Fraenkel, Levi ben Saul

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FRAENKEL, LEVI BEN SAUL

FRAENKEL, LEVI BEN SAUL (Schaulsohn ; 1761–1815), apostate member of the rabbinical *Fraenkel family. In 1806 he was nominated by the authorities assistant of the *Breslaubet din and Oberlandesrabbiner for Silesia (excluding Breslau), despite local objections. A year later he left the city, addressing an open letter to the community in which he acclaimed the French *Sanhedrin, advocated the unification of all religions, and expressed messianic hopes centered around *Napoleon. His letter caused consternation. In the same year in Paris he embraced Catholicism and thereafter wandered throughout Europe, until his death in extreme poverty and neglect in a Jewish hospital in Frankfurt. He wrote a few mystical works.

bibliography:

M. Brann, in: Jubelschrift … H. Graetz (1887), 266–76; A. Freimann, in: zhb, 4 (1900), 159. add. bibliography: Biographisches Handbuch der Rabbiner, 1 (2004), 323.

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