-- Rema --

The Rema (acronym for Rabbi Moses Isserles) Synagogue -- located in Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of Kraków, Poland -- was founded in 1553. The cemetery was used until 1799. Rabbi Moses Ben Israel Isserles -- the Rema, for whom the synagogue is named -- is buried in this cemetery. Before World War II, thousands of Polish Jews visited his grave every year on the anniversary of his death.

After World War II, the cemetery was restored and the pieces of broken headstones which could not be matched were used to make the memorial cemetery wall.

According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica, Isserles (1525 or 1530-1572) was one of the great halakhic authorities and "was of a humble and friendly disposition":
His contemporaries considered Isserles to be the "Maimonides of Polish Jewry" and he can be compared to him in his universal outlook, in his attachment to both Talmud and secular knowledge, in his manner of study, in his methodical approach, in his decisiveness, in his character, and in his humility. His works were in the fields of halakhah, philosophy, Kabbalah, homiletics, and science (EJ 9, 1081-1082).

[ Facsimile: 'Shulhan Arukh' ] [ Facsimile: 'Mappah' ]

Rabbi Moses Isserles is perhaps best remembered for his commentary on Sephardic Rabbi Joseph Karo's code of Talmudic law -- Shulhan Arukh ("The Prepared Table"). Rabbi Isslerles's work, Mappah ("Tablecloth"), added supplementary information for Ashkenazic Jews to the Shulhan Arukh.

[ Thumbnail ] Rema Synagogue: Arch Over the Entrance [54k ]

 [ Thumbnail ] Rema Synagogue: Aron ha Kodesh (Ark) [ 92k ]

 [ Thumbnail ] Rema Synagogue: Cemetery [ 124k ]

 [ Thumbnail ] Rema Synagogue: Cemetery Wall [ 140k ]

[ Return to the Polish Synagogues Page ]

Last Updated: 6 March 1996

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