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Neuda, Abraham


NEUDA, ABRAHAM (1812–1854), rabbi in *Lostice (Loschitz), one of the first in Moravia to have a secular education. His father, Aaron Moses, was also a rabbi in Lostice from 1812 to 1831. When his father became ill, Abraham, a favorite pupil of the LandesrabbinerNahum *Trebitsch of *Mikulov (Nikolsburg), substituted for him on the authorization of his teacher. After the death of Aaron Moses in 1831 the community elected Abraham rabbi, but this time Trebitsch refused his authorization because Abraham had not only preached in German but also had acquired too much secular education (albeit clandestinely) at the yeshivah. A six-year-long conflict was finally brought before the provincial authorities, who requested the advice of Loeb *Schwab on the matter. Abraham was supported by Isaac Noah *Mannheimer. The authorities compelled Trebitsch to examine Neuda before a committee of two other rabbis and a Catholic priest. In the end Trebitsch was forced to acknowledge Neuda as rabbi of Lostice. Neuda published a collection of his sermons under the title, Massa Devar Adonai, in 1845. In his works, he attempted to reconcile the traditional *derash with the modern sermon. Parts of his historical account of the Jews of Moravia were published posthumously by Gerson *Wolf in *Neuzeit (1863).

A year after Neuda's death, his wife, fanny (1819–1894), sister of the Vienna rabbi Abraham Adolf *Schmiedl, published in his memory a prayer book in German for women, entitled, Stunden der Andacht, ein Gebet-und Erbauungsbuch fuer Israels Frauen und Jungfrauen, which attained great popularity among Jewish women in central Europe. It was the first prayer book of its kind to be written by a woman and took into account, besides the divine services, all the occasions in the life of a woman. Until the 1920s, 28 editions of the prayer book had been sold. In 1936 Martha Wertheimer published a revised version for the special conditions of Nazi Germany. An English translation by M. Maier, Hours of Devotion, was published in New York.


L. Loew, Gesammelte Schriften, 2 (1890), 203–11; B. Wachstein, in: H. Gold (ed.), Juden und Judengemeinden Maehrens… (1929), 319, includes bibliography; I.H. Weiss, Zikhronotai (1895), 47–49; S.W. Rosenfeld, Stunden der Andacht (1857), introd.

[Meir Lamed]

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