Rabbi Meir ben Gedaliah – The Av Beit Din of Lublin

Rabbi Meir of Lublin, known as the Maharam (“Our Teacher Rabbi Meir”), was among the greatest Poskim of his generation. Born to Rabbi Gedaliah of Lublin in the year 5318, the Maharam studied Torah in his youth with the Rosh Yeshiva of Krakow, Rabbi Yitzchak Hacohen Shapira Zatzal, who later became his father-in-law. The Maharam greatly elevated himself in Torah and Halachah, and as early as 5342, being just 24 years old, he was named as the Rosh Yeshiva of Lublin. In 5347 he was named as the Rav of Krakow, and around 5355 he traveled to Lemberg and headed its large yeshivot. In fact hundreds of young men learned their Torah from him. Finally in 5373 he returned to Lublin, where he served as its Rav and Av Beit Din until his dying day. The name of the city has since become attached to his own (“the Maharam of Lublin”). People sent him questions from all corners of the country, and he graciously answered them all. He made many disciples, including individuals who became great Torah figures in their own right, men such as the Shelah and the Megale Amukot. The Maharam wrote many books, some of which were printed while others were not. Among his works are Maor HaGadol, Maor HaKatan, Ner Mitzvah on the Smag, Torah Ohr, and Ohr Shivat HaYamim. His greatest work, entitled Meir Einai Chachamim, consists of his explanations and commentaries on the entire Talmud. It is printed after the gemarot themselves, right next to the Maharsha’s commentary. Today many scholars still use his commentary, a work that is truly faithful to its name, for it enlightens the eyes of scholars in its explanation of the Gemara.

On Iyar 16, 5376, the Maharam’s soul departed for the celestial academy, and his body was laid to rest in the old cemetery of Lublin. May the memory of the tzaddik be blessed.





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