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Spira / Spiro Family Genealogy

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Origin of the name is from the city of Speyer in the Rheinland (Speyer was known by the name "Spira" as early as the fifth century. Family of scholars and rabbis of Speyer, Rhenish Bavaria, with numerous branches in other parts of Germany, and in Prague Bohemia, Galicia, and Poznan Poland. It originally bore the name "Ashkenazi," to distinguish it from the Kahane or Katz-Spira family. Many prominent families of Bohemia added to their names that of "Spiro" or "Spira" ie; Frankl-Spiro, Fränkel-Spira, Wiener-Spiro, Kohen-Spira and Porges-Spiro *see Group-1 note, Group-2 & Note-1 *sources: Oberländer relative, Lawrence Weinberg,, J. K. Loren Rootsweb, Loeb site, Porges site, JewishEncyclopedia, Judaica Bohemiae


Judaica Bohemiae: Prague Jews and Judah Hasid. A Study on the Social, Political and Religious History of the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries -Part One. What is remarkable about the group of the most wealthy people in the ghetto is the high proportion of close relatives of the late Chief R' gaon Simon SPIRA. R. Katriel KROTOSCHIN was his son-in-law, Wolf Anshel FRENKEL his grandson, R' Michael WIEN his nephew, Wolf SPIRA WEDELES his son, R' Leib NEUSTÄDTL (NASCH) the husband of SPIRA’s granddaughter Slawa SCHLACKENWERTH. Simon’s grandson was the brother of Slawa, R' Aharon Sinai SCHLACKENWERHTH. The immediate family also included R' Naftali BRANDES, the husband of Simon’s granddaughter Judita and R' David Michal WIEN, Simon’s great nephew. Only four people in the top ten were not members of the SPIRA clan. It is hard to believe that such an extensive concentration of property in a single family would have gone unnoticed at the time.

Top 20 wealthy men in Prague
ghetto 1687
1 R' Katriel KROTOSCHIN Sch.M. 125 11 R' Baruch NEUSTÄDTL (NASCH) Sch.M. 60
2 R' Wolf Anshel FRENKEL Sch.M. 120 12 R' Jacob ben Gershon BRANDES Sch.M. 60
3 R' Michael WIEN Sch.M. 110 13 R' Israel DUSCHENES Sch.M. 58
4 R' Wolf SPIRA WEDELES Sch.M. 95 14 R' Leib R. G. KARPELES Sch.M. 55
5 R' Leib NEUSTÄDTL (NASCH) Sch.M. 85 15 R' Naftali Gershon BRANDES Sch.M. 55
6 R' David AUSTERLITZ Sch.M. 85 16 R' Simha PIK Sch.M. 55
7 Jacob Muntes ROßTÄUSCHER Sch.M. 70 17 R' Zalman YT BONDI Sch.M. 55
8 Hirschl Zimel POLL Sch.M. 65 18 R' Zanwil TACHI Sch.M. 55
9 R' Aharon Katz PLANTA Sch.M. 65 19 R' Chajim Faubers TAUSK Sch.M. 55
10 R' Aharon S. SCHLACKENWERH Sch.M. 60 20 R' David R. Michael WIEN Sch.M. 55
Source: Extracts from property tax ledger, SÚA Praha, NM P-1/7/1

Group-2: names=11, remaining of 25 Spira names from Jewishencyclopedia not included on this page

JE 19 Menahem Zion b. Meïr Spira: a native probably of Speyer, Germany. He wrote in 1430 "Ziyyuni" (Cremona, 1560), a cabalistic commentary on the Pentateuch, prefaced by a song for the Sabbath and enumerating the labors forbidden on that day. Bibliography: Steinschneider, Cat. Munich, codices 68, 76.; Landshuth. l.c. p. 193;Zunz, S. P. p. 110; idem, Literaturgesch. p. 523.E. C. M. K.

JE 11 Isaac Kohen-Spira: Died: in 1582 at Kraków (Cracow), Poland = son of David Kohen-Spira. officiated as rabbi in Cracow, was the father-in-law of Rabbi Meïr Lublin. He had a namesake and contemporary, Isaac Kohen-Spira, who was probably rabbi at Kreminiec, and afterward at Cracow. Bibliography: Frankel, Zeitschrift, iii. 386; Ha-Karmel, xii. 658;  J. B. R., Bemerkungen zu I. M. Zunz Ir ha-Zedek, p. 18, Brody, 1878.E. C. M. K.

JE 9 Isaac Spira: Died: March 16, 1711 in Lviv (Lemberg), current Ukraine = son of Eliezer Spira. wrote "Elef ha-Magen" (notes on the four ritual codices), printed by his son Nathan Spira (Zolkiev, 1732).

JE 17 Jacob Kohn - Spira = son of Isaac Spira. lived at Lviv (Lemberg), current Ukraine in the 17th century. He was the author of "Be'er Mayim Ḥayyim" (Cracow, 1616), a commentary on the Pentateuch and on Rashi's commentary. Bibliography: Buber, l.c. p. 112.E. C. M. K.

JE 13 Isaac ben Nathan Spira: Born: 1624 Died: 1649 in Kraków (Cracow), Poland = son of Rabbi Nathan. Polish merchant. He was a man of means, and when, in May, 1641, the Jewish community of Cracow was financially embarrassed he voluntarily made it a loan of 800 Polish gulden in gold. When, toward the end of the eighteenth century, his tombstone began to decay, the community showed its gratitude by erecting a new one. Bibliography: Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. iv. 1207; Fürst, l.c. iii. 372; Friedberg, Luhot Zikkaron, pp. 61-62, Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1904.

JE 15 Israel ben Nathan Spira (aka. Israel ha-Darshan) Died: 1700: scholar, rabbi, and preacher of the seventeenth century;. While still young he was called to Kalisz in Poland, where he founded a large school which soon became famous. Among his most prominent pupils were Jehiel Michael Segal and Selig Margolioth. Israel was the author of "Bet Yisrael," a commentary on the "Hilkot Shehitah," of which 201 paragraphs appeared in Berlin in 1726. Appended thereto was a second work. "Bet Perez," a commentary on the treatise Megillah which he wrote in honor of his son-in-law. Bibliography: Benjacob, Ozar ha-Sefarim, p. 74;Friedberg, l.c. pp. 7-10.

JE 16 Jacob ben David ha-Kohen Spira: rabbi of Nový Jičín (Neutitschein), Moravia in 17th and 18th centuries; relative of Isaac ben David Spira. He was the author of "Ohel Ya'akob," haggadic novellæ (Frankfort - on - the - Oder, 1719). His sons Moses Moeschel and Isaac severally added to it "Likkutim" to difficult passages in the Midrash and Yalkut and novellæ to Yoreh De'ah. Bibliography: Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1257; Nepi-Ghirondi, Toledot Gedole Yisrael, p. 187; Benjacob, l.c. p. 19; Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 577; Azulai, Shem ha-Gedolim, ii. 3; Fürst, l.c. i. 17.E. C. S. O.

JE 18 Judah Löb Spira (Pap): Rabbi of the 17th and 18th centuries; officiated probably in Frankfort-on-the-Main. He was the author of "Ha-Rekasim la-Bik'ah" (Altona, 1815), containing brief notes on the Bible. Bibliography: Steinschneider, l.c. col. 1373; Fürst, l.c. iii. 372.E. C. S. O.

JE 22 Nathan Nata Spira: Died: 1662 Reggio, Italy = son of Reuben David Spira, associate rabbi of Cracow. He was sent from Jerusalem to Germany and Italy to collect alms. Most of his works are cabalistic in nature, including "Tub ha-Arez" (Venice, 1655; Zolkiev, 1781), on the excellencies of the Holy Land, on the holy vessels, etc.; "Yayin ha-Meshummar" (ib. 1660), on "Yayin Nesek"; "Mazzot Shimmurim" (ib. 1665), on the mezuzah, zizit, etc. Azulai saw the manuscripts of his religious discourses and of several of his cabalistic works. Bibliography: Azulai, l.c. i. 148; De Rossi-Hamberger, Hist. Wörterb. p. 301; Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 2051.

JE 21 Nathan Nata Spira: Died: Nov. 13, 1761 in Eibenschütz = son of Selig Spira and grandson of Nathan Nata Spira. He was rabbi in various communities, his last charge being at Eibenschütz, in Moravia, where he officiated only one year, dying in early manhood. Bibliography: Dembitzer, Kelilat Yofe, i. 118 (contains Spira's epitaph, in which must be read instead of ).

JE 3 Aryeh Löb Spira (aka Klein Löb) Born: 1701 Died: May 19, 1761 in Vilnius (Wilna), Lithuania = son of Isaac Spira. (see image) Holograph Letter of Baruch Spinoza, Dated 1665. (From Van Vloten and Land, "Benedicti De Spinoza Opera."); associate rabbi in Wilna. At the age of seventeen he corresponded with the rabbi of the Karaites at Troki. Aryeh Löb acquired a knowledge of mathematics and Hebrew grammar. He wrote "Nahalat Ariel" and "Me'on 'Arayot" (Dyhernfurth, 1732), a double commentary on the treatise Soferim. Bibliography: Buber, Anshe Shem, p. 118; Fuenn, Kiryah Ne'emanah, pp. 111 et seq. (contains Spira's epitaph).

Note-1: see descendants of Jehiel Michael Spira on J. K. Loren's site AND Levie Kanes genealogy site OR any relation to Spiro, Salomon LevingerGerman (Salomon Wolf Levi oder Salman Levi; sein Vater war burgauischer LandRb, geb. 1748 Pfersee, gest. 1825 Gailingen): studierte in Prag, 1776 bis 1825 LandesRb der Ritterschaft Liebenfels mit Sitz in Gailingen) OR Isaak Speyer "ch. Michael Isaak Speyer ( -1692) & Jutle Oppenheim, Moses Isaak Speyer on Wertheimer page OR Josef Aron (Balbierer) Spira ( - 1789) & Rösel (Rezl) (?) and their descendants OR non-relative rabbi Jakob Spira (1864 Humenné, Slovakia res. Ostrava, Moravia, Czech - ) & Alexine (?) "ch. Friedrich Spira, Ludwig Spira" *2nd wife of Jakob: Arnostka Kolmiova - source Arthur Spira

*see also Miscellaneous Names page from Judaica Bohemiae documents

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