The References to England in the Responsa of Rabbi Meir Ben Baruch of Rothenburg, 1215-1293

It is not surprising that Meir ben Baruch of Rottenburg,2 the outstanding and most influential rabbi of the thirteenth century, should have had some contacts with English Jewry. The fame of this “saint among rabbis and scholar among saints”3 was so widespread?he is one of the few upon whom the coveted tide of Meor ha-Golah, Light of the Exile, was bestowed?that letters were addressed to him from all over Europe and the near East.4

But quite apart from his almost universal renown, another important factor can account for the allusions to England in his Responsa.5 Commerical relations had been established between England and the Continent for some time; English wool and cloth, the staple products of the age, were interchanged for French wines and for other commodities which came overland across Europe from the East; while the Anglo-Jewish

1 Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England on 7th

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