||Hebrew and German poems.
Raphael Furstenthal, 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 "Hobot ha-Lebabot" 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.
German Title: Oder Sammlung von Reden und Gedichten zur Weckung des religioesen und moralischen Sinnes, und zur belehrenden Unterhaltung der Jugend beiderlei Geschlechts, nebst einem fuer die wirkliche Darstellung bearbeiteten Hebraeischen ins Deutsche metrisch uebersetzten Familien-Schauspiel mit Gesaengen ... herausgegeben von R. J. Fuerstenthal...