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[Pages 215-216]

Chapter 14: The Haskalah Movement

Translated by Myra Yael Ecker

Edited by Ingrid Rockberger

 

The emergence of the Haskalah at Lwów. The first group led by Salomon Jehudah Rappoport. The early Maskilim and their conflict with the Orthodox and with the Chassidim. The 1816 boycott. Jehudah Leib Mizes the zealot Maskil. The emergence of Chassidism [Chassidut] at Lwów. The Maskilim and the state's policies regarding the Jews. The memorandum on the improvement of the Jews' circumstances and the state's response.


Brody and Tarnopol were known centres of disciples of the Haskalah [Hebrew Enlightenment], with some Maskilim arriving from the new territories, from Zamosz [Zamość] etc. At the end of the 18th century there were Maskilim groups at Lwów, but their influence did not spread beyond their own circles, until the early 19th century. Well–to–do Jews were in contact with German officers who included educated men, teachers and scholars. As they spoke no Polish, they were forced closer to the Yiddish speaking Jews whose language they understood to a large extent. The officers gave German lessons to the families of those Jews with whom they were in contact, and they considered the dissemination of the German language and culture, a noble mission.

Among the disseminators of the Enlightenment were also Jewish merchants, who visited fairs in Germany and who brought back News of the Berlin Enlightenment, and who at times even circulated pamphlets and Enlightenment books. Those Maskilim joined closed circles where secular books were studied and read. Among the disseminators of the Enlightenment were also university students.[1] (Among the 320 students of the Law Faculty, there were 4 Jews). The Jewish medical doctors, Dr. Aron Gussman, Dr. Jakob Rappoport (1772–1855) and his son–in–law Kasowicz also played a major part in disseminating the Enlightenment. Secular studies were already widespread among the families of affluent merchants who were in touch with the authorities.

Among the early Maskilim were teachers of young children, who taught the Bible according to Mendelssohn's Biur [Exegesis] and spurred their pupils to study erudition and languages. One of those, Reb. Benjamin Zvi Natkis, was among the first to fight the Orthodox over their ignorance and over their objection to secular studies. To the group of youths who gathered at a small house on the same street as the hospital, behind the cemetery, he read out Hebrew and German books, and taught them Hebrew grammar, the Bible as well as foreign languages, He thus educated a young generation of Enlightenment sympathizers. From among that circle also sprang the awakening of research into the science and history of Israel.

The circle of Natkis, who was a teacher in the house of Rabbi Jakob Ornstein, was joined by Izak Erter (1791–1851), a languages, mathematics and history teacher who lived at Lwów from 1816 to 1819; Jehudah Leib Pastor, Salomon Jehudah Rappoport [aka. Shir = song] and Jehudah–Leib Mizys [Mizes], an offspring of one of Lwów's distinguished families which produced community–leaders and leaders of Reissen's Jewry (Mizys established a company to support youths who wished to undertake secondary–school education, as well as for medical students)[2]; Reb. Mardochaj Zwi Jalisz (father of Zacharyasz [Secharja]–Izajasz Jalisz, 1814–1852, who later moved to Minsk and became one of Dr. Lilienthal's assistants) scholar and scientist; Chaim Lerner, native of Lwów, a friend of Izak Erter and Mejer [Max] HaLevi Letteris, who was knowledgeable in foreign languages. Once his circle of friends was under boycott, he left Lwów for Jaroslaw where he was a teacher, wrote articles and translated Schiller's Poem “Der Taucher” [“The Diver”] into Hebrew.

The Maskilim circle also numbered 1. the son of David Barda,[3] Eliahu (1793–1864), the uncle of Salomon Jehudah Rappoport, author of Shorashei HaLashon HaIvrit [Roots of the Hebrew Language], Ma'arich Ma'arachot [Systems Appraiso] and translator of Metastasio's Italian libretto Isacco. 2. Solomon ben Chaim Boruch Berik, born at Lwów on 7th May 1790, lived in Germany and Vienna and died at London on 10th June 1846. He wrote his autobiography Chakirat HaEmet [Investigation of the Truth], where he also investigated the concept of Truth (it was published at Altuna in 1838, and at Vienna in 1841). His second book, Chezionei La'il [Night–time Visions], was published at Vienna (1873), by his son Izak Levy Berik. 3. Josef Tarler (Tarla, 1794–1854), born at Gologory [Holohory], was a renowned scholar. Married to the daughter of the Rabbi of Wielkie Oczy[4] near Pshemish [Przemyśl], he grew wealthy, turned heretical and loathed the rabbis and the Chassidim, and in particular the Rabbi of Belz, Zvi Elimelech from Dinov [Dynów]. His sharp sarcastic writings eventually forced him to leave his father–in–law's house and move to Lwów as a private teacher. He got into trouble with a Polish noble for counterfeiting bills, and was liable to a severe punishment, but the suit was dropped with the proviso that he converted. And so, Tarla together with his wife and offsprings, converted, and he was appointed the first censor of Hebrew books published in Galicia. As censor he took his revenge

[Pages 217-218]

on the Chassidim and banned the publication of books on Chassidism. Despite his conversion, he remained a faithful Jew associated with Lwów's Maskilim and joined the circle of Salomon Jehudah Rappoport. Later on he repented and returned to the bosom of Judaism. Tarla was a tutor to Izak Erter and encouraged him to study medicine. Tarla wrote articles for “Jeruschalajim” the compilation by Nachman Fischmann, as well as a sharp satire Ja'alizu Chassidim Be'Chavod [Let the Chassidim rejoice in honour], against the Chassidim.[5]

The Maskilim also gathered on Szpitalna Street at Salomon Jehudah Rappoport's house where he lived with his father, Rabbi Aron Chaim Rappoport who was a Chacham [scholar] and kept a Yeshivah for pupils from the towns of Galicia. After he married the daughter of the children's Torah teacher, Rabbi Arieh Leib[6] who was subsequently elected rabbi of Stryj and was known as the author of Kezot HaChoshen. His spiritual development was much inspired by his mother, Zirel Etel, who was a gentle woman known as “The Pearl of Women”, as well as by her brother Eliahu Barda. At home, Salomon Jehudah Rappoport, lectured to the Maskilim circle on research into Jewish history.

 

lvi217.jpg
Rabbi Salomon Jehudah Rappoport [Shir]

 

Inevitably, by and by rumours spread about the young Maskilim circle. The Orthodox began to cast aspersions on them as heretics who degraded the Torah, especially once the critical comments by Salomon Jehudah Rappoport on “the innovations” published by Rabbi Jakob Ornstein in his book Yeshu'ot Ja'akob (1809) became known. They also claimed that not a single original idea appeared in his books. Due to his comments, Salomon Jehudah Rappoport was detested by Rabbi Ornstein.

There was also the incident when by mistake Benjamin Natkis left a Hebrew translation of Mendelssohn's book, at the Rabbi's house, a matter which sparked an explosion.

One night, on 10th May 1816, an announcement on behalf of Rabbi Jakob Ornstein was pasted onto the entrance of the Great Synagogue, to banish and ostracize Salomon Jehudah Rappoport, Izak Erter, Natkis and Pastor. They did not dare ostrocize Mizys. The Maskilim complained to the authorities about Rabbi Jakob Ornstein who had banned them without a special licence from the authorities, and submitted a German translation of the banishment announcement. Their complaint asserted that all ostracism had been outlawed in Austria ever since Joseph II,

The authorities compelled the elderly Rabbi to publicly revoke the ban within the Great Synagogue, and to declare in a sermon given in German that, according to the Torah, learning the German language and secular studies was permitted. In their conflict the Maskilim were assisted by the commission–officer Sacher, who liked and admired Salomon Jehudah Rappoport, and consequently demanded an apology from their zealot persecutors[7].

In a letter to a friend, an anonymous Maskil described the lifting of the ban, as follows:

“This Sabbath, our venerable master, Rabbi and great scholar [Gaon] cloaked in a Tizlik [a costly, long silk coat that reached the ground] and tied with both straps in front of his throat, was led by state–officers, one on either side of him, who placed him in front of God's Ark. There, with trembling hands, he took the sermon written in a foreign script and language, known as Germanish, which strangers had prepared ever since Friday evening, and with his head covered, a terrified expression and moving lips he read the following: Concerning the boycott scrolls which soared this summer over those seeking knowledge and the Gentiles' tongues, especially over four people noted by their names so–and–so etc., and over the towns of Brody and Tarnopol, in which schools were established for their youth. Not only were His Excellency the Emperor's statutes broken, they breached the country's religious code which did not permit the boycott of men. Consequently, if even in days to come the scoundrels of that abomination will not clean up, in the spirit of ethics, and together leave behind the rebellious criminals, who do not follow the Emperor's laws, as they also transgressed the laws which were passed to teach us that it is necessary and befitting for each and every Jew to learn languages of the nations under whose rule and mercy they might complain”.

Present at the synagogue were “the leaders, heads of the community”, as ordered by the Governor's ministers with a 50 Reinisch fine on anyone who abstained from hearing the sermon of our Rabbi the great scholar, and they wisely requested, from those who had issued the orders, that he hold his sermon after reading the Torah, believing that afterwards each member of the community would go home. They were mistaken however, with their request turning into a stumbling block and to the accuser's successful action, when after the Torah was read, the entire congregation from the youngest to the old, wealthy and poor together, from all the synagogues, a large crowd as at a celebration. They were pressed together in the synagogue as well as the small hall of the house, too tight to contain all the crowd that rushed there, so they climbed on the roof and looked through the windows to see the splendour of our honoured Rabbi the great scholar's face, and to hear

[Pages 219-220]

gracious words from his blessed mouth. And when he sighed to deliver the sermon in a small voice (since the anger, grief and shame that raged in his soul also choked his untarnished throat) the regional commissar Därnfeld read out that sermon, a second time, in a loud voice. And whoever had not heard the words of the our honoured Rabbi the great scholar, the first time, clearly heard the words the second time, from Mr. Därnfeld.

“It took place at the synagogue outside the town, and at the two synagogues within the town the rabbis and the community–elders also read out that sermon, and to their right, translators who spoke German (for the honoured community–elders would not be drawn thus to speak) most of them, fearful of foolishness, were sickened and angry, but put a hand to their mouth and held their tongues, for fear of watchful eyes. But in the secrecy of their own homes they swore and cursed the criminals who took revenge on, and repaid in kind the honour of our righteous Rabbi who hates [secular] wisdom and its preachers, and who disgraced and persecuted it within the community, and some sinning in their knowing souls, and whose sins of leprosy of knowledge shone on their foreheads to understand from the Bible – rejoiced in his downfall and read the Biblical saying about him: The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the promotion of fools. Till here the words of that writer”.[8]

Such cases inevitably increased the objection to the Maskilim since the Orthodox led by Rabbi Ornstein upheld their offence against the Maskilim, especially against Salomon Jehudah Rappoport and Mizys; the gulf widened between the Orthodox and the Chassidim and between the Maskilim. Arguments within families and disputes between parents and children led to actual segregation, with some 50 women forced by their parents to divorce, since their husbands were suspected of heresy. Jehudah–Leib Mizys was also obliged to divorce [give a get to] his wife who, according to his request, married his friend Natan Rosenstein whom the Orthodox did not consider a suspect.

The Maskilim were led by Jehudah–Leib Mizys (1792–1831), descendant of a renowned, wealthy family whose sons numbered among the scholars, leaders and elders of Lwów's community as well as regional committee. Jehudah–Leib did not abandon his fight with, and hatred for Chassidism, neither did he recoil from turning informant, especially following the ban on the Maskilim of Lwów, Brody and Tarnopol. In his loathing for Chassidism he was greatly influenced by Joseph Perl who had befriended him and was a guest at his house on his stays in Lwów. In his contact with the authorities he had a hand in the persecution of Kulikow and Modlinger regarding the collecting of funds for the poor in Eretz Israel. During 1823–1825, Mizys together with two other Maskilim –Markus Hiller and Moses Rabe– submitted complaints to Lwów's authorities over the communities which, in contravention of the law, granted licenses for arranging Minyanim for the Chassid Rabbi Joseph ben Rabbi Jakob ben Izak of Lublin. Mizys, who was a stubborn and jealous man, was always ready to help his fellow Maskilim: Izak Erter, Mejer Letteris, Natkis, Samson HaLevi Bloch and Nachman Fischmann as well as others. Apart from his knowledge of the Talmud and the Midrash, Mizys also excelled in general knowledge. In 1823, in Letteris's collection “HaTz'phira” [“The Siren”], he [Mizys] published the article “On the Reason for our People's lack of Human Knowledge”, which harshly criticised Poland's Jews “who scorn human knowledge”. That article spurred the rage of the Orthodox, and even angered some among the Maskilim circles that Letteris had published Mizys's harsh words. Among the sympathisers of the Enlightenment in the Mizys family, one should mention Fischel Mizys who loved the Hebrew language and literature. He published Rabbi Moses Chaim Luzzatto's book LaJesharim Tehila [Glory to the Righteous]. The author Mejer Levy Letteris lived at Lwów as a university student in the years 1826–1836, when he formed contact with the Maskilim circle and specially with Mizys.

On the death of Baron [von] Hauer in 1827, the community had to publish a lament for his death. Rabbi Jakob Ornstein turned to Letteris to write a lament in Hebrew as well as in German, in which the Rabbi who would bear the printing cost, would be mentioned by name. Due to his honour, Letteris agreed and wrote the lament “Pilgei Mayim” [“Water Streams”] (Lwów 1927), for a fee.

Mizys's book Kinath HaEmeth [Zeal for the Truth] (Vienna 1828), is a kind of dialogue between Maimonides and his interpreter, the author of Merkevet HaMishnah, written in the spirit of the rationalism characteristic of the period of Enlightenment, filled with bold views which angered Salomon Jehudah Rappoport.

In his comments on the translation of the book Techunath HaRabanim [The Rabbis' Trait] by David Caro (1782–1829) from Zhupany [Żupanie], Mizys demanded to introduce amendments in education, in the spirit of [Naftali Herz] Weisel's proposals; changes in the economic composition of the Jews through their employment in agriculture. He also demanded that they amend their way of life and get closer to the rest of the population. Mizys's major work was his fight against Chassidism which he whole heartedly despised – a fight which angered Jacob Shmuel Bik. who considered it a quixotic act.

Mizys died (26th June 1831) on Izak Erter's lap, of the cholera epidemic which had spread through Galicia. His funeral was attended by his enemies, the Orthodox and the Chassidim, whistling and shouting for joy.

Mizys had not established a special school. His extremism found no supporters even among the Maskilim circles that objected to the tactics of the Chassidim. They did not wish to escalate the conflict with the Orthodox

[Pages 221-222]

as well as with the Chassidim, at the same time, since the Orthodox also opposed the Chassidim.

We have no precise details on the development of Lwów's Chassidism at the end of the 18th century. Lwów's community, led by Rabbi Hirsch Rosanes, strongly objected to it. In 1792, on his initiative, a ban was issued against the Chassidim and against the ritual butchers [Shochtim] who were their sympathizers. The ban forbade the Chassidim from holding their own Minyanim (Schtieblach). Besides Rabbi Hirsch Rosanes, the signatories to that proclamation were the community–elders Hirsch ben Moses Vitales, Süskind Susmann Balaban, Abraham ben Eliaezer Menkes.[9] Despite their objection they were unable to prevent the progression of Chassidism which surrounded most Jews of Eastern Galicia. At Lwów however, those objecting to that sect did not rest and fought its rabbis. In 1794, when Rabbi Meszulam Igra stopped at Lwów on his way to Pressburg and saw the influence of Chassidism, he addresed the community leaders in a letter of 8th February, calling “to rehabilitate the rejected sheep and stop them spreading in all directions”. Avoid forming factions, avoid forming sects, groups that will alter the traditions of our forefathers, the great world scholars in our country and in our Torah. Their virtue will save us and I went out “toward them to zealously protect the Lord and his Teaching so that the Torah will not be lost”.

 

lvi221.jpg
Jewish shops

 

Rabbi Zwi Hirsch Rosanes and the community–elders of the two communities agreed and replied “To release us from this obstacle which has alienated us from the glory of our exalted Torah that lies neglected”.[10]

The rabbis and the community leaders did all they could to halt the spread of Chassidism and to expel its followers from any influence on the community's affairs.[11]

Only in the 1840s did the Chassidism movement turn into an element which affected Lwów's community. Prior to that the Chassidim had no leader at Lwów. They maintained three prayer Minyanim (Schtiblach) which turned into propaganda cells whence Chassidism spread among the population. Jacob Glanzer rose as their leader.

With the emergence of Chassidism as a mass movement, Rabbi Jakob Ornstein came out against it. At the same time it was necessary to open a second front against the Maskilim who inculcated their knowledge from their centres at Brody, Tarnopol and Lwów to the communities spread all over Galicia, and attracted the youth by opening to them new spiritual avenues and opportunities for new lives rather than the ones in which they had been immersed.

Unlike Mizys and Perl, Lwów's Maskilim were rooted in traditional Judaism. They injected a national aspect into the Galician Enlightenment, remained faithful to the Hebrew language, the mainstay of their national outlook. Although some of them had already rejected the commandments –not publicly but secretly– their number was small. There was also an unusual kind of Maskilim who wore traditional Jewish clothes and put on a Schtramel [fur hat] on Sabbath, but who were heretic at heart. An opinion prevailed[12] that the Jews of Lwów excelled in “excessive naiveté, humility, love of mankind”. They lacked the arrogance of the Jews from Galicia's small towns who enjoyed upsetting their friends with stinging jokes, They were also naive, not quick enough to deceive their friends. Those from small towns said of them that “their wisdom would expire” beyond the town's gates.

One need realize that the spread of Chassidism was actually assisted by “Josephinism”, which for scores of years after the demise of Joseph II still formed the conceptual bedrock of Austria's Enlightenment policy for the Jews.

The grave demands for assimilation, without the actual implementation of Jewish civil parity, wholly contradicted the Jewish way of life. A wholesale revolution was required in the lives of Galicia's Jews–something that could only be achieved through an historical process. Lacking any understanding of the Jewish problem, and by considering it solely a religious issue, the authorities alienated the Jewish masses from a desire for Enlightenment, and pushed them into the arms of Chassidism and its rabbis, where they sought refuge for their souls' yearnings.

The authorities did everything –contrary to the aspirations of citizen–rights, to equality and to the dissemination of the Enlightenment among the masses– to restrict the legal economic basis of Jewish existence.

The Vienna government's method of repression was however guided by its political interest in Galicia's Jews, through whom it aimed to weaken the Polish national–political element which, since the 1831 revolt had begun to take root in the country, and in its capital Lwów in particular.

[Pages 223-224]

The Austrian government's policies regarding the Jews was also guided by the failed attempts to involve the Jews in agriculture as well as to increase their German assimilation. In short, “Josephinism”, the government's policies regarding the Jews, had totally failed since the Jews of Lwów and Galicia were not swept by the current of assimilation, but remained faithful to traditional Judaism.

Lwów's Maskilim looked for ways to lighten their brethren's circumstances. In 1820, they started to make plans for improving the situation of the masses, and in a memorandum to the Governor they submitted proposals how to amend the Jewish education: 1. To establish Jewish educational institutions. 2. To enforce by law the abolition of Jewish traditional dress. 3. To make the appointment of the community–elders unrelated to the payments of candle–tax. 4. To collect from, and to allot the Jewish taxes to, the entire community. The Vienna central government responded that those issued had been debated in the proposals for the new Jewish–statute, and that consequently the issues did not require debate but rather to be used to that end.[13]

Clearly Joseph II's heirs continued with his Jewish policy, without taking note of the Jews' fundamental needs. The tax burden and the economic discrimination were greatly increased under Franz I, and remained in force till the revolution of 1848, and even then the special situation in which the Jews found themselves was not brought to an end.

 


[Page 366]

Notes CHAPTER 14
All notes in square brackets [ ] were made by the translator.

  1. Lwów University was established in 1784 and functioned till 1805, when the professors were transferred to Krakow University which was located within the Austrian territory. At Lwów, a Lyceum for the study of theology, law, philosophy and surgery was established. The Lyceum was not entitled to grant doctoral degrees. In August 1817, the University was reopened by Kaiser Franz I, and was named after him. Return
  2. A. Sares: History of the rabbi the great Scholar, Rabbi Salomon Jehudah Leib Rappoport. “HaShachar” 1929, p. 26. Return
  3. His sister, Zirel–Etel, was the wife of Rabbi Aron–Chaim Kohen Rapoport, the father of Salomon Jehudah Rappoport, who inspired him in the way of the Enlightenment.
    Eliahu Barda married the daughter of Rabbi Izak–Arieh Margulies, bookseller and housekeeper to Rabbi Fischel Mizys.
    In 1829, Eliahu Barda moved to Vienna as housekeeper to Mizys, and was appointed as commercial dealer, but since he had no right to remain at Vienna he lived at Eisenstadt till 1838. He contributed to Avnei Nezer and Wiener Vierteljahrschrift [Vienna Quarterly] of Dr. Mejer Letteris, and to Kochbe Jizchak [“Isaac's Stars”]. The book Ma'arich Ma'arachot includes all roots of the past tenses according to the Bible with interpretation and translation. He also participated in Vienna's public life and was the leader of the synagogue of Poland's Jews.His son Daniel wrote comedies and articles in German; and his
[Pages 367–368]

    second son, Jakob, was a builder. His daughters, 1. Channah was married to David Weiss Benisch; 2. Jentel, to Mechil–Leib Benisch; 3. Zila, to Tibia Gottlieb. Return
  1. In the book Ohel Naftali [Naftali's Tent] (Warsaw 1911), p. 99, it is said that Rabbi Zewi–Elimelech of Dynov [Dynów] (author of Bnei Issachar: [Sons of Issachar]) spent one Sabbath at Wielkie Oczy, “Where a great Chacham and prodigy named Josef Tarler, was continually laughing at the above mentioned holy man who at the time was reading the Sidrah [Bible weekly portion] – Therefore the Jews will not eat the thigh tendon– and the holy Rabbi of blessed memory read enthusiastically and sweetly from the Bible as was his wont. And the prodigy Josef Tarler joked, not in an entertaining way: What luck the Angel has not touched upon devouring the best, for alas if he had, you would not be permitted to eat brisket [based on a pun in Yiddish]. When later Josef Tarler's words were repeated to the holy Rabbi, he retorted with, Is that what he said?, so I have no doubt he must be an infidel, etc. When later this was related to Josef Tarler of Sathmar [Satu Mare], it sparked in him an envy of greater defiance, and he travelled to the holy Rabbi of Ropczyce [Ropshitz]. And he said to the holy Rabbi at Ropczyce: there is a rebel who thinks of himself a rabbi, who said of me that I must be an infidel. So the holy Rabbi of Ropczyce asked, Is that what he said?, what a Mitzva [commandment] to hear the words of sages. For the holy Rabbi of Ropczyce, in his holiness, knew that Josef Tarler was inside an infidel. Instantly, Tarler's face fell and he ran for his life, and soon after there was no villain. And in bad times he transgressed from the essence, and converted [to Christianity] God save us. He rose far among the nations and was appointed censor at the town of Lwów. When the book Ben Issachar was printed he refused to grant it a license, saying that according to it [”] I must be a transgressor [“]. It was first published without introduction or title page. It later emerged that even in his youth Tarler was friends with a corrupting man, Letteris, his name be damned, and even in the past Minian books fell out of his lap, God save us”. Return
  2. Dr. Simon Bernfeld: Memoires, Reshumot [Records]. Tel–Aviv, 1926, Vol. 4. pp. 186–187.
    Dr. M. Weissberg: Die neuhebr. Literatur M. G.W. d. J. 1928. p. 185. Return
  3. In 1823, Izrael Piklanzer reported Salomon Jehudah Rappoport who had married the Jewess Friede against Austrian Law and Justice. The authorities investigated and found that the report was unfounded and untrue “that Rappoport lives in a wild marriage” (Dünaburg; Daugpilis) From the Archives of Salomon Jehudah Rappoport. “Kiriat Sefer” Vol. I, Jerusalem. 1925, pp. 151–152]. Return
  4. Later, when he was appointed Tarnopol's regional minister, he protected Salomon Jehudah Rappoport, who served there at the Rabbinate. Return
  5. Appeared in Israel Weinlös's introduction to the book Joseph Perl, Jewish writings. Wilno. 1937, p. ixxx, note 1. Return
  6. The ban was published in the book Cherev Chada [Sharp Sward] by Ephraim Deinard, Kearny, 1904, p. 122; from a manuscript at Oxford This is the Doctrine of Zealousness by an unknown. Return
  7. Two letters were published in the book of S. Dubnow History of Chassidism, Tel–Aviv. 1840, Vol. III, pp. 452–453. Return
  8. In 1798, Israel ben Jehudah–Löb (Löbel), the tycoon [magid] elder from Slutzk, and one of the fiercest active opponents of Chassidism, came to Galicia. When he was at Krakow, his books were banned by the tax–office after lobbies by the Chassidim. When he came to Lwów in September 1798, the Chassidim met him on Janowska Street, and beat him up.
    When afterwards, at the beginning of 1799, he had an audience with Kaiser Franz I, Löbel submitted a written complaint against the Chassidim. The Kaiser promised to investigate the matter. As a result, the Chassidim were badly affected: the authorities issued a prohibition on public gatherings, and the Chassidic rabbis left Galicia for Poland. In addition, books of Chassidism were banned in Galicia.
    Israel Löbel. Glaubwürdige Nachrichten von einer neuen Sekte unter den Juden in Polen und Litauen die sich Chssidim nennt und ihren. die Menschheit empörenden Grundsätzen und Lehren. Frankfurt an der Oder 1799.
    Appeared in: Sulamith, Dessau 1807. Vol. II, pp. 308–333. Return
  9. Dr. Simon Bernfeld: Memoires, Reshumot [Records]. Tel–Aviv, 1926, Vol. 4. pp. 170–171. Return
  10. Archive of the Ministry of the Interior, Vienna: Carton 2580 ad 48. Febr, 1820. Return

 

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