||Poem read in the synagogue in Leuthen, Silesia on the occasion of the victories of Frederick II at Rossbach and Leuthen during the Seven Years' War, on the second night of Hanukah, December 5, 1757. In the 18th century sermons delivered in synagogues on patriotic occasions were usually published, some of them in translation from the original Hebrew or Yiddish. In Hebrew and German.
||Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great, January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was the Hohenzollern king of Prussia 1740–86. He was one of the so-called "enlightened monarchs". Frederick led the Prussian forces during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748), during the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), and in the War of the Bavarian Succession (1778) - not only as king but also as military commander in the field. He was not only quite successful on the battlefield; Frederick is often admired as one of the greatest, perhaps the greatest, tactical genius of all time. Even more important were his operational successes (preventing unification of superior enemy armies, and being at the right place at the right time to keep enemy armies out of Prussian core territory).
In 1757 Frederick was confronted with a Austrian-French-Russian-Saxon alliance. Afraid of being attacked by a resentful Austria, he decides to take the initiative. Initial successes against Saxony and Austria in 1756-1757 are not severe enough to reach a conclusive decision. The Prussians have to retreat from Bohemia. For the rest of the war, Friedrick is busy trying to defend the triangle of Berlin - Silesia - Saxony.
Frederick managed to take Prussia from being basically a European backwater and make it a modern state. He abolished torture and granted wide religious freedom (although he himself did not care much for religion). He gave his state a modern bureaucracy based on respect for law and ethics, as well as pride in one's profession. This legacy was passed on into the modern German state and is a main reason why he is still so admired as a historical figure within Germany.
Silesia (Czech Slezsko; Ger. Schlesien; Pol. lask), region in E. central Europe. After the annexation of Silesia by Prussia (1742) there were 1,100 Jewish families in 1751, who were organized in four communities, the Glogau community, the Zuelz community, the Silesian Landesjudenschaft, and the Breslau community, founded in 1744. While rabbis led the Glogauer and Zuelz communities, the rabbinate of Breslau was united with the Landesjudenschaft. Notable among the Landesrabbiner of this period were Baruch b. Reuben Gomperz (1733–54) and Joseph Jonas Fraenkel (1754–93).