Seeking Information on Rabbi Amram b. Yitzchak Yakov BLUM #general
In the course of researching my BLUM family >from Gebe, Hungary (present day
Nyirkata), I'm seeking to clarify the locations associated with Rabbi Amram b.
Yitzchak Yakov BLUM (1834 - 1907), his siblings and ancestors. I'm hoping that
some of the readers of this posting to Rav-SIG, H-SIG, Rom-SIG and JewishGen
(please forgive the cross-posting) will be able to assist.
The published sources that I've been able to consult--Magyar Zsido Lexicon, as
well as various online family trees--have Rabbi Amram's place of birth as
Samson, Hungary (present day Hajdusamson). His father Yitzchak Yakov is also
referred to as the 'Shamshon Rav' and the Pinkas Hakehillot entry for
Hajdusamson (http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/pinkas_hungary/hun270.html) states
that he was a Rabbi there but doesn't provide specifics. The Zsido Mult website
[MOD.NOTE: shortened URL - http://goo.gl/beSJPF ]
states that he served there until his death in 1851, but since I don't know
Hungarian it's unclear to me when he started; however, the information at this
website (http://www.virtualjudaica.com/Item/19407/Responsa_Maharaf) about Rabbi
Aharon FRIED states that he served as the rabbi of Hajdusamson >from 1844 - 1860.
There is a Karoly Fried listed in Samson in the 1848 Census, but no details fit
other than his birth year.
The research that I've been able to conduct in the primary sources indexed in
the JewishGen Hungary database state that Rabbi Amram (secular name Abraham),
his brother Rabbi Moshe (Moricz) and sister Hava (Eva) were all born in
Nagykaroly (present day Carei, Romania)--see the 1869 Hungarian Census entry for
Mad, Hungary. Additionally, the Encyclopedia Judaica entry for Amram states that
"He studied under his father, who was head of the bet din in Nagykaroly, and
later in the seminaries of Nagykaroly [under Rabbi Meir Perles], and of Abraham
Samuel Benjamin Sofer, rabbi of Pressburg."
I'm new to rabbinic genealogy, but I'm surprised that there isn't more
information readily available about Amram's father if he indeed was ABD of
Nagykaroly which was an important town at that time and one of the oldest Jewish
communities in Hungary / Transylvania. In addition to the 1869 Census entry, I
believe I can substantiate that the family was in Nagykaroly starting in at
least the 1820s as I found an entry for Yitzchak Yakov's father Levi BLUM in the
1828 Hungarian Property Tax Census.
According to Yitzchak Yakov's family tree on Geni, his first marriage was to a
STERNBERG who I believe was Rabbi Bernard (Dov Ber) STERNBERG's daughter and
whose other daughter married Rabbi Shimon SOFER (son of Chatam Sofer). His
second marriage was to Miriam ROSENBAUM, daughter of Rabbi Amram Chassida
ROSENBAUM. My limited understanding of rabbinical marriages leads me to believe
that Yitzchak Yakov must have been a fairly well-known and respected rabbi in
his time to have merited matches with other prominent families, and would align
with him being ABD Nagykaroly.
Other than the Encyclopedia Judaica entry though, I can find no other mention of
Yitzchak Yakov as a rabbi in Nagykaroly. According to the timeline I've been
able to piece together >from various sources, Rabbi Moshe Aryeh b. Mayer Yehuda
OSTREICHER served >from 1774 to his death in 1820, followed by Rabbi Isaac b.
Asher Uri Lippmann FRANKEL >from 1820 to his death in 1834, followed by Rabbi
Meir b. Isaac Moses PERLES >from 1834 to his death in 1893. However, the book
"Wine and Thorns in the Tokay Valley..." states that Rabbi FRANKEL died on
October 10, 1825 which I would tend to believe since it appears to be well-
sourced. That discrepancy could align with Rabbi BLUM serving at that time, or
perhaps others were considered the chief rabbi while he was ABD?
So, the association with Nagykaroly seems to be well established. What I'm
trying to clarify is the association with Hajdusamson, particularly in the late
1700s and early 1800s. The later association (i.e. after 1850) seems to be more
clear, either with Yitzchak Yakov dying there and/or Amram serving there in his
early career. Amram's son-in-law Rabbi Yosef Zvi SOFER served there as did his
son-in-law Rabbi Gavriel (Gabor) ILLIOVICS.
The key seems to be finding more information about Yitzhak Yakov and his father
Levi / Lebi. I wonder whether his father was a rabbi, or if not clearly was
wealthy enough to have owned property in Nagykaroly. I'm hoping that some
subscribers will have access to other sources (e.g. Hakhme Hungaryah and Hakhme
Transilvanyah by Yitshak Yosef Kohen, Toledot Geonei Hagar and Shem ha-Gedolim
me-Erets Hagar by Schwartz, or Rabbi Blum's own works) that may have more
information on them.
I speculate, but hope to more definitively establish, that Yitzchak Yakov was
born in Hajdusamson and possibly his father Levi as well. Unfortunately, I've
been unable to locate them in the 1848 Hungarian Jewish Census records that have
been indexed in the JewishGen Hungary database which could have provided the
birthplace. Although there are no fixed surnames, there are likely candidates
in the early 1770 census indexes due to the given names and frequency of those
names in later BLUM family records.
My apologies for the long note, but I tried to make it as succinct as possible
while including all the information I've found.
WOROSHILSKY - Bialystok area, Poland; GOLDBERG, KATZ - Dabrowa Bialostocka, Poland
ZLOTNIK, RZEZNIK - Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki, Zakroczym, and Nasielsk, Poland
SCHAPIRA - Jagielnica and Horodenka, Ukraine
BLUMENTHAL, KANTOR - Borshchiv, Husiatyn and Horodenka, Ukraine
BLUM, KATZ, MARTON, LIEBERMANN, ELKOVITS, VAISZ, SAMUEL - Salaj, Satu Mare, and
Maramures Counties, Romania