Joseph ben Meir Teomim

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Tomstone of Joseph ben Meir Teomim

Joseph ben Meir Teomim (1727–1792; Hebrew: יוסף בן מאיר תאומים) [1] was a Galician Rabbi, best known as author of Pri Megadim, by which title he is also referenced. He was one of the foremost Torah Scholars of his time, a "thorough student of rabbinical literature, and... not unlearned in the secular sciences".


Teomim was born in Shchyrets, then in Poland (today in Ukraine). [2] His father, Rabbi Meir Teomim, became Dayan (rabbinic judge) and Rosh Yeshiva in Lemberg (Lvov), and the family moved there.

Teomim studied Torah, primarily under his father, in the Lvov yeshivah; while still young he took up a position as "preacher and rabbinical instructor" there. At the age of 20 he moved to Komarno to marry. He spent more than a decade there primarily studying and writing, and also working as a melamed.

In 1767, on the invitation of Daniel Itzig, he went to Berlin to co-head a Bet Midrash with Rabbi Hirschel Levin. Following his Father's death in 1771, Teomim returned to Lemberg, eventually becoming Dayan there. In 1782 he was appointed Rabbi at Frankfurt an der Oder, where he remained until his death.

He was buried in the Jewish cemetery at Frankfurt/Oder.


Pri Megadim title page (1787 printing)

Rabbi Teomim's Pri Megadim (פרי מגדים, "choice fruits", published 1782) [3] is a widely referenced work on the Shulkhan Aruch. It is composed, essentially, as a supercommentary on the major commentators there: on the Orach chayyim section, Mishbetzot Zahav discusses David ben Samuel's Turei Zahav, and Eshel Avraham is on Avraham Gombiner's Magen Avraham; on the Yoreh De'ah section, Siftei Da'at discusses Shabbethai Kohen's Siftei Kohen, and Mishbetzot Zahav is continued. Pri Megadim is however seen as authoritative in its own right, often quoted, for example, by the Mishna Berurah. (The full text is available on wikisource.)

Teomim also authored, among other works:

In the introduction to the latter, Rabbi Teomim mentions a great number of his writings on halakhot and ethics, which are no longer in existence.

Bibliography and references[edit]

  1. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "TE'OMIM, JOSEPH BEN MEÏR". The Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. Retrieved 14 Mar 2012. The following bibliography is referred to in the Jewish Encyclopedia article:
    • D. Cassel, in Ersch and Gruber, Encyc. section ii., part 31, p. 97;
    • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1534;
    • Neubauer, in Ha-Maggid, xiii. 285;
    • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 514;
    • Buber, Anshe Shem, p. 95.
  2. ^ See He: יוסף תאומים for detail
  3. ^ See He: פרי מגדים for detail.
  4. ^ Neubauer, Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS. No. 1500