1740 - 1813 (73 years)
||Mordechai (Marcus) Jaffe |
||4 Aug 1740
||Mordecai's father, Eliezer (1704-1747), originally from Breslau came Berlin, Germany at about 1730. He was one of the 120 householders who at that time were permitted to reside in Berlin, Germany, engage in commerce or own stores. At the same time they were continuously exploited and various taxes were imposed on them. Eliezer was prosperous already in his early years became active in Jewish communal affairs as an administrator of the Berlin, Germany Congregation, heading its Talmud Torah for many years. He also promoted the printing of Salomo Hanau's work: Zohar ha-Tevah (1733). He died only 42 years old and left a widow, Machla who remarried, and 5 sons and 3 daughters. |
Mordecai (Marcus) Jaffe, one of the sons, was then 6 years old. He was brought up by his stepfather Simon Salomon (Simon Heildesheim). A wealthy Jew from Berlin, Germany sponsored the studies of the very gifted and handsom boy. At 13, having acquired the prevailing Jewish instruction of those days and being equally proficient in foreign languages, he was sent to the Lissa Yeshiva in 1754. There he was prepared for a lifelong vocation as Moreh Zedek (Rabbi). He married Golda, the daughter of Eisick Segal from Altona, who was then president of the congregation in Lissa. In 1770 he was selected by the Mecklenburg-Schwerin congregation to by their Dayan.
In 1772 he appealed to Moses Mendelssohn to insure the prompt burial of the dead. Ha-Meassef, the Hebrew periodical in Koenigsberg, published that correspondence (1785). One of the letters was duly signed Mordechai ben Eliezer, Rabbi from Berlin, Germany, presently Moreh Zedek at the Schwerin Kehilia. Later on he became Chief Rabbi of the Duchy of Mecklenburg with its ever-growing number of communities and he was acknowledged as such by the Dukes Friedrich and Friedrich Franz 1. The Ha-Meassef reported the Heaped for the defunct Duke Friedrich, held at the synagogue by M.J., Av Beth Din of the region (1785).
He was approached to formulate his opinion in halachic matters and the Rabbinic Literature mentions him as the Gaon Rav Av Beth Din of Schwerin. He was offered various honorable positions as Rav in Hamburg, Altona, Wandsbeck and one as Chief Rabbi of Copenhagen. He refused them all. He disliked changes and found wordly honors imposing. He preferred, as he said, to confine his God-given talents to assist the members of his Schwerin congregation. This was not always easy and because of his competence, he somtimes encountered difficulties within the Kehillah. Nevertheless he sustained them with patience and the steadfastness of the wise. He died in 1813 sadly mourned by his congregants as well as by the Christian community.
||11 Ab 5500
||14 Che 5574
||Chief Rabbi Schwerin & Duchy Of Mecklenburg |
||7 Nov 1813
||4 Dec 2009 |