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Friedmann, Abraham

FRIEDMANN, ABRAHAM

FRIEDMANN, ABRAHAM (d. 1879), chief rabbi of Transylvania. Among the first rabbis there to introduce the preaching of sermons in the synagogue in Hungarian, he encountered strong opposition from Orthodox rabbis. When officiating in Simánd (province of Arad) in 1845 he preached in Hungarian on the occasion of the birthday of King Ferdinand i. The address, entitled Egyházi beszéd, was published the same year. Previously Friedmann published a pamphlet, also in Hungarian, in defense of Jewish rights entitled Az izraelita nemzetnek védelmére (1844). In 1845 the council of electors of the Jews of Transylvania, convened by the Catholic bishop of *Alba-Iulia, elected him chief rabbi of the grand principality. He subsequently settled in the capital, Alba-Iulia. During his period of office he also played a political role as representative of Transylvanian Jewry and became involved in bitter disputes and polemics. In 1872 his opponents obtained his removal from office. He was the last chief rabbi to hold office for the whole of Transylvania. One of his main opponents was Hillel *Lichtenstein.

bibliography:

Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), 295.

[Yehouda Marton]

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