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Hermanus Quondam Judaeus


HERMANUS QUONDAM JUDAEUS (Herman of Scheda ; c. 1107–1170 or 1198), apostate abbot of Scheda (Westphalia). Born in Cologne, and originally named Judah b. David, he traveled to Mainz on business, and there loaned money to Ekbert, bishop of Muenster, without receiving a pledge. His parents therefore sent him back with his tutor Baruch to collect the pledge. He spent 20 weeks at Ekbert's court visiting monasteries, attending Ekbert's sermons, and taking part in religious disputations. When he returned home, Baruch accused him of undue sympathy toward Christianity. After a few weeks he decided to embrace Christianity. He went to Worms, preaching Christianity to the community there, and kidnapped his seven-year-old step-brother. Around 1128 he was baptized and five years later became a priest in the Premonstratensian Order. His autobiography, Hermani Opusculum de conversione sua (1687), describes Jewish life in Germany in the 12th century. However some scholars consider that Herman Quondam Judaeus may not have been identical with Herman of Scheda.


Aronius, Regesten (1902), index; idem, in: zgjd, 2 (1888), 217–31; G. Niemeyer, Hermanus Quondam Judaeus opusculum de conversione sua (1963), bibl. 62–66; New Catholic Encyclopedia, 6 (1967), S.V. Herman of Scheda; A. Epstein, in: mgwj, 45 (1901), 66.

[Meir Lamed]

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