Rapoport (Rappaport), Samuel

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RAPOPORT (Rappaport ), SAMUEL (1871–1943), rabbi, folklorist, and religious Zionist. Born in Lemberg, Rapoport studied in Germany and then returned to Galicia where he managed the family estate at Kalinka near Zloczow. An ardent (pre-Herzlian) Zionist from his youth, he was active and prominent in the Zionist movement from its beginning, participating in Zionist Congresses from 1898. Rapoport was co-founder of the *Mizrachi and the leader of its East Galician branch. During World War i, the Austrian government appointed him honorary rabbi of Zloczow, in which post he remained to the end. He was a victim of the Holocaust. His scholarly interests were in Jewish folklore, Ḥasidism, and Kabbalah.

In 1906 he published in Polish a work on the psychology of Ḥasidism, and also wrote a historical study in German on the Ḥanukkah festival (1912). His main work, Werdegangund Charakteristik des religioesen Lebens der Ostjuden, was not completed, but a number of chapters appeared in M. Buber's Der Jude from 1917–23. These gave western Jews an insight into the rich religious and cultural life of Eastern Jewry. Rapoport also wrote the articles on Jewish folklore for the Juedisches Lexikon.


N.M. Gelber, in: S.K. Mirsky (ed.), Ishim u-Demuyyot be-Ḥokhmat Yisrael… (1959), 353–6.