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Bidding Information
Lot #    10961
Auction End Date    7/12/2005 12:40:00 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Toldot ... Mendelsshon
Title (Hebrew)    תולדות החכם ... משה בן מנחם [מנדלסון]
Author    Isaac Abraham Euchel
City    Lemberg
Publisher    Michael Wolf
Publication Date    1860
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   [5], 224 pp., 124:78 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary cloth boards.
   Isaac Abraham Euchel (1756–1804), Hebrew author, Bible commentator, and one of the leaders of the Haskalah in Germany. Born in Copenhagen, Euchel, having received a traditional education, moved in 1773 to Koenigsberg, where he earned his living as a tutor in the home of the wealthy Friedlaender family. In 1781 he attended Kant's lectures at the University of Koenigsberg. He was recommended for a lectureship in Hebrew at the university but was rejected because he was Jewish. In 1787, Euchel moved to Berlin, where he managed the printing press of the Juedische Freischule (Hinnukh Ne'arim School). Later he worked as a bookkeeper for a commercial firm.

Euchel's literary and communal activity began in 1782 (in Koenigsberg) with the publication of his pamphlet Sefat Emet, in which he called for the establishment of a school in Koenigsberg, based on the principles of the Enlightenment. In 1782 he was one of the founders of Hevrat Doreshei Leshon Ever (The Society of Advocates of the Hebrew Language), which started to publish Ha-Me'assef, and, with Menahem Mendel Breslau, published Nahalha-Besor, the prospectus of Ha-Me'assef. He served as one of the editors of Ha-Me'assef as long as he was in Koenigsberg, and he published several articles in that periodical, including the first monograph on Moses Mendelssohn, entitled Toledot Rabbenu he-Hakham Moshe ben Menahem (published in book form in Berlin, 1789). He also prepared a free translation of the prayer book into German (1786) and wrote a commentary on Proverbs, with a German translation in Hebrew characters (Berlin, 1790). In addition, he is credited with the authorship of Iggerot Meshullam Ben Uriyyah ha-Eshtemo'i which started to appear in Ha-Me'assef in the autumn of 1789, and which seemed in some respects to imitate Montesquieu's Persian Letters. In 1797 he published in Breslau a pamphlet (German in Hebrew characters) entitled Ist nach dem juedischen Gesetze das Uebernachten der Todten wirklieh verboten? To combat the influence of the Orthodox, Euchel wrote (about 1792) a satirical comedy in colloquial Yiddish, called Reb Henekh, Oder Vos Tut Men Damit. No copies are extant of this edition, which apparently was published after Euchel's death. A new edition in Gothic characters (Reb Henoch; oder Was thut men damit) appeared in Berlin in 1846; and in 1933, Z. Rejzen republished it in his Arkhiv far der Geshikhte fun Yidishen Teater un Drama, from the manuscript preserved in the Rosenthaliana library in Amsterdam. The play, sharply satirical, especially in the portrayal of the Orthodox, reflects the relations between Jews and non-Jews in Prussia during the period of the struggle for emancipation.

Paragraph 2    der klassischen Werke neuhebraeischer Poeten und Prosaiker, קודם לו שער נוסף: זמירות ישראל. Semiroth Jisrael. Sammlung ...herausgegeben von Michael Wolf. I. Band II. Heft חוברת א של "זמירות ישראל" כולל ספר לישרים תהלה מאת ר' משה חיים לוצאטו. עמ' [3-5]: מכתב, מאת אברהם בער הכהן גאטטלאבער, לעמבערג, ט תשרי תרכ"א.
   CD-EPI 0109459; EJ
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
History:    Checked
Reform:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica