Fraenkel, Isaac Seckel

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FRAENKEL, ISAAC SECKEL (1765–1835), Hebrew translator and banker. Fraenkel, who was born in Parchim, Germany, was self-educated. He acquired extensive knowledge of religious and secular subjects and of ancient and modern languages. In 1798 he moved to Hamburg where he engaged in banking and became one of the community leaders, particularly in its Reform congregation. Together with M.I. *Bresselau, Fraenkel edited a prayer book for the Hamburg Reform Temple (1818), which he defended in a German tract (Schutzschrift des zu Hamburg erschienenen Israelitischen Gebetbuches, 1819) when strong opposition against the new liturgy emerged among the traditionalists. Fraenkel's main literary project was the translation of the Apocrypha from Greek into Hebrew, entitled Ketuvim Aḥaronim. This work has frequently been reprinted since its first appearance in Leipzig (1830), its most recent edition appearing in Jerusalem in 1966. A bibliophile edition of the Books of the Maccabees, Sefer ha-Ḥashmona'im, appeared in Fraenkel's translation in 1964.


Kitvei Menahem Mibashan ha-Ḥadashim (1937), 145–58; S. Bernfeld, Toledot ha-Reformazyon ha-Datit be-Yisrael (1923), 72–73 and appendix b (excerpts from the prayer book). add. bibliography: M.A. Meyer, Response to Modernity (1988), 54–60.

[Getzel Kressel]