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(1215-1293). Scholar and poet. Renowned rabbi in Western Germany. At age 66 he fled with his family from the persecutions of German rulers with the intention of going to the Holy Land, but was arrested on the way and returned as a prisoner to Germany. Emperor Rudolph of Hapsburg demanded from the Jews a large sum for the liberation of their beloved leader. Although the Jews were ready to pay, Rabbi Meir refused to be ransomed so as not to establish the precedent of redeeming imprisoned Jewish leaders. Rabbi Meir died in prison, and again the Emperor demanded a heavy ransom before relinquishing the rabbi’s body for Jewish burial. Fourteen years later, a wealthy Jew ransomed the body on condition that he himself be buried beside the remains of the venerable rabbi. To this day, one can see in the Jewish cemetery of Worms the double grave with a single tombstone marking the resting place of the rabbi and his loyal follower.

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