Katzenellenbogen

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  • #604828

    shein
    Member

    What is so famous about the Katzenellenbogen’s, who are they, and is the name still used by anyone today?

    #956651

    midwesterner
    Participant

    There was a boy in the family with a yarmulke . . . .

    #956652

    MeemaYehudis
    Member

    I don’t know the background, but there is a wonderful family with that name in Meah Sh’arim. A number of years ago, we spent 2 months in Meah Sh’arim, & Rav Katzenellenbogen, who was the head of the Neturei Karta k’hilla, and his wonderful rebbitzen, hosted us for a few s’udos on Shabbos & Yom Tov. We were clearly not N’turei Karta types (more Yeshivish), but the whole family was so warm & welcoming, and not only to us. There were many guests, ranging from one, who was jokingly referred to as the Tzoini, to very right-wing types.

    There is a doctor in Flatbush with that name, but I don’t know if he is related.

    #956653

    mommamia22
    Participant

    Don’t know the history, but there’s a Dr. katzenellenbogen in Brooklyn who’s practicing.

    #956654

    shein
    Member

    Doesn’t the name or family go back (i.e. in known history) hundreds or even a thousand of years in Ashkenazic Jewish history?

    #956655

    Sam2
    Participant

    I am unfamiliar with any special story, but Katzenellenbogen was a relatively common last name in Europe. If you would meet a “Katz” in America who isn’t a Cohen, it’s probably because the name used to be Katzenellenbogen and got shortened.

    #956656

    seeallsides
    Participant

    The Katzenellenbogen name is a long time respected name – they wrote seforim, one of them supported a whole city – what is your specific question? You can look in wikipedia which has a lot of information.

    #956657

    bubka
    Participant

    Is the last name Elbogen a shortened version of Katzenelbogen?

    #956658

    yichusdik
    Participant

    Rav Meir Katzenellenbogen the Maharam Padvi was the first of the name, having been born in Katzenellenbogen in the late 15th century CE, studied in Prague, and lived in Padua where he married the daughter of Rav Avrohom Mintz. He was a cousin of the Ramo, and a great Torah scholar in his own right. He has many descendants today, among a number of families of rabbinic ancestry, including my own.

    The family is descended as well from Rashi, and thus from Dovid Hamelech, which might answer the first question, and put the name among other families such as Shapira, Treivish, Loew, Landau, Frankel, Wahl, and many others who share the ancestry.

    #956659

    Sam2
    Participant

    Yichusdik: We’re all descended from Rashi (as well as everyone else who was alive at that time). Do you mean Ben Achar Ben? Because no one is descended from Rashi that way.

    #956660

    yichusdik
    Participant

    Sam2 – Many families, and perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands of Jews are descended from Rashi, but not everyone in klal Yisroel. None of them is ben achar ben, because he had 3 daughters. I am descended from two of them, Miriam and Yocheved, through a number of lines.

    For some more insight into Rashi and Rabbinic lineages I suggest you take a look at the works of Dr. Neil Rosenstein, Rabbi Meir Wunder, and Arthur Kurzweil, among many others.

    #956662

    distracted
    Participant
    #956663

    akuperma
    Participant

    Someone attempted to compile a list of the descendants of Rav Meir Katzenellenbogen (the book was entitled “Unbroken chain”). He ended up proving that virtually everyone alive today is related if you go back a mere 500 years, at least in western Europe. Since this increases exponentially, it turns out everyone alive is related to someone in the last 5000 years. A hiddush!

    #956664

    bigben18
    Participant

    To distracted:

    Rabbi Yosef Kazen who started chabad.org was the grandson of Rabbi Michoel and Sara Katzenellenbogen. His father, Rabbi Zalman Kazen, was the son of Rabbi Michoel and Sara Katzenellenbogen.

    #956665

    yichusdik
    Participant

    akuperma, the person who wrote “The Unbroken Chain” is Dr. Neil Rosenstein, who I mentioned above. I’ve spoken with him and corresponded with him (he sent me some sources for my family tree that I didn’t have) and he is, from a few lines, a distant relative of mine.

    The assertion you make certainly wasn’t the focus of his book, and I don’t remember reading that when I read the very long and very technical book. ( He stopped making new editions and started putting together CDs with the information as he updated it. Much easier than publishing an incredibly long and very expensive book.)

    It is clear that at some point during the crusades, the Jewish families of Western and Central Europe were reduced to a few thousands or tens of thousands. But this does not account for the ongoing marriages and movements of families from Iberia, North Africa, the Italian states, and parts of the Byzantine Empire to and with these drastically reduced numbers of families. The argument goes both ways – yes, extended kinship, but no, less of a genetic bottleneck than usually perceived.

    My own ancestors at the time were as widely placed as Gerona, Lunel, Narbonne, elsewhere in the Languedoc, Paris, Trier, Troyes, Worms, Treves, Rome, and they and others were beginning to migrate north and east. See R’ Naftali yaakov Hakohen’s Otzar Hagedolim (out of print since the sixties, but I have 7 of the 11 volumes) for some more details about that time period and where Jewish communities and their leaders lived.

    So while I agree that there is extensive kinship among perhaps a plurality of Jewish families, I do not agree that it is ALL of them.

    #956666

    akuperma
    Participant

    His methodology aroused bemusement among genealogists, who usually start with themselves and work back. Doing it the other way around, picking a person and working forwards, ends leading to virtually meaningless results if you start going back too far – and 500 years is stretching it. I used the book to study the development of surnames and found it fascinating.

    At this point, virtually every Jew, and probably almost every goy in Europe and the Middle East, is related to Avraham Aveinu, as well as to everyone else from that time. People were constantly moving around. Indeed, we have a mesorah, admittedly al pe kaballah, that every human had a common ancestor less than 5000 years ago (the goyim hold the common ancestor was probably more like several hundred thousand years ago).

    Remember also that tools of genealogy don’t pick up converts, since we had to forge fake yichus for them since if the goyim knew someone converted they would execute them as a heretic. It also misses people who went off the derekh, whether or not they later returned, since it would have been loshon ho’ra to record such matters.

    My response to someone who starts boasting of yichus is to point out I’m from the family of Adam ha-Rishon by way of Avraham Aveinu, and then ask them what they are descended from.

    #1405106

    Safta
    Participant

    Being that I am from Cleveland, Ohio, I knew a family Katzenellenbogen. They were Lubavitch. I think they are now in Crown Heights.

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