Szabolcsi (Weinstein), Miksa

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SZABOLCSI (Weinstein ), MIKSA (1857–1915), Hungarian author, editor, and journalist. Born in Tura, Szabolcsi studied at yeshivot and spent some time at the Budapest rabbinical seminary. Deciding that he wanted to be a writer, he started working as a journalist. He first became known during the blood libel case at *Tiszaeszlár (1882–83), when he was acting as correspondent for the Pester Lloyd and other German-language newspapers. During the trial he succeeded in resolving an important problem, but the hostility and prejudice of the court led to his being expelled from the town in which the trial was being held, and there was even an attempt on his life. For a time he edited the Pester Juedische Zeitung and in 1886 bought the newspaper Egyenlőség, which in his hands became the main organ of Hungarian *Neolog Jewry. Szabolcsi supported the delivery of synagogue sermons in Hungarian and the Magyarization of Jewish names. He was, however, one of the instigators of the fight that succeeded in gaining official recognition of the Jewish religion in 1895. He campaigned vigorously against antisemitism and against misrepresentations of the Talmud and Jewish literature. He was an outspoken anti-Zionist. During the 1890s Szabolcsi maintained the high standard of his newspaper by bringing into the editorial board such talented young Jewish writers as Hugó *Ignotus, Emil *Makai, and József *Kiss. He was also responsible for the foundation of the Jewish literary society, Izraelita Magyar Irodalmi Társulat and the Hungarian Jewish cultural association Országos Magyar Közművelődési Egyesület.

Szabolcsi edited and largely translated Graetz's History of the Jews, which appeared in a popular Hungarian edition in 1906–08. His other works include Olasz zsidók között ("Among Italian Jews," 1904), Német zsidók között ("Among German Jews," 1903), and Gyöngyszemek a Talmudból és a Midrásból ("Pearls from the Talmud and Midrash," 1938).


Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), 818–9.

[Baruch Yaron]