SIMMLEIN OF HALBERSTADT:
German Talmudist; rabbi at Halberstadt from 1620 to 1650. The period of his activity was practically coextensive with that of the Thirty Years' war, which was especially disastrous to the Jews. At Halberstadt,where the war caused much hardship, the already sufficiently hard lot of the Jews was further embittered by the hostility of the Diet. In those troubled times R. Simmlein often risked his life in the interest of his community, and as the government of the city frequently changed, he had the difficult task of gaining the favor of the contending parties. In this he apparently succeeded, for he seems to have been well received both by the Bishop of Halberstadt, Leopold Wilhelm, Archduke of Austria, and by the Swedish governors who subsequently ruled the city. He succeeded in preserving the community from many misfortunes. He also spent his own fortune freely in the relief of his people; his house was always open to others, and formed a home and school for poor orphans.
- Auerbach, Gesch. der Gemeinde Halberstadt, p. 22.