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Bidding Information
Lot #    10792
Auction End Date    5/24/2005 3:52:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Jahresbericht des jüdisch-theological Seminars
Author    [Only Ed.] Dr. Jacob Bernays
City    Breslau
Publisher    Grass, Barth und Comp. (W. Friedrich)
Publication Date    1856
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   XXXVI, [7], 11 pp., 268:222 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy loose in contemporary paper wrappers.
   Annual of the Jewish Theological Seminar in Breslau. Each year this scholarly report (journal) was issued on a different subject. This issue deals with Hellenistic literature. There are introductory remarks and the text, which is accompanied by footnotes.

Dr. Jacob Bernays (18241881), born in Hamburg, was a philologist and classicist. He taught Greek at Bonn University (184853), at which time he published the Teubner edition of Lucretius' De Rerum Natura (1850), Heraklitische Studien (1850), and Ueber Spinozas hebraeische Grammatik (1850). Jacob was attached to Judaism and when, because of it, he could not gain promotion at Bonn he left and helped to found the Breslau Rabbinical Seminary in 1853. Jacob arranged the curriculum and taught classics, German literature, Hebrew poetry, and Jewish philosophy. He encouraged the publication of treatises with the annual report, himself contributing three (on the poetic fragments of Phocylides, 1856; on the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus, 1861; and Theophrastus' lost work On Piety, 1886). His greatest work, Grundzuege der verlorenen Abhandlung des Aristoteles ueber die Wirkung der Tragoedie (1857), on Aristotle's treatise which preceded the Poetics, aroused considerable criticism. In 1866 Jacob finally overcame the prejudices at Bonn and was appointed assistant professor and chief librarian, but still maintained an interest in the seminary at Breslau. His collected works were issued in 1885 (edited by Usener).

The Juedisch-Theologisches Seminar, Breslau, was the first modern rabbinical seminary in Central Europe. Founded in 1854 with the funds which Jonas Fraenkel, a prominent Breslau businessman, had willed for the purpose, the seminary became the model for similar colleges set up in Europe and the U.S. Its first head was Z. Frankel. The seminary also trained teachers until 1887 and this training was resumed in the 1920s and 1930s. However, the seminary's basic aim was to teach "positive historical Judaism." The "positive" stood for a faithful adherence to the practical precepts of Judaism, while "historical" permitted free inquiry into the Jewish past, including even Bible criticism, though with some self-imposed limitations. Thus the Breslau seminary, under Fraenkel's guidance, took a middle position between dogmatic Orthodoxy, as represented by R. S. R. Hirsch and R. A. Hildesheimer's Rabbinical Seminary, and Geiger's Lehranstalt (Hochschule) fuer die Wissenschaft des Judentums, officially an academic institution without ideology, but in fact largely a training college for Reform rabbis. Many of its graduates became rabbis in Liberal or Reform congregations, some in Orthodox ones.

   EJ; JE
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Germany:    Checked
History:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    German
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica