Meir Katzenellenbogen

Meir ben Isaac Katzenellenbogen (c. 1482 – 12th January 1565) (also, Meir of Padua, or Maharam Padua) was a Jewish rabbi born in Katzenelnbogen, the name of a castle and small city in the district of Rhein-Lahn-Kreis in Rhineland-Palatinate, Prussia-Brandenburg now known as Germany. He went on to found the ‘Katzenellenbogen’ family a Jewish clan who seized German identity by assuming the name of a German town. By 1549 Katzenellenbogen was already practicing dialectical strategy calculated to frame Europeans. As today Jews operated under the patronage of a non-Jewish owner. Consequently, any problems the non-Jewish owner would bear the brunt and Jewish anonymity is maintained. Katzenellenbogen’s strategy was to arrange a dispute over the publication of a printed edition of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah. He edited a printed edition of the Mishneh Torah to be published by the European owned Bragadini press. In typical dialectical fashion Jews operating the rival Giustiniani press printed a pirate copy allowing Katzenellenbogen to appeal to his relative Moses Isserles, who replied that the Giustiniani edition violated the prohibition on Hasogas gevul, interfering with another person’s livelihood. Thus the Giustiniani edition was ‘denounced’ by the Jewish community and Katzenellenbogen made calls to the non-Jewish European owners to recall the offending titles. This culminated in the apparent mass burning of volumes of the Talmud and other Jewish works in the Venetian Republic now used by Jews as an example of European ‘anti-Semitism’. Notable descendants of Katzenellenbogen are Karl Marx, Julius Klein and the Rothschild family.

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