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Rapoport

RAPOPORT

RAPOPORT (Rappoport ; also Rapaport or Rappaport ), common surname among Jews in Italy, Germany, Poland, and Russia. The family was descended from Abraham Menahem b. Jacob ha-Kohen Rapa who lived in Porto, Italy, at the beginning of the 16th century. The name Rapa originated in the German Rabe (Rappe in Middle High German), i.e., a raven. In order to distinguish themselves from other members of the Rapa family, the members of this family added the name of the town of Porto, and thus the name Rapoport was formed. (According to another version, this came about by a marriage between the Rapa and Porto families.) The family escutcheon of Abraham Rapa of Porto shows a raven surmounted by two hands raised in blessing (indicating the family's priestly descent). In the course of time other families, including some who were not kohanim, took the name of Rapoport.

Known from the 17th century were David ha-Kohen *Rapaport of Lublin and solomon ben naḤman ha-kohen, who officiated as a rabbi in Dubno, Grodno, and Lublin. In the 18th century there were Ḥayyim ben simḤah ha-kohen rapoport (c. 1700–1771), rabbi in Slutsk and Lvov, who took part in the disputation with the Frankists in Lvov in 1759 and was the author of Zekher Ḥayyim (Lemberg, 1865), responsa and funeral orations. His brother, benjamin ben simḤah ha-kohen rapoport, a Maggid in the community of Brzezany (Berezhany), Galicia, wrote Gevulot Binyamin (Lemberg, 1789), containing novellae on the Torah, and a commentary on the Passover Haggadah. Isaac ben Judah ha-Kohen *Rappaport officiated as rabbi at Smyrna. He died in Jerusalem, having published responsa and homilies Battei Kehunnah (Smyrna, 1736; Salonika, 17542). In the 19th century Benjamin Ze'ev Wolf ha-Kohen ben Isaac *Rapoport (1754–1837) officiated as rabbi in Papa, Hungary. He was known for the lenient decisions in his responsa, which caused the extreme Orthodox Mordecai *Banet and Moses *Sofer to demand his dismissal. He opposed Kabbalah and Ḥasidism. He wrote Simlat Binyamin (Dyhernfurth, 1788), Simlah Sheniyyah (Vienna, 1800), and responsa Edut le-Yisrael (Pressburg, 1839).

The most important member of the Rapoport family in the 19th century was Solomon Judah Leib *Rapoport ("Shir"). His grandson, arnold rapoport (b. 1840), a leader of the assimilationists in Galicia, was a deputy of the Austrian Reichsrat from 1879 to 1907 representing the Polish party. He was popular among the Jewish masses in Galicia for founding relief organizations. In 1890 he was ennobled, receiving the title von Porada.

Members of the family well known in Russia in modern times were the Russian-Yiddish journalist simon rapaport: the author and folklorist Solomon Zainwil Rapoport (S. *An-ski); and the socialist leader and writer Charles *Rappoport. alexander rapoport (1862–1928), a publisher in Russia, was the last owner of the Hebrew newspaper Ha-Meliẓ as well as the publisher of Der Fraynd, the first Yiddish daily in Russia.

bibliography:

E. Carmoly, Ha-Orevim u-Venei ha-Yonah (1861); J. Reifmann, in: Ha-Shaḥar, 3 (1872), 353–76; I.T. Eisenstadt and S. Wiener, Da'at Kedoshim (1897–98), 135–81.

[Yehuda Slutsky]

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