The BRANDEIS family of Jung Bunzlau: Powidl and Purim, 1731 #austria-czech


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

I was researching various foods specifically
associated with the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. One
of my favourites is powidl - a highly condensed plum
jam - which I could eat by the spoonful.

I came across the legend of David BRANDEIS of Jung
Bunzlau [Mlada Boleslav] and the Powidl {Plum Jam}
Purim. In 1731, David BRANDEIS owned a grocery shop in
the Konigliche Stadt Jung Bunzlau. On the 4th of
Shevat, a Christian girl purchased powidl >from his
store. Some of her family ate the jam and fell ill.
Worse was to come. Her father died within a few days.
The Burgermeister of Jung Bunzlau ordered the store to
be closed. David, his wife and son were imprisoned for
selling poisoned food to Christians. However, it was
then conclusively proved that the cause of the man's
death was tuberculosis.

David BRANDEIS and his family were released from
prison. BRANDEIS recorded the events in a Scroll
{megillah} - the "Shir HaMa’alot l’David". He declared
that a holiday was to be celebrated each year on the
10th of Adar – Purim Povidl or the Plum Jam Purim.

Armed with the Jewish census of Jung Bunzlau of 1793,
I identified only four BRANDEIS in the Bunzlauer Kreis
- and all four lived in Jung Bunzlau!

There were only two family households:

Veit BRANDEIS - a widower, a wool wholesaler. And
guess what - his first-born son was called David - he
was married to Ewa and had a son Marcus and daughter,
Amalia.

In the same house, lived Low BRANDEIS - a feather,
wood and linen dealer - with his wife Barbara and
family. His first born - yes you've guessed it - was
called David, the second born Isak and two daughters
Maria and Rebeka.

These two BRANDEIS families shared their house with a
widow, Sara BRANDEIS and her daughter Rosel.

Finally, Sibila BRANDEIS was one of four servants to
Salomon NEUSTADEL, who was obviously, a wealthy wool
wholesaler and also dealt in general goods.

The relationship between these BRANDEIS families is
not revealed but I suspect they are all descendants
of the "famous David".

I am therefore delighted to have, perhaps for the
first time, used the 1793 Jewish census of Bohemia to
confirm a traditional Purim Legend of Bohemia, and to
present the results on our SIG in time for Purim 2005.

I hope one of our keen Prague genealogists will take
up the challenge and link up these families for us.

Celia Male [UK]

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