The Kalonymus Family #rabbinic
On 2003.09.21, Yisrael Asper <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
The Kalonymus family certainly was a Levite family and it was onThe Kalonymus family were not Levites. None of the many Piyutim
signed by various members of the family include "HaLevi." So the
MaHaRSHa and TaZ descent is in doubt or through a female link to
Petah Tikvah, Israel
David Bursztyn <david_bursztyn@...>
On 2003.09.22, Chaim Freedman <email@example.com> wrote:
The Kalonymus family were not Levites.Not that this confirms the Kalonymus paternal descent >from King
David, but it is inconsistent to claim that they were also Levites.
King David was a member of the tribe of Yehuda.
Scott Rosenberg <sdavidr@...>
On 2003.09.23, under the subject title "Facts and Legend," Neil
Rosenstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote (in part):
. . . Even the famous epitaph ofWhy? Probably for the same reason many Levi'im aren't noted as such
on their tombstones. Levitical membership has no serious religious
import today. Except for being honored with the second aliya to the
Torah (after the first, given to a Cohen) and the ceremonial washing
of the Cohanim's hands on festivals, Levitical status did not impact
daily life. A Cohen on the other hand is restricted in whom he could
marry, was not able to attend funerals, take part in the Chevra
Kadisha (burial society), serve as a doctor, and other restrictions.
He also blesses the congregation on festivals, is honored with the
first aliya at all Torah readings (as noted above), the leading of
Grace After Meals, and is given priority in many other community
honors and functions. In short, it is a much larger communal role
that *requires* documentation.
Searching: SOSNITZER, LITVIN/LITWIN (all spellings), LEVITAN (all
spellings), Bobroisk and Smorgon, Belarus; Brody and Sosnitza, Ukraine.
GLICKMAN/GLECKMAN (or other spellings) Vitebsk, Smorgon and Minsk,
Belarus; and Minnesota, Seattle, Washington and Chicago, Illinois, USA;
and Argentina; YAFFEY, KAPLITZ/KOPLITZ/CAPLITZ (or other spellings) and,
SHARP, SHART, SHARF, SHARFSKY , Pogir, Pogiary, Kovno and Vilna.
Yisrael Asper <yisraelasper@...>
On 2003.09.22, David Bursztyn <email@example.com> wrote:
Not that this confirms the Kalonymus paternal descent >from KingIn pointing out absences of references to Levitical status for the
Kalonymus family, Chaim Freedman and Neil Rosenstein pose a
challenge is quite powerful to say the least. A powerful argument on
behalf of them being Leviyim, though, is lack of motivation to claim
such a thing. If you are making up a claim to Davidic descent, you
would likely claim it through a male line, making you a member of
the royal family in the fullest sense of the word.
Hillel's family line went through in the male line, many say, to the
tribe of Binyamin, which then would foreclose a male line claim to
If you come >from a family of Kohanim or Leviyim (the only important
categories left to pass down) if you were making up a claim to
Davidic descent, you would be expected to put it on people who were
not Kohanim or Leviyim in your ancestry. Instead being filled with
pride, you would likely claim illustriousness for your Kohanic and
Levitic descent. And if you were to make up Kohanim and Leviyim
ancestors, you would likely pick real ones like even Eli and
Pinchas, and Moshe even, who were actually claimed as ancestors.
There's more than one illustrious and even less illustrious Biblical
characters like Yonah and Korach that have been claimed as
ancestors. But with no practical reason to pass down ancestral
knowledge aside >from whether you are a Kohen, a Levi and at one time
a member of the House of David, oral tradition needs an even bigger
But all of these are possibilities which do not as readily prove
anything as ready-made facts. The fact is that just like any Levi,
the MaHaRSHa is called a Levi. Look at a Talmud's listing of it's
commentaries and you'll see. You can't turn history upside down for
him as far as this anymore than for anyone else who is a Levi.
Starting with the MaHaRSHa being a Levi, then you see if he was in
the male line a Kalonymus. If he was you've got some interesting
history on customs of listings on tombstones.
In the past I heard about a claim that the Kalonymus family was
descended >from King David but not knowing a basis had it go in one
ear and out the other until Larry Tauber's RavSig message.
On 2003.09.22, under the subject title "Facts and Legend," Neil
Rosenstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote (in part):
That same day, Scott Rosenberg <email@example.com> responded:. . . Even the famous epitaph of
Why? Probably for the same reason many Levi'im >aren't noted as suchThe key word which contradicts Scott's claim is "today." Even if
his claim that there is no significance today were true (quite
incorrect, at least on Orthodox tombstones) it has no relevance to
the period of the Kalonymides or any other medieval families whose
tombstones certainly bore the title "HaLevy" if it was justified.
Petah Tikvah, Israel
Larry Tauber <Ltauber@...>
Even if the Kalonymides were not Leviim, this would not necessarily
mean they could not be ancestors of the MaHaRSHa (who was a Levi)
and his relative the TaZ (also a Levi), at least according to Paul
Jacobi who in his researches stated that their descent >from the
Kalonymide family was through a maternal line.
Chava Agmon <havahug@...>
On 2003.09.24, Larry Tauber <Ltauber@ctswlaw.com> wrote:
Even if the Kalonymides were not Leviim, this would not necessarilyGreetings to Larry.
In order to further confirm what Paul Jacoby z"l wrote (Revised
edition October 1988) about the descent of the Kalonymides through
a maternal line, I am quoting the following: Under the title
"Tradition of descent >from the Kalonymedes family"
"Further evidence will be required for holding as "historically
established" (inverted commas in the original) the (Caro) family
tradition, that the wife of its said (protohistoric) ancestor
R' Joseph II Kara b. Shimon I - Kara was Daughter b. R' Kalonymus
haSaken Kalonymides and that, consequently, through her the Karas
could claim descent >from Aschkenasi Jewry's founding family, the
KALONYMIDES, >from whom also RASCHI's mother descended ......
unfortunately, the present writer was unsuccessful in his search
after evidence of R. Joseph II - Kara having indeed been the a
"son-in-law" (inverted commas in the original) of R. Kalonymus
ha-Saken, though he is well documented as "disciple" (inverted
commas in the original) of another Kalonymides; i.e., of
R. Kalonymus X b. Shabtai mi Roma (1030-1096)"
Shalom and Shana Tova
Caro Family Research
Tel Aviv, Israel
On 2003.09.24, Larry Tauber <Ltauber@ctswlaw.com> writes:
Even if the Kalonymides were not Leviim, this would not necessarilyIndeed, a major point. Given the admissibility of maternal descent
and the original tiny population of Ashkenazim and the many
generations of their successors (ken yirbu!), every one of us can
plausibly claim descent >from our original "Mayblumen" and their
For someone today to claim descent >from Rashi or King David, is not
a proof of their ancestral scholarship or regality, but of their
indefatigable devotion to ancestral research, and to their unabashed
Michael Bernet, New York
Descendant of Hanniba`al, Yehuda haNasi and Noach