REIẒES


REIẒES (also Reiẓeles; in Heb. רייציס), ḤAYYIM BEN ISAAC HA-LEVI (1687–1728), and his brother JOSHUA (1697–1728), rabbis and Jewish martyrs in Poland. Ḥayyim was a wealthy and learned man who held the position of av bet din in *Lvov (Lemberg) and was rabbi of *Kamenka-Bugskaya. He was also a member of the provincial committee. Joshua headed a yeshivah in Lvov. In the spring of 1728 the bishop of Lvov accused the two brothers and other Jewish personalities of the town of having attempted to induce the Jewish apostate, Jan Filipowicz, to return to Judaism, and of having profaned the symbols of Christianity which he carried with him. The Reiẓes brothers were arrested, interrogated, tortured by the Inquisition tribunal, and condemned to death by burning at the stake. Information on the tragedy of the Reiẓes brothers stems from Jewish and Catholic sources. According to the Jesuit source, Joshua committed suicide in prison after which his body was abused, and burned at the stake. It is also related that on the day that Ḥayyim was to be burned at the stake a Jesuit priest attempted to convert him in exchange for a pardon, "but he could not convince his obstinate soul" ("Sed nihil evicit in obstinato pectore"). The property of the Reiẓes brothers was confiscated and set aside for financing a project to strengthen the town walls. Regularly, on the eve of Shavuot, the anniversary of the death of the martyred Reiẓes brothers, a special memorial service was held in the Naḥmanovich synagogue of Lvov for the repose of their souls.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

M. Balaban, Dzielnica ẓydowska, jej dzieje i zabytki (1909), 34–37; J. Caro, Geschichte der Juden in Lemberg (1894), 103–4, 174–7; Paris Gazette (1728), 302–3.

[Arthur Cygielman]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.