THE FRANKFORTs of Overijssel(Netherlands)-
back to RASHI ?

[For the benefit of visitors in need of some explanation of the most important
terms and definitions used on this subpage-an attachment explaining those expressions
-in Dutch and in English-has been added].
(courtesy-Drs.I.J.Noach-Alphen a/d Rijn-Netherlands; based mostly on the Encyclopedia Judaica)

-On the strength of a tombstone inscription
(click here for enlarged size) of the year 1891 (for translation to
Dutch click here) a connection has been established between JOSEPH FRANKFORT
(died abt. 1799 in Oldenzaal)-the first Dutch Frankfort relevant to my ancestry
-and Rabbi Jehuda Ashkenazi of Diktin(Tycothin-Tiktin, and various other ways of spelling)
in the region of Byalistok-Poland.

The latter was a famous commentator on the "Shulchan Aruch" of Joseph Caro,
and the front page of the most common "Mishna Brurah" used in Israel
mentions him as one of the three commentators referred to.
According to the Encyclopedia Judaica he was born in Frankfurt am Main,
where his father was a "parnas" of the community.
Jehuda served as a "dayan"(religious judge) in Tyctin.

Rabbi Jehuda Ashkenazi belongs-as Jehuda Ashkenazi ben Shimon
Trevish-to the famous Trevish rabbinical dynasty
of Trevish (Treibish, Treves, etc.) which branched all over Europe,
including Sephardi communities,like Italy and Greece.

JOSEPH FRANKFORT referred to above is most probably a son of
Rabbi Jehuda, and Joseph the son of Sjimon Frankfort mentioned
on the tomstone of his great-grandson.
A younger brother of this Sjimon Joseph, in fact the last of 6 known
children of Joseph Frankfort who died in Oldenzaal in 1799 or 1798
-was born on 11 August 1799 and called Joseph Joseph,almost certainly
indicating that he was born posthume, was the grandfather of my grandfather.
My grandfather was therefore also a great-great-grandson of Rabbi Jehuda Ashkenazi.

The ancestry of these FRANKFORTS can be traced with more than
reasonable certainty through the TREVES Dynasty as far back as to
Rabbi Jossel Josef I ben Gershon I(Loans) from Rosheim(1478-1554),
a leader of the Elzas Jewry and author of Sefer Hamikneh (1546),
-whose father was Gershon I ben ?? from Loans (1400-1484).

The Encyclopedia Judaica seems to confirm the exceptional situation,
that Jossel was born when his father Gershon was 78 years old.
His death at the age of 84 was followed very soon by the death of his
much younger wife, making Jossel an orphan at the age of 6.
He was raised by the family of his mother.

Rabbi Jossel Josef's famous son :
Moshe(Elsass-Loans) ben Jossel- Joseph I, (who married his second
cousin :?? bat Aharon ben Yechiel , who was a granddaughter of Rabbi
Yechiel ben Yochanan Luria, showing a connection between the Luria
and Trevish dynasties) was a brother of Shneor ben Joseph Jossel Trevish,
Rabbi Jehuda's grandfather.Therefore there does not exist a direct lineage
between the Frankforts and the Lurias.

Rabbi Jehuda A. died in 1745-before his commentary "Beer Hetev" was
completed.This work was finished by Moshe Frankfort, a famous printer
from Amsterdam, whose relationship (and consequently of all "Amster-
dam" Frankforts) to Simon Frankforts descendants was until recently
Through the diligent research of fellow genealogists it has now been
established that Moshe Frankfort was in fact the"mechutan" of Rabbi
Jehuda Ashkenazi(=father of Rabbi Jehuda's daughter-in-law), showing
that though relatives through their childrens marriage only , the
surname FRANKFORT can not exclusively be attached to the Eastern
Netherlands/Overijssel branch.As the Trevishes were especially active
in the Frankfurt am Main Jewish community, the use of the surname
FRANKFORT is not surprising (but there is no proof that this name
relates automatically to the Trevish dynasty only).
Because of gaps in the thread of the genealogy no proper ancestry
and/or descendance charts of the Trevishes can (as yet) be set
up.Therefore you will not find those on this site.Regrettably and
perhaps somewhat frustrating is that the link(s) between Rabbi
Jehuda A. and two famous Trevishes in Frankfurt: Naftalie Hirz ben
Eliezer Treibish -chazan and scholar in Frankfurt, who was a great
Kabalist-(died 1555) and his son Rabbi Eliezer ben Naftali Herz (died
1567) one of the outstanding figures among the "Frankfurter Rabiner",
who was known as Rabbi Eliezer Treibish and signed documents a such,
are still missing.

The name Treves, with its variations, derives in all possibility
from Rashi's town Troyes(in Latin=Trevisium), but another opinion
that its source is Trier(in French=Tre'ves) in Germany/Ashkenaz
cannot be disregarded.

The Encyclopedia Judaica states they were called the "Triverzans" in France
and the "Drifzans" in Germany.
Deriving from this are the "Trefouse"-the Dreyfuss' of later generations.

Rabbi Joseph ben Yochanan(1295-1343)is the proven first known Trevish
bearing this name.He was Rabbi of Marseilles and known as
'Joseph Hagadol" (Joseph the Great).
He died in Paris, but lived in Marseilles, Frankfurt and Mainz.
His wife was also learned in Tora, and wrote explanations of her own

His son, Rabbi Matityahuh ben Joseph, came to Paris from the Provence(Marseilles),
and revived Jewish learning in France, which had been much affected by the persecutions.
The king of France at that time showed a favourable attitude to the Jews, he declared Rabbi
Matitayuh and his family exempt from wearing the Jew badge and by the King's degree
he was made (Chief) Rabbi of whole France.

The father of "Rabbenu Joseph Hagadol"-Rabbi Yochanan ben Matityahu
Ashkenazi Treves- was among the Jews expelled from France in 1306 and
settled in Trier.As far as I could establish, he was the first to be
called Ashkenazi and in any case can this forced migration from
France to Trier in Ashkenaz be at the root of the theory that Treves
is derived from Trier and not from Troyes. But according to other
sources the name Treves popped up already 7 generations before Joseph
ben Yochanan, through the marriage of the great granddaughter of
Rashi(granddaughter of his daughter Yocheved) to a Yechiel ben
Mattityahuh "Treves".

In spite of the fact, that in all probability no complete genealo-
gical or scientific prove can ever be rendered for the descendancy
of Rabbi Jehuda Ashkenazi Trevish-and hence the FRANKFORTs- from
Rashi, these sources together with the following excerpts
(source:"Otsar Jisraeel") support nevertheless a serious foundation
for this, beyond this being a mere tradition or surmise.
a.-Rabbi Shneor ben Rabbi Joseph Jossel Trevish, the grandfather of
Rabbi Jehuda Ashkenazi, who lived in Frankfurt a/M. in the 17th
century, "did not use to eat in the Succa on the night of Shmini
Atsereth according to the act of Rashi, the head of our family".
b.-"Only the Trevish family, who eat their whole meal on the night of
Shimini Atsereth outside the succa, have {a good source) to rely on".

version: 2 February 1999

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