R. Joshua b. Joseph of Cracow (1578–1648), was born in Vilna. In his youth he studied under R. Samuel b. Feibush in Przemysl and then in the yeshivot of R. Meir b. Gedaliah of Lublin and R. Joshua Falk of Lemberg. From 1634 to 1639 he served as rabbi in the towns of Grodno, Tiktin, Przemysl, and Lemberg. At the beginning of 1640 he was appointed head of the yeshivah of Cracow in succession to R. Nathan Spira, and from 1640 to 1644 he served there as rabbi in an honorary capacity. He died in Cracow. His pupils included R. Shabbetai b. Meir ha-Kohen, R. Gershon Ulif Ashkenazi, and R. Menahem Mendel Auerbach. Halakhic problems were addressed to him from many countries. He corresponded on kabbalistic topics with his relative, the kabbalist R. Samson b. Pesah of Ostropol. R. Joshua Hoeschel did not follow the method of pilpul; he strove toward greater independence in the domain of halakhah and directive ruling, stating, "according to the custom of our country anything printed in the Shulhan Arukh may not, G-d forfend, be changed, any more than the law of Moses... G-d spare us from such a view. The judge may decide only according to the facts before him... and anyone may disagree, even with the words of the rishonim, if he has definite proof.
In addition to Meginnei Shelomo he wrote the responsa Penei Yehoshu'a (pt. 1, ibid. 1715; pt. 2, 1860), on the four divisions of the Shulhan Arukh. Other responsa were published in various collections of responsa. There remain still in manuscript novellae to the Tur Yoreh De'ah Hilkhot Shehitah, and a commentary to the Asarah Ma'amarot of R. Menahem Azariah de Fano.
הסכמות: רבני ארבע ארצות דמדינת פולין: ר' נפתלי הכהן מפוזנן, ר' שאול מקראקא, ר' מרדכי זיסקינד ב"ר משה רוטנבר[ג] מלובלין ור' שמואל ב"ר אברהם סג"ל מרישא, נכד המחבר, יערסלב, יומא דשוקא, י [מר]חשון ת"ס;
ר' יהודא ליב ב"ר יצחק אייזק מקראקא, נכד המחבר, שידלוב, ד כיסליו תע"ב;
ר' דוד אופנהם, פראג, מנחם [אב] ת"ע;
ר' יהודא ליב , גלוגא, ח [מר]חשון תע"ה;
ר' יחיאל מיכל ב"ר יהודא ליב, ברלין, כד [מר]חשון תע"ה.