||A work on Jewish ethics by Markus Baer Friedenthal, which was translated into German by R. J. Fürstenthal.
Markus Bar Friedenthal was a German banker and scholar; born in 1779; died at Breslau Dec. 3, 1859. Although one of the leading bankers at Breslau, he devoted much time to study and to communal affairs. His special interest lay in the field of religious philosophy and dogma, which he treated rather in an apologetic than in a purely scientific manner. His works nevertheless betrayed great sagacity, and had the merit, coming as they did from a conservative, of opening to the Talmudists the field of modern critical studies. Friedenthal wrote; "'Iḳḳare Emunah," on the dogmas of Jewish religion, proving that Mosaism is in accordance with the aims of humanity (Breslau, 3 vols., 1816-1818); "Yesod ha-Dat," a characterization of Jewish law (ib. 7 vols., 1821-23); "Mishpat ha-Ahizah we-Mishpat ha-Zekiyyah," on the law of property, a summary of the preceding work (ib. 1838); "Miktab le-hakme Yisrael," an open letter to Jewish scholars concerning Jewish dogmas (ib. 1825); "Ma'amar Mordekai," a defense of the institutions of the great synagogue at Breslau, with notes on the use and form of the prayers (ib. 1834); "Ha-Hokmah, ha-Tevunah, weha-Dat," on intelligence, comprehension, and religion, in 4 parts (ib. 1843-46). Several of these works were translated into German by R. J. Fürstenthal and by Wilhelm Freund. Friedenthal was also the author of many pamphlets written in German, dealing with the communal affairs of Breslau.
Jacob Raphael Fürstenthal was a German poet, translator, and Hebrew writer; born in Glogau 1781; died at Breslau Feb. 16, 1855. Fürstenthal's attention was directed chiefly toward the modernization of Jewish religious services, both in and out of the synagogue, and to this end he translated into German the most important liturgical books. These versions became very popular among the German Jews; and, in spite of many subsequent translations, they have retained their popularity to the present time. To some of them, as, for instance, the Penitential Prayers, he added excellent Hebrew commentaries. Furthermore, he did much creditable work in philosophical and exegetical literature. His German translations of and Hebrew commentaries to the "Moreh Nebukim" of Moses Maimonides and the "Hovot ha-Levavot" of Bahya ibn Pakuda, and especially his large Hebrew commentary to the whole Bible, evidence his great versatility in Talmudic and Midrashic literature.
Fürstenthal's main importance, however, lies in his activity as a national Hebrew poet. His poetic productions have a genuine classic ring, and are distinguished by elegance of diction, richness of thought, and true, unaffected national feeling. His power shows itself at its height in his "Song on Zion" ("Ha-Meassef," 1810, iv. 37), which is considered the best of his numerouspoems. In German, too, Fürstenthal has shown remarkable poetic talent in his rhythmical translations of various piyyutim, as, for example, his translation of the "pizmon" in the minhah prayer for the Day of Atonement.