudah. Rabi Eliyahu Hayim Maizel, ha-Rav be-Lodz zal: toldotav, tekhunatoav, pe'ulotav ve-tsidokotav. Tel Aviv: A. Y. Brzezinski, 1955 or 1956. (in Hebrew; biography of Rabbi Eliasz Chaim Majzel, 1821-1912, main rabbi of Lodz for nearly 40 years)
LC Call No.: BM755.M395B79 1955
Lodz, Poland, 1912: The funeral of Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisel,
founder of the Talmud Torah of Lodz (1873) and noted philanthropistBorn in Lomaza in 1882, Eliezer Yitzchok Meisel was raised in the home of his grandfather, Rabbi Eliyahu Chaim Meisel, the Rabbi of Lodz. He studied in the Volozhin Yeshiva, where he excelled, and later married the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Feinstein of Pruzhan.
After an unsuccessful bid, supported by the Lithuanian constituency of Lodz, to become chief rabbi, Meisel distinguished himself as a posek (legal arbiter) in business and marital disputes. Refusing to accept money from the poor, he considered the restoration of harmony between rival parties sufficient reward.
Holocaust Period
With the German occupation of Lodz on Sept. 8, 1939, Meisel was implored by his followers to leave Lodz and settle elsewhere. Thus, he and his only child, Mina, joined the many refugee rabbis who settled in Warsaw, under the belief that it would provide a haven. Meisel became active in the religious affairs of the Committee of Rabbis and participated in the tragic meeting at which the rabbis decided to support the ghetto rebellion. He died on Passover in the flames of the ghetto. A visit to his home is remembered by the martyred poet, Yitzchak Katnelson, in the memoir, Ketavim Acharonim.
Courtesy of:
Simon Wiesenthal Center
Los Angeles, CA 90035

El Rav Eliyahu Chaim Meisels, el Rav de Lodz, juntaba dinero para viudas y huerfanos pobres de su ciudad. Durante uno invierno particularmente crudo, fue a visitar uno de los miembros prominentes de su comunidad, Reb Isaac, un banquero que era ademas el presidente del consejo de la comunidad. Bien abrigado, el Rav Eliyahu se acerco a la mansion del banquero y golpeo en la puerta. El portero que contesto la puerta se asombro al ver al renombrado Rab Meisels afuera esperando en el frio, y por lo tanto le pidio que inmediatamente entrara el hogar donde habria un te caliente esperandolo. El rabino Meisels se rehuso. "No es necesario. Diga por favor al Reb Isaac si quede venir a verme a la puerta." El banquero oyo que el Rav esperaba cerca del portico y se acerco rapidamente a saludarlo vistiendo su bata de cama. A ver al Rabino tomando frio, le dijo: "Rebbe, por favor pase adentro. Tengo la chimenea prendida, y mi mayordomo le preparara un te caliente! No hay necesidad que espere afuera!" "Estoy bien, gracias", el Rav Eliyahu le dijo, quedandose afuera. "No sera largo, y todo lo que necesito de usted lo podemos hablar rapidito aqui mismo. Estoy seguro que usted no tendra inconveniente en quedarse un minutito? De todos modos, por que voy a ensuciar su alfombra con mis botas mojadas de nieve?
El Reb Isaac estaba en un dilema. El frio soplaba en su casa...no queria cerrar la puerta y dejar afuera al Rab Eliyahu, pero este tampoco queria entrar. "Por favor, Rab, yo no se usted, pero yo me congelo", titiritaba de frio el banquero. "No tengo ningun inconveniente si la alfombra se moja, pero por favor entre a casa! Pero el Rabino no se movio, y comenzo a hablar acerca del apuro de algunos los miembros desgraciados de la comunidad. El banquero lo interrumpio: "Por favor, Rebbe, digame en 10 segundos lo que usted necesita de mi y ya, le dare lo que quiera, pero entre porque me congelo. Cuando el banquero dijo esto, el Reb Elya Chaim entro al hogar y dijo: "necesito lenia para 50 familias este invierno". El banquero sonrio. "Ningun problema, yo prometo suministrar la madera. Pero una pregunta: usted sabe que doy tzedaka, por que me hizo espera en el frio de afuera? "Reb Isaac," sonrio Reb Eliyahu Chaim. "Se que usted da mucho, pero queria que por un instante sienta el frio que estos pobres atraviesan, pues le daran una perspectiva diferente si yo le pedia lo mismo junto al calor de su chimenea."
Eliezer Yitshak Maisl (the grandson of R. Eliyahu Hayim Maisl of Lodz) recalled that ... metahistorical
drama, for Maisl: The more the rabbi immersed himself ...
Where can I learn more about Rabbi Eliasz Chaim Majzel? On the page about him it says he was born at Grodko near Vilnius--could that have been Grodno? My grandfather [Jacob Akibovich Maizel] was born at Grodno, and supposedly his grandfather was a chief rabbi someplace (I'm not sure where--whether Grodno, or some other town). Thanks. OGP (above comments are a query, and not for guestbook page)--You've done a great job with your Lodz site. ogp
Olga G. Parker <OGParker@compuserve.com>
En 5608 (1848), alors qu'il avait vingt-quatre ans, le beau-père qui l'avait toujours soutenu mourut.
Il accéda alors à la demande des habitants de sa ville natale de Globocki d'être leur Rav. Il resta six ans vivant dans la pauvreté, et quand un jour les responsables de la communauté se réunirent pour augmenter son maigre salaire, il refusa.
En 5614 (1854), sa situation s'améliora quelque peu puisqu'il fut nommé Rav de la ville de Schaki.
Il y resta aussi six ans, puis devint Rav de la grande ville de Souvalk. A partir de là, il commença à être connu non seulement comme un gaon en Torah, mais aussi comme un responsable communautaire et surtout comme un Tsaddik. Rabbi Eliyahu 'Haïm Maizel, le rav de Lodz, lui demandait de prier pour un malade que D. lui envoie sa guérison. Et quand il fut Rav de la ville de Radom, les 'hassidim qui connaissait sa brûlante crainte du Ciel, voulurent faire de lui un Admor. Finalement, il fut nommé Rav dans la très grande ville de Byalistok, d'où était originaire l'auteur du oneg Yom Tov.
Eliyahu Dov Halperin wrote about him in 1912
Born in Peitrokov in 1866, Joseph Feiner, unlike most of his peers, loved nature and animals. He excelled in traditional Jewish studies and acquired an informal secular education as well. After his marriage, he became a frequent visitor in the home of Rabbi Elya Chaim Meisels of Lodz.
Career and Impact.
Feiner became the Rabbi of the village of Alexander, a large Hassidic center, near Lodz. When Rabbi Meisels reached the age of eighty, he appointed Feiner his chief asisstant. In this capacity, Feiner participated in the arbitration of domestic disputes in rabbinic court, contacted non - Jewish government leaders and interceded on behalf of Jewish soldiers.
Moses b. Mordecai Meisel:

Russian scholar and communal worker; born in Wilna about 1760; died in Hebron, Palestine, after 1838. He was shammash of the community in his native town and was in his younger days one of the followers of Elijah Gaon. Later he joined the ?asidim, but did not participate in the bitter controversies concerning them which disturbed the Polish Jewry in those times. He was a great admirer of Moses Mendelssohn and approved Solomon Dubno's bi'ur of Genesis (1783). There is also an approbation by Meisel of Samuel Gershoni's "Debar Shemuel" (Byelostok, 1814). He left Wilna for Palestine in 1813 and settled in Hebron. Dr. Löwe, who met him there in the summer of 1838, describes him as an old man well acquainted with German literature.
Meisel was the author of "Shirat Mosheh" (Shklov, 1788), a poem on the 613 precepts, each line beginning with a letter from the Ten Commandments. His son Aryeh Löb (d. 1835) was a leader among the ?sidim of Wilna.
Bibliography: Fuenn, ?iryah Ne'emanah, pp. 246-247, 288, Wilna, 1860;
M. A. Ginzburg, Debir, pp. 47-48, Warsaw, 1883.H. R. P. Wi.
Samuel Meisel (the elder):

Nephew of Mordecai Marcus b. Samuel; born in 1585; died in 1630. He was wealthy and prominent in affairs. In 1616 he received an imperial privilege. The printing-press of Abraham Heide (Lemberger) was situated in his house. After Mordecai Meisel's death the settlement of his estate involved his family in a tedious suit with the government, and from the records of this suit is derived the information regarding the members of this family. One of the houses belonging to the estate was awarded, in 1610, to a nephew, Jacob, and his wife, Johanka; and three years later, King Matthias, successor of Rudolf II., gave the remaining real estate to another nephew, Samuel Meisel (the younger; d. 1625), son of Simon. The Meisel synagogue and other property were awarded to the Jewish community. As the state had confiscated all the money (more than 500,000 gulden) and most of the real estate, the family sued the community for the income from the synagogue, the baths, institutional buildings, etc., amounting to 800 florins a year. The rabbinate thereupon excommunicated the entirely impoverished family (c. 1670), and this led to indescribable persecutions and scandals. Decent burial was refused to Marek, son of the younger Samuel Meisel, in 1674, and the funeral cortège was insulted. His daughter was attacked in her house by the mob, and the family had to pay large sums in order to secure honorable burial for the heir Joachim Meisel. It did not appear until the final verdict rendered in this suit by the magistrate of Prague Sept. 13, 1684, that through the machinations of the notorious apostate Philipp Lang, chamberlain to the emperor until 1608, the record of Meisel's privileges had been secretly stricken from the official register in 1601, on the ground of their having been obtained by fraud, and that the sums subsequently paid to the widow and to the heirs, and the two houses given them, were alleged to have been merely gifts. The heirs, naturally, were not satisfied with this decision; but the great fire in the ghetto of Prague, in 1689, which destroyed the Meisel synagogue and the other buildings of the estate, terminated the controversy. The family flourished at Prague down to modern times; and branches of it are found at Warsaw, Budapest, Breslau, and Berlin.
Bibliography: A. Kisch, Das Testament Mardochai Meysels;
Lieben, Gal 'Ed;
Benedikt Foges, Altertümer der Prager Josefstadt.D. A. Ki.
Wolf Alois Meisel:

Hungarian rabbi; born at Roth-Janowitz July 16, 1815; died at Budapest Nov. 30, 1867. Owing to his father's conversion to Christianity, the family relations were so inharmonious that he reached the age of seventeen before he was able to begin definite preparation for the future. In 1832 he went to Hamburg, where he applied himself to the study of the Talmud and graduatedfrom the gymnasium. He entered the University of Breslau in 1838, where he continued his study of the Talmud and attended lectures on rhetoric. In 1848 he was called to the rabbinate of Stettin, and on May 11, 1859, to that of Budapest. Here he was in constant conflict with his congregation owing to the state of transition, both in religion and in politics, through which the Hungarian Jews passed during his administration. His "Homilien über die Sprüche der Väter" (Stettin, 1851; Hungarian transl. by Bauer Márkfi Lörincz, Budapest, 1862) are models of Jewish pulpit-literature. His "Prinz und Derwisch," poems (Stettin, 1847; 2d ed., Budapest, 1860), and "Der Prüfstein," poems (published posthumously by the Meisel-Wohlthätigkeitsverein, Budapest, 1878), are translations. He died suddenly while preaching a sermon, which Simon Bacher and his son Wilhelm Bacher published in German and Hebrew under the title "Die Brunnen Isaak's" (ib. 1867).
Bibliography: Kayserling, W. A. Meisel;
ein Lebens- und Zeitbild, Leipsic, 1891;
Venetianer, A Zsidóság Szervezete, pp. 496 et seq.;
Büchler, A Zsidók Torténete, pp. 479 et seq.;
Pallas Lex.;
Hochmuth, Leopold Löw, pp. 208 et seq., Leipsic, 1871.S. L. V.
MEISEL: (print this article)

By : Gotthard Deutsch Alexander Kisch Joseph Jacobs M. Seligsohn Herman Rosenthal Peter Wiernik Isidore Singer Ludwig Venetianer
Frummet Meisel:
Judah Löb ben Sim?ah Bonim Meisel:
Mordecai Marcus Meisel (Mi_ka Marek in Bohemian documents):
His Benefactions.
Moses b. Mordecai Meisel:
Samuel Meisel (the elder):
Wolf Alois Meisel:
Bohemian family which became famous chiefly through Mordecai Marcus b. Samuel Meisel, "primate" of Prague. The family seems to have come originally from Cracow, to whose community Mordecai Meisel bequeathed large sums for charitable purposes; and there, toward the end of the sixteenth century, the printer Menahem Nahum b. Moses Meisel flourished. As early as 1477, however, the name of "Meisel" is mentioned in documents relating to Prague (Lieben, "Gal 'Ed," p. 15).Frummet Meisel: Second wife of Mordecai Meisel; died Sheba? 23, 1625. She contributed with her husband to the building of the Meisel synagogue, and some of the gifts which they presented on the occasion of its dedication (see Mordecai Marcus Meisel) are still exhibited on the anniversary of her death. On her tombstone she is described as a woman distinguished for piety and morality. It is furthermore stated that every synagogue of Prague possessed votive offerings of hers, the most noteworthy gift being a golden cup weighing 100 crowns; that she supported scholars liberally; and that she was hospitable and very philanthropic. David Gans likewise praised her noble character and her fidelity to her husband. It seems strange, then, to read in the "'Eme? ha-Baka" (ed. Wiener, p. 141), that she objected so strongly to the last will and testament of Mordecai Meisel that he divorced her while helay dying. Although this statement has been often questioned, there must be some truth in it, for on her gravestone she is designated as the daughter of the famous elder Isaac Rofe (Lékarz), not as Meisel's wife.
Bibliography: Foges, Altertümer der Prager Josefstadt, Prague, 1882;
Lieben, Gal 'Ed, ib. 1856;
A. Kisch, Das Testament Mardochai Meysels, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1893.D. A. Ki.Judah Löb ben Sim?ah Bonim Meisel: Printer and author at Cracow in the seventeenth century. Meisel reopened, in 1663, the printing establishment of his father-in-law, Nahum Meisel, and continued it until 1670. The first work printed by him was Jacob Weil's "She?i?ot u-Bedi?ot"; the last one, the Eben ha-'Ezer and ?oshen ha-Mishpa? of the Shul?an 'Aruk. Meisel was the author of a work entitled "?a'ame ha-Massoret," a commentary on the Masorah, at the end of which there are some novellæ on the Talmud (Amsterdam, 1728).
Bibliography: Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1373, 2986;
M. Zunz, 'Ir ha-?ede?, Supplement, p. 34, note.J. M. Sel.Mordecai Marcus Meisel (Mi_ka Marek in Bohemian documents): Philanthropist and communal leader at Prague; son of Samuel Meisel; born at Prague 1528; died there March 13, 1601. The persecution of the Jews of Prague by the fanatical Ferdinand I. occurred while Mordecai was a youth. In 1542 and 1561 his family, with the other Jewish inhabitants, was forced to leave the city, though only for a time. The source of the great wealth which subsequently enabled him to become the benefactor of his coreligionists and to aid the Austrian imperial house, especially during the Turkish wars, is unknown. He is mentioned in documents for the first time in 1569, as having business relations with the communal director Isaac Rofe (Lékarz), subsequently his father-in-law. His first wife, Eva, who died before 1580, built with him the Jewish town-hall at Prague, which is still standing, as well as the neighboring Hohe Synagoge, where the Jewish court sat. With his second wife, Frummet, he built (1590-92) the Meisel synagogue, which was much admired by the Jews of the time, being, next to the Altneusynagoge, the metropolitan synagogue of the city; it still bears his name. The costly golden and silver vessels with which he and his wife furnished this building either were lost during the lawsuit over his estate or were burned during the conflagrations in the ghetto in 1689 (June 21) and 1754 (May 16). The only gifts dedicated by Meisel and his wife to this synagogue that have been preserved are a curtain ("paroket") embroidered with hundreds of pearls, a similarly adorned wrapper for the scroll of the Law, and a magnificent bronze ornament for the almemar. Jacob Segre, rabbi of Casale-Monferrato, celebrated the dedication of the synagogue in a poem which is still extant, and his contemporary David Gans, the chronicler of Prague, has described in his "?ema? Dawid" the enthusiasm with which the Jewish population received the gift.
(see image) Tombstone of Mordecai Meisel at Prague.(From Jerabék, "Der Alte Prager Judenfriedhof.")His Benefactions.Meisel enlarged the old Jewish cemetery of Prague by purchasing adjoining uncultivated land, on which he erected a house for washing the dead, a mi?weh, a bet ha-midrash, a Klaus, and a hospital (still in existence). He spent much money also in ransoming Jewish prisoners; paved the ghetto ofPrague, which had been much enlarged at that time; often provided clothing, of a uniform pattern, for all the poor of his community; presented large dowries every year at ?anukkah to two poor brides chosen by lot; lent large sums without interest to needy merchants; and provided for the widows and orphans of the community. He presented costly synagogal vessels and adornments to other communities, including those of Cracow, Posen, and Jerusalem. He presented and loaned altogether the sum of 20,000 thalers to the community of Posen when it was burned out June 11, 1590; gave generously to Christian philanthropies, contributing a considerable amount toward the completion of the Church of the Savior; and repeatedly lent large sums to the empress as well as to the emperor, being rewarded with considerable privileges, many of which affected the Meisel synagogue. This synagogue had a standard with an escutcheon; it might not be entered by any officer of the law; it was exempt from taxation for all time. Although Meisel had no children, the emperor granted him the right to dispose of his estate; but after his death the heirs were involved in difficulties as a result of this privilege. He had the right also to mint shekels for ritual purposes ("pidyon ha-ben" and "ma?a?it ha-she?el"), and one of these coins, dated 1584, is still in existence.Meisel's last will and testament, which he drew up in the presence of Chief Rabbi Löw (Judah Löw b. Bezaleel), the communal director Joachim Brandeis, and Meïr Epstein, leaving his estate to his two nephews, Samuel the Elder and Samuel the Younger, is still extant in manuscript. He was interred with the highest honors. Immediately after his burial the Bohemian treasury, at the instance of the emperor, confiscated his estate, consisting of 516,250 gulden in money together with many houses. Whatever was found was carried off; one of the chief heirs was tortured into revealing the hiding-place of what had been concealed, which also was claimed. Meisel's wealth and philanthropy have become proverbial among the Jews, and many anecdotes are connected with his name.
Bibliography: Lieben, Gal 'Ed;
Foges, Altertümer der Prager Josefstadt;
Hock-Kaufmann, Die Familien Prags, Presburg, 1892;
A. Kisch, Das Testament Mardochai Meysels;
idem, Das Meiselbanner in Prag, Prague, 1901.D. A. Ki.
Manifest for Finland
Sailing from Antwerp March 01, 1904
0026. Meisel, Israel M 34y M Russia, Hebrew Horodok
going to brother ; Leib Meisel 4575 Eastford? Street,
025.Schulmann, Meische M 32y Married Russia, Hebrew painter Horodok going to brother in law; Leib Meisel 4575 Eastford? Street, Brooklyn
Meisel, Sore Leie F 17y S dress maker Russia, Hebrew Krasne going to uncle Epstein in New York
Waganschmi..., Izik M 30y M Russia, Hebrew Riken
0028. Fischbein, Heiser Leib M 31y M Russia, Hebrew carpenter Rikew
0029. Woloszynski, Moische M 26y S Russia, Hebrew Oschmerna tailor
November 29, 1905
Manifest for Statendam
Sailing from Rotterdam
Meisel, Dobe F 50 yr W Russia, Hebrew Haradok
With daughter in law; Meisel, Sossie F 20 yr Married Russia, Hebrew Haradok
0018. Meisel, Ytrek M 9 yr S Russia, Hebrew Haradok
0019. Meisel, Grisne F 11 mo S Russia, Hebrew Haradok
going to Dobe's son ; Yisrael Meiselis erased and another ? Meisel is there on 406 Leonard Street in Brooklyn
going to Sosie husband; Yisrael Meisel in 201 Siegel? Street Brooklyn, New York. with the two children.
Manifest for Finland
Sailing from Antwerp May 24, 1904
Meiser, Fsser M 43 Years old Married Russia, Hebrew from Goradak
carpenter going to son; H. Meisel 4861 Leonard Street Brooklyn
Sagalowitz, Fzak M 32 Y M Russia, Hebrew Gorodok going to brother in New York
0017. Ladowsky, Rivke F 36 Y M Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0018. Ladowsky, Feige F 11 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0019. Ladowsky, Fukem M 9 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0020. Ladowsky, Chana F 7 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0021. Ladowsky, Leizer M 5 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0022. Ladowsky, Feutel F 3 Y S Russia, Hebrew
0023. Ladowsky, Faukel F 6 M S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0024. Ladowsky, Perl F 29 Y M Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0025. Ladowsky, Schinuel M 9 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0026. Ladowsky, Morische M 7 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
0027. Ladowsky, Lore F 4 Y S Russia, Hebrew Gorodok
going to husband and father Ladowsky on Chanal Street in New York
Moshe Baran.
Moshe was born in 1919 in Horodok to Ester nee Weisbord from Volozhin (born in 1902 and Yosef Baran who was so born in Horodok 1890 (His grandfather; Avraham Pinchas was born in Oshmina grandmother; Riva Risha). Moshe's parents met when his father attended the Volozhin Yeshiva and he had a "Keset" (room and board) at the house of of the Weisbord family in Volozhin.
Ester nee Weisbord had four sisters;
2. Shoshke married Yisrael Mayzel and lived in Horodok. At one point they immigrated to the U. S and some of their children were born there. The family returned to Horodok were the mother died. some of their children went to Cuba and in 1950 went to Luisiana.the rest of the family perished in Horodok