||A biographical study of the life and work of R. Seligmann Bär Bamberger (Isaac Dov ha-Levi; 1807–1878), rabbinical scholar and leader of German Orthodoxy, by one of his sons. Born in the Bavarian village of Wiesenbronn, Bamberger studied at the yeshivah of Fuerth and in his native village. Bamberger opposed the proponents of Reform at a meeting of Jewish communities of Lower Franconia in 1834, and at an assembly of notables called by the Bavarian government in 1836 where he represented A. Bing, the district rabbi of Wuerzburg. In 1840 he was elected to succeed Bing in the face of fierce opposition from the Reformers. Bamberger continued the local yeshivah, founded an elementary school in 1855, and a teachers' training college in 1864. In 1872 he signed a declaration by German and Austrian rabbis demanding that Orthodox Jews leave the Reform-dominated, state-established congregations in accordance with the recently passed Secession Law. However, five years later he was induced by opponents of Secession in Frankfort to approve continued membership in congregations which provided for the needs of the Orthodox, thus lending his authority to the establishment of the so-called Communal Orthodoxy. This led to a heated controversy with S.R. Hirsch, the father of Secessionist Orthodoxy. In contrast to Hirsch and E. Hildesheimer, who spoke for the urban, middle-class ba'alei-battim, Bamberger represented (and typified) the unsophisticated, tradition-minded Landsjude of the small town and rural communities of southern Germany.
The "Wuerzburger Rav," as he was called, was one of the last great German-style talmudists, and his literary work was chiefly devoted to subjects of practical halakhah; Melekhet Shamayim (on the writing of Torah Scrolls etc., 18602); Amirah le-Veit Ya'akov (laws of interest to women, originally German in Hebrew characters, 1858); Moreh la-Zovehim (handbooks for shohatim, 1864); Nahalei Devash (on the law of halizah, 1867). R. Bamberger also wrote a commentary on Isaac ibn Ghayyat's halakhic compendium (Sha'arei Simhah, 2 pts., 1861–62) and a treatise on the Al Tikrei formula in Talmud and Midrash (Korei be-Emet, 2 pts., 1871–78). His responsa appeared posthumously in Zekher Simhah (1925), Neti'ah shel Simhah (1928), and Yad ha-Levi (1965), all published by one or another of his descendants. Together with A. Adler and M. Lehmann, Bamberger published a German translation of the Pentateuch (1873, 19137) on behalf of the Orthodox-Israelitische Bibelanstalt to counter L. Philippson's Bible translation, against which he had published a polemical pamphlet (1860).