Seeking Information on Rabbi Amram b. Yitzchak Yakov BLUM #hungary


Aaron Slotnik
 

Hello,

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 (http://hajdu.zsidomult.hu/index.php/elveszett-koezoessegek/koezponti-jaras/hajdusamson) 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.


Regards,
Aaron Slotnik
Chicago, IL


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