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Iyar 19

Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Meir of Rotenburg (1215-1293), a great Talmudic commentator and leader of German Jewry, known by the acronym Maharam. When leaving Germany, Rabbi Rotenburg was arrested on false charges, and a huge ransom was imposed for his release. The money was raised, but he forbade it to be paid, on the grounds that it would encourage further hostage-taking of Jewish leaders. At great personal sacrifice, he preferred to remain in prison, in order to save many others from a similar fate. He died in captivity seven years later, however his body was not surrendered for another 14 years, when a Jew named Alexander Suskind gave away most of his fortune to ransom the body -- on condition that he would later have the honor of being buried alongside Rabbi Rotenburg.

Article 228 of 356 in the series Day in Jewish History

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