Little is known of Mordechai’s early life. He belonged to one of the most prominent families of scholars in Germany: his grandfather Hillel, on his mother’s side, was a grandson of Eliezer ben Joel ha-Levi, who was in turn a grandson of Eliezer ben Nathan. Mordechai was also a relative of Rabbi Asher ben Jehiel. He was married to Zelda, with whom he had five children.
About 1291 the family moved to Goslar. But his right of residence there was disputed by a certain Moses Tako (not the famous Moses Taku); although the suit was decided in Mordechai’s favor, it was conducted with such bitterness that Mordechai left Goslar and settled at Nuremberg. For the next seven years, he operated a Yeshiva there which attracted students from all over Europe. The Mordechai was murdered, along with his wife and children, in the Rintfleisch Massacres; see Nuremberg: Middle Ages.