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Taubes Family

Rabbinic family. Originally from Galicia, many members of the Taubes family moved, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, to Romania. Taubes men filled rabbinic posts in various communities in Romania, chief of which was Iaşi in Moldavia, where members of the family occupied the rabbinate of that city from 1852 until World War II.

The dynasty began with Aharon Mosheh Taubes (1787–1852), who was born in Lwów and served as rabbi in Śniatyn, Galicia, from 1820 to 1842. During the 1830s, he was a candidate for the position of rabbi in two Hungarian cities, but in the end, he accepted an invitation to serve as co-rabbi in Iaşi, alongside the more senior rabbi Yosef Landau. The first years of their joint tenure were marked by friction over halakhic issues. Eventually, however, relations improved, and they even married off their children to each other.

Aharon Mosheh was known as an outstanding rabbinic authority in Galicia, Hungary, and Romania, even though his responsa, To‘afot re’em, were published only posthumously (1855). Many of his descendants also filled rabbinic posts in Romania. His sons Ya‘akov (1812–1890) and Shemu’el Shmelke (1808–1866) succeeded their father in Iaşi, and another son, Yeḥi’el Mikhl (1815–1878), served as rabbi in Vaslui. Aharon Mosheh’s grandson Uri Shraga Feivel became rabbi of Iaşi (1866–1908), as did his great-grandson Shemu’el Shmelke (1908–1926). Other grandsons held rabbinic posts in Bârlad, Bucharest, Focşani, Botoşani, and elsewhere.

One of the descendants of the family, (Ḥayim) Tsevi (Zwi) Taubes (1900–1966), was ordained at the rabbinical seminary of Vienna, and at the same time completed his academic studies. He served as rabbi in Czechoslovakia and Vienna, and from 1936 was the chief rabbi of Zurich. He also headed the Mizraḥi movement in Switzerland and wrote several scholarly treatises. Another member of the family, Leybl Taubes (1863–1933), was one of the earliest Zionist activists in Galicia and Bucovina. In the 1890s, he had a hand in establishing several Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals and published a study of Talmudic terms in the Yiddish language (1928).

Suggested Reading

Gershom Bader, Medinah va-ḥakhameha (New York, 1934), pp. 108–109, 149–150); Ḥayyim Nathan Dembitzer, Kelilat yofi, vol. 1, pp. 191–192 (1888; rpt., Jerusalem, 1988/89); Natan Michael Gelber, Toldot ha-tenu‘ah ha-tsiyonit be-Galitsyah, vol. 1 (Jerusalem, 1958), p. 270; Yitsḥak Yosef Kohen, Mekorot ve-korot (Jerusalem, 1982), pp. 463–500; Me’ir Vunder, “Toibes,” in Me’ore Galitsyah: Entsiklopedyah le-ḥakhme Galitsyah, vol. 3, cols. 47–70 (Jerusalem, 1986), see esp. family tree, cols. 49–50.



Translated from Hebrew by David Strauss