||R. Leo Munk (1851-1917) was the district Rabbi in Marburg and this volume is a lecture on the Talmud that he delivered on October 4, 1887 which was the first day of Succoth, 5648. He was also the author of Die Pesach-Hagada der Bne Israel (London, 1959), Zur Errinerung an die Einweihung der neuen Synagoge in Marburg (Marburg, 1897), and others.
Marburg is a town in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau. Jews are first mentioned as living in Marburg in a document dated May 13, 1317, which indicates that they were then organized as a community and possessed a synagogue; also that they dwelt in a special quarter of the town. From a document of 1452 it appears that the synagogue was demolished in that year, and that the Jewish cemetery passed into Christian hands; hence the Jews must have been expelled from Marburg about that time. They gradually returned to the city; and in 1532 Landgrave Philipp revoked the decree of expulsion issued by him in 1524, and permitted the Jews provisionally to remain in his territory for a period of six years. Two Jews, named respectively Liebmann and Gottschalk, availed themselves of this permission in 1536.
As the Hessian cities repeatedly petitioned against the admission of Jews, the number of the latter remained very small: in 1744 there were only six Jewish families at Marburg; in 1776, eight. No one was permitted to harbor foreign Jews, except at the times of the fairs, on pain of being fined and of losing the privilege of protection. The Marburg community increased somewhat with the granting of freedom of residence; but even as late as 1902 it numbered only about 300 members in a total population of 16,668. It possesses a handsome synagogue (built in 1897), a parochial and a religious school, and a home for pupils and apprentices (opened in 1901) with seventy students.
Since 1823 Marburg has been the seat of the board of management of the union including the Jewish communities in the districts of Marburg, Kirchhayn, Frankenberg, and Ziegenhain. Marburg is the seat also of a district rabbinate, which includes not only the former districts, but also those of Biedenkopf and Wetzlar. The district rabbis have been: Moses Solomon Gosen, 1824-62; Liebmann Gersfeld, 1862-76; and Dr. Leo Munk, the present (1904) incumbent, appointed in 1876. There are a number of educational and philanthropic societies.