Kirschbaum, Eliezer Sinai

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KIRSCHBAUM, ELIEZER SINAI (1798–1870), physician and author; leader of the *Haskalah in Galicia; born in Sieniawa, Poland. In 1816 he went to Berlin to study medicine and later practiced in Cracow, where he distinguished himself during the cholera epidemic in 1831. In appreciation, the senate of the Republic of Cracow awarded him a building plot. As ownership of land was forbidden to Jews, Kirschbaum took out a certificate of baptism, but he nevertheless remained faithful to Judaism. From his student days he was in contact with David *Friedlaender and Leopold *Zunz. He was a member of the *Verein fuer Kultur und Wissenschaft des Judentums and in 1821 presented it with a memorandum in which he adopted a positive attitude toward the idea of a Jewish state, identified himself with the program of Mordecai Manuel *Noah, but advocated Ethiopia instead of the United States as the transitional territory to Ereẓ Israel. His works include Leket Shirim u-Meliẓot (1820, Heb. and Ger.), a collection of poems and proverbs; Hilkhot Yemot ha-Mashi'aḥ (1822), in which he interpreted messianism as the political, non-miraculous redemption of the Jewish people; Maimonides Specimen Diacteticum (1822); Vorschlaege betreffend einige gesellschaftliche Institutionen (1842), lectures on social institutions; Aufsaetze im Gebiete der Religion und des sozialen Lebens (1843), essays relating to religion and socialism; and Es ist noch heute oder Der Familie Apotheose (1858).


A. Ginzig, in: Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 3 (part 4, 1890), 9–10; Sefer Kraka (1959), 81–83; N.M. Gelber, Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Galiẓyah, 1 (1958), 24–29.

[Moshe Landau]