What Does the Jewish Last Name Epstein Mean? – Chabad.org

Posted By on December 5, 2020

At first glance, Epsteinwould seem to be related to the many Yiddish-German stein names that havelittle historical significance other than their pretty sound, such as Goldstein(gold stone), Silberstein (silver stone), Perlstein (pearl stone), et.al.

However, while these namesare less than 250 years old, the Epsteins take their family name from the townof Eppstein in central Germany, where they lived as far back as the 16thcentury.

Many people with this name,including many great Ashkenazi rabbis, tend to be Levites, tracing their lineage back to Levi, son of Jacob. Itappears that these Epsteins, then using the family name Benveniste, came to thetown from Spain, whence they fled from the Inquisition.

Some prominent members ofthis clan include:

RabbiIsaac Halevi Epstein of Homel (17801857), a noted Chabad chassid

RabbiKaolnymus Kalman Halevi Epstein of Krakow (17531825), chassidicscholar, author of the Maor Vashemesh

RabbiYechiel Michel Halevi Epstein (18291908), author of the AruchHashulchan, a classic work on Jewish law.

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What Does the Jewish Last Name Epstein Mean? - Chabad.org

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