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Simeon Sidon

SIDON, SIMEON (1815–1892), Hungarian rabbi. Sidon, who was born in Nádas, was a pupil of Moses *Sofer. His first rabbinate was in the small town of Cifer. In 1855 he was appointed rabbi of Tyrnau (Trnava). During his rabbinate the schism (1869) in Hungarian Jewry (see *Hungary) took place, and his community joined neither the Union of Orthodox Jews nor the *Neologist group but remained a *status quo community. When the Orthodox rabbis disqualified the halakhic rulings of the rabbis of those communities, about 40 families founded a separate Orthodox community. Sidon vigorously complained about this ruling, asserting that many of the status quo rabbis were outstanding and God-fearing talmudists. They had no power to force their congregants to join the Orthodox group. "Are they to leave their communities and become recipients of charity?" he protested. He remained with his community until his death. Sidon was himself an outstanding talmudic scholar and a gifted preacher.

He was the author of Ot Berit (1850), on the laws of circumcision and the redemption of the firstborn; Shevet Shimon (1884–88), responsa and halakhic novellae (on marriage and mourning); homilies on Avot (some of which were published in the Even ha-Me'ir (appended to Z. Horowitz, Kitvei ha-Ge'onim (1957) of Meir Stein); and Beit Menuḥah (1879) on Maimonides' Mishneh Torah.


S. Sidon, Shevet Shimon, 3 (1888), introd.; P.Z. Schwartz, Shem ha-Gedolim me-Ereẓ Hagar, 2 (1914), 43a no. 110; Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), S.V.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.