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Lichtenstadt, Abraham Aaron

LICHTENSTADT, ABRAHAM AARON

LICHTENSTADT, ABRAHAM AARON (d. 1702), *Court Jew and primator ("leader") of the Bohemian *Landesjudenschaft. Lichtenstadt has been identified with Aaron Schlackenwerth (d. 1694) and also with Abraham Aaron of Frankfurt, but Tobias *Jakobovits established that he was the son of the physician Naphtali Hirz Oettingen of Przemysl (Poland). He took his family name from his place of residence, Hroznetin (Lichtenstadt). First mentioned as agent of the court of Saxony, he became the shtadlan of Bohemian Jewry in 1673. In 1680 he persuaded *Leopold i to cancel the order expelling the Jews from the Planá community (see *Chodová Planá), and later secured for the Jews the right to attend the Leipzig fairs. He was instrumental in having Abraham *Broda appointed as chief rabbi (Landesrabbiner) of Bohemian Jewry in 1689. As a result of internal strife in the Jewish community, he was denounced for abusing his position when determining the allotment of taxes. Legal proceedings were opened in 1692, and although a case could not be established against him, Leopold i removed him from his post and had him, his son Solomon, and the secretary (Landschreiber) of the Landesjudenschaft imprisoned. The complicated trial which followed was one of the most prominent of its kind at the time. In 1693 he was released from prison and restored to office in 1701; those who had denounced him were imprisoned.

bibliography:

T. Jakubovits, in: mgwj, 74 (1930), 35–41; 76 (1932), 511–2; idem, in: jggjČ, 5 (1933), 79–136, passim.

[Meir Lamed]

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