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Breidenbach, Wolf

BREIDENBACH, WOLF

BREIDENBACH, WOLF (1751–1829), court agent of several German princes and champion of Jewish emancipation in Germany. He left his birthplace, Breidenbach in Hesse, to attend the yeshivah in Frankfurt and then settled in Offenbach. Breidenbach used his connections with the nobility to press for the abolition of the humiliating Leibzoll ("body tax") which Jews had to pay on entering places where they had no rights of residence. Thanks to his efforts the toll was abolished in centers such as Isenburg, Hamburg (1803), the electorate of Mainz, Regensburg, Frankfurt (1804), and Darmstadt (1805). Breidenbach was a friend of the publisher and scholar B.W. *Heidenheim of Roedelheim, for whose edition of the maḥzor he translated several prayers into German. Two of his sons, Moritz and Julius, held high governmental positions and became converted to Christianity after their father's death.

bibliography:

H. Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der moderne Staat, 3 (1955), 127–60; M. Silberstein, in: zgjd, 5 (1892), 126–45; Graetz, Hist, 5 (1949), 467–8, 472; Brilling, in: blbi, 7 (1964), 165–68.

[Itta Gutgluck]

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