Re: Italian origins of Bohemian Jewry #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

How's this for serendipity ... looking at a totally unrelated matter
[identification of viewmate portraits in today's General Discussion Group] led
me to this website:

re the Fischer>Phoebus name change: Eliezer ben Uri Shraga Phoebus, a leader of
the Vienna Jewish community and a member of the Halfanus/Chalfan-Kalonymos
family of Italy. The Kalonymos family was one major branch of the Shaltiel
family ...... His son was the leader of a Prague yeshivah, Rabbi Uri Shraga
Phoebus (circa 1640-1707).

Michael Bernet in 2002 {see message archives] had written about the migration
of this KALONYMUS family >from Italy to Germany: Kalonymos, Greek for the Hebrew
ShemTov (good name or good reputation), is named after the family of rabbis and
composers of liturgical poetry who moved >from Lucca (Italy) around 800CE to
Mainz (Mayence, Magentza) and >from there .......

And we have forgotten one other very important link between Italy, Vienna,
Cracow and Prague, namely that Italian Jews were in the forefront of printing
in the 16th century. Ferrara already had a Hebrew printing press in the 15th

..... the Hebrew press of Basel received new light in the advent >from Italy of
Israel b. Daniel Sifroni, one of those wandering master workmen who, like
Soncino and Schwartz, characterized the early history of Hebrew printing.

And there is probably another important commercial link - olive oil, but I have
not looked into that.

So wandering traders, wandering printers and wandering cattle drovers, silk
merchants, rabbis, scholars, sought-after doctors and probably musicians too
were all very likely to have moved north >from Italy to other Jewish centres. We
only hear of the very famous ones, but there must have been many others who
have not made it into the literature and the internet!

Celia Male [U.K.]

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