Rabbi Dr. Ezriel Hildesheimer

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Azriel - Israel Hildesheimer

Hebrew: Azriel - Israel Hildesheimer, עזריאל הילדסהיימר
Also Known As: "Esriel", "עזריאל הילדעסהיימער"
Birthplace: Halberstadt, Germany
Death: Died in Germany
Place of Burial: Weissensee, Berlin, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Leib Yehuda Glei (later Hildesheimer) and Golde Hildesheimer (Goslar)
Husband of Henriette (Jettchen) Hildesheimer
Father of Leo Levi Leib Hildesheimer; Aharon Hildesheimer; Esther Hildesheimer; Lea Hirsch; Rabbi Dr. Hirsch Hildesheimer and 11 others
Brother of Avraham Hildesheimer and Jenny Scheine Rachel Hildesheimer
Half brother of Gittel Hildesheimer; Jacob Abraham Hildesheimer; Esther Hildesheimer and Roeschen Hildesheimer

Occupation: Dr.
Managed by: Malka Mysels
Last Updated:

About Rabbi Dr. Ezriel Hildesheimer

http://hebrewbooks.org/29691 המעין - מאה שנה לפטירתו


Dr. Esriel Hildesheimer (also Azriel and Israel; May 20 1820 – July 12 1899) was a German rabbi and leader of Orthodox Judaism. He is regarded as a pioneering modernizer of Orthodox Judaism in Germany and as a founder of Modern Orthodox Judaism.


Dr. Hildesheimer was born in Halberstadt, the son of Rabbi Löb Glee Hildesheimer, a native of Hildesheim, a small town near Hanover. He attended the Hasharat Zvi school in Halberstadt, and, from age seventeen, the Yeshiva of Rabbi Jacob Ettlinger in Altona; Chacham Isaac Bernays was one of his teachers and his model as a preacher.

While studying in yeshiva Hildesheimer also studied classical languages. In 1840 he returned to Halberstadt, took his diploma at the public Königliches Dom-Gymnasium, and entered the University of Berlin; he became a disciple of the dominant Hegelian school. He studied Semitic languages and mathematics, and continued his study in Talmud. In 1842 he went to Halle where he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Halle-Wittenberg in 1844 under Wilhelm Gesenius and Emil Rödiger ("Ueber die Rechte Art der Bibelinterpretation").

He then returned to Halberstadt, where he married Henrietta Hirsch.

In 1851 he became Rabbi of Eisenstadt (Kis Marton), Hungary (now located in Austria); the principal city of the Siebengemeinden or Sheva kehillot.

He stayed in Eisenstadt for nineteen years, where he and Henriette had ten children: Levi, Esther, Aron, Hirsch, Moses, Lea, Röschen, Gustav, Mayer, and Jenny.

His first notable act there was to found a parochial school, where correct German was used, and modern principles of pedagogy were adopted in teaching secular, as well as Jewish, subjects. Hildesheimer initially introduced limited secular studies in the elementary school; the older students received a secular education as well, but with a focus on mathematics and other subjects that would enhance their understanding of gemara.

Next, Hildesheimer established a Yeshiva. The Yeshiva was unusual in that it was the only Orthodox institution where students were required to have a significant secular education before they were admitted. Also, the curriculum devoted time to studying Tanach and the Hebrew language. Despite this approach, within a few years the Yeshiva attracted a large number of pupils. (After beginning with six students in 1851, the seminary had 128 students in 1868, including one from the United States.) His son, Hirsch Hildesheimer, was a professor there.

In 1869 the Orthodox minority in Berlin - "Adath Yisrael", comprising about 200 families - were dissatisfied with the local rabbi, and chose Hildesheimer to represent them as an "Orthodox rabbi of standing". Here, he similarly established a religious school and a yeshiva (Rabbiner Seminar Für Das Orthodoxe Judenthum, known as the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary), which immediately attracted thirty former pupils. Hildesheimer was thus the real intellectual founder and leader of the Adath Yisrael community.

Aided by Mayer Lehmann, the editor of Israelit in Mainz, Hildesheimer "exerted his whole energy" in the fight against Reform Judaism. In 1861 he took his stand against Abraham Geiger by criticizing Geiger's, "Notwendigkeit und Mass einer Reform des Jüdischen Gottesdienstes" (Mayence, 1861). (In fact, as early as 1847 - as the representative of the communities in the Magdeburg district - he had energetically opposed the Reform attempts of Ludwig Philippson.) Some say, however, that Hildesheimer, who would listen to no compromise, in fact widened the gap between the Reform and the Orthodox Jews of Germany.

Hildesheimer was "simple in his habits and fearless"; he had an unusual capacity for work; and his great Talmudic learning "was joined to practical administrative ability".

He was financially independent, and never accepted remuneration for his rabbinical activity. He was frequently engaged in philanthropic activities connected with his own congregation, but additionally, "no labor was too great and no journey too long for him" in the service of the Jews of Germany, Austria, Russia, and even Abyssinia and Persia, so that he came to be known as the "international schnorrer".

Hildesheimer also took a special interest in the welfare of the Jews of Palestine. In 1860, when the missionary society of Palestine provided seventy free dwellings for homeless Jews, Hildesheimer himself built houses in Jerusalem for the free use of Jewish pilgrims and for the poor.

Hildesheimer died in Berlin on July 12, 1899. His grave is preserved in the Cemetery of the Orthodox congregation Adass Jisroel in Wittlicher Straße, Berlin-Weißensee.


Hildesheimer contributed articles to various Journals and Newspapers: the Jüdische Presse, Ha-Lebanon, He-Chalutz and Archives Israélites. His son, Hirsch was editor of the Jüdische Presse.

Other writings include:

Materialien zur Beurtheilung der Septuaginta, in "Orient, Lit." 1848, Nos. 30 et seq.;

Die Epitaphien der Grabsteine auf dem Hiesigen [of Halberstadt] Jüdischen Friedhofe, 1846;

Verwaltung der Jüdischen Gemeinde Halberstadt, 1849;

Offener Brief an den Redakteur des Ben Chananja, Vienna, 1858;

Minchah Tehorah, Presburg, 1860;

Halakhot Gedoloth nach der Handschrift der Vaticana, Berlin, 1888.

Hukkat HaPesach

On the celebration of his seventieth birthday, in 1890, his friends and pupils published a literary Jubelschrift (Berlin, 1890).

Modernisation within Orthodoxy

Hildesheimer is regarded as a pioneering "Moderniser" of Orthodox Judaism in Germany. He was insistent that for Orthodox Jews living in the west, there was no possibility to segregate oneself behind ghetto walls. On the contrary, modern Jewish education must teach Jews how best to confront and deal with modernity in all of its aspects .

His firm conviction that traditional Judaism need have no fear of the light of European culture determined his attitude and his activity in Hungary and Germany from the start, and gave him a definite aim. In an address delivered at his rabbinical seminary and defining his position he said:

“ Unconditional agreement with the culture of the present day; harmony between Judaism and science; but also unconditional steadfastness in the faith and traditions of Judaism: these constitute the program of the New Community, the standard round which gather the Israelites of Berlin who are faithful to the Law. ”

He thus undertook a variety of actions which render him a "modern" activist and institution-builder. The most important of these, as discussed above, are:

Jewish education for males and females which included both religious and secular studies.

The seminary which incorporated not only secular studies but academic scholarship.

Maintaining traditional Jewish attachments to the Land of Israel and working with the non-Orthodox on its behalf.

Working with communal leaders, even non-Orthodox ones, on issues that affected the community, such as anti-Semitism and ritual slaughtering.

Comparison with Samson Raphael Hirsch

There are those who would claim both Hirsch and Hildesheimer as indirect philosophical founders of Modern Orthodox Judaism; in fact, of the two, Hildesheimer is more likely classifiable as such.

It is true that Hirsch's Torah im Derech Eretz - a philosophy of Orthodox Judaism which formalises a relationship between traditionally observant Judaism and the modern world -bears a superficial resemblance to today's Modern Orthodox Judaism. However, a deeper investigation shows Hirsch's philosophy (Judaism as the sole source of truth by which to judge modernity), at odds with the Modern Orthodox philosophy (two co-existing ideas - Judaism and modernity). Hirsch also separated himself and his community from the Conservative and Reform Jewish community and was, at best, unsympathetic to Zionist efforts.

By contrast, Hildesheimer set the pattern for Modern Orthodox activism and institutions, and was noted for not being a sectarian, as was Hirsch.

Although Hildesheimer was noted as having these similarities to Modern Orthodox Judaism, it is noteworthy that his philosophy concerning education was even less similar than was Hirsch's. Hildesheimer advocated secular studies only as an aside to, but clearly not synthesized with, Torah, and to some extent as a concession to the needs of the day.

Orthodox Opposition

The introduction into the Eisenstadt School of modern methods of education and of secular learning was resented by the Orthodox. (Hildesheimer's "liberal tendencies and sympathy with modern culture" soon changed this resentment "to positive antipathy".) Eventually his Yeshiva was denounced before the representatives of the government at Oedenburg, the result being that the government ordered the school closed within twenty-four hours and the pupils removed from the city. Soon afterward, however (1858), Hildesheimer succeeded in obtaining state recognition for the Yeshiva.

Interestingly, the Yeshiva also had opponents on the left: Reform saw it as a threat because its graduates would be equipped to defend Orthodoxy against Reform's inroads. About 1860, Akiva Joseph, a Hasidic leader, placed Hildesheimer under a ban as "not truly a sincere Jew" ("emessdiger Jüd"). Hildesheimer, however, seems to have cared little for the ban.

At the Hungarian Jewish Congress of December 14, 1868, Hildesheimer at first endeavored to associate himself with the existing Orthodox party. When the impossibility of this union became evident, he formed a separate group, with thirty-five followers, which has been described as "Cultured Orthodox". In the Hungarian Jewish Congress held at Budapest in 1869 he defined this party as representing a "faithful adherence to traditional teachings combined with an effective effort to keep in touch with the spirit of progress".



http://hebrewbooks.org/29691 המעין - מאה שנה לפטירתו



Family tree information


Page 229.







http://www.daat.ac.il/encyclopedia/value.asp?id1=1883 -------------



Hildesheimer was born in Halberstadt, Province of Saxony, Kingdom of Prussia, the son of Rabbi Löb Glee Hildesheimer, a native of Hildesheim, Electorate of Hanover, a city near Hanover. He attended the Hasharat Zvi school in Halberstadt, and, from age seventeen, the Yeshiva of Rabbi Jacob Ettlinger in Altona; Chacham Isaac Bernays was one of his teachers and his model as a preacher. While studying in yeshiva Hildesheimer also studied classical languages. In 1840 he returned to Halberstadt, took his diploma at the public Königliches Dom-Gymnasium, and entered the University of Berlin; he became a disciple of the dominant Hegelian school. He studied Semitic languages and mathematics, and continued his study in Talmud. In 1842 he went to Halle upon Saale where he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Halle-Wittenberg in 1844 under Wilhelm Gesenius and Emil Rödiger (Ueber die rechte Art der Bibelinterpretation). He then returned to Halberstadt, where he married Henrietta Hirsch, whose dowry made them financially independent. --------------------

About Rabbi Dr. Ezriel Hildesheimer (עברית)

מתוך ויקיפדיה

עזריאל הילדסהיימר (1820 - 1899-ה'תרנ"ט) - רב ומחנך יהודי גרמני, מייסד וראש בית המדרש לרבנים בברלין עד מותו. מראשי היהדות האורתודוקסית בגרמניה, וממבשרי האורתודוקסיה המודרנית. עבד במשותף עם הרב שמשון רפאל הירש במאבק נגד התנועה הרפורמית.

נולד בהלברשטאט שבמדינת סקסוניה-אנהלט בגרמניה לאב יוצא העיר הילדסהיים ממנו התייתם בנעוריו. מגיל 17 למד בישיבה של הרב יעקב עטלינגר באלטונה. החכם יצחק ברנייס שימש לו כמודל לחיקוי כדרשן. במקביל למד שפות קלאסיות. ב-1840 חזר להלברשטאדט ולמד בגימנזיה של דום. לאחר מכן עבר לאוניברסיטת ברלין והצטרף לפקולטה לשפות שמיות ומתמטיקה. ב-1842 עבר להאלה (Halle) והמשיך בלימודיו, אותם סיים עם קבלת דוקטורט על נושא פרשנות התנ"ך. לאחר סיום לימודיו חזר להלברשטאט ושם נשא לאשה את הנרייטה הירש.

ב-1851 התחיל את הקריירה הרבנית שלו בהתמנותו לרב של אייזנשטט (קיס מרטון) אשר בהונגריה (כיום באוסטריה). בבואו לעיר התחיל הרב הילדסהיימר מיד בפעילות חינוכית והקים בעיר בית ספר לבנים, בו בנוסף ללימודי קודש למדו לימודי חול והלימודים התקיימו בגרמנית. לאחר מכן הוקם בית מדרש להכשרת רבנים שצמח מ-12 תלמידים ב-1851 עד ל-128 ב-1868, ולמדו בו תלמידים אף מארצות הברית.

ב-1869 הוזמן על ידי הקהילה האורתודוקסית עדת ישראל בברלין לכהן כרבה. בתפקיד זה היה עליו להתמודד עם אברהם גייגר ששימש כרב הרפורמי של העיר. לאחר שהגיע לברלין המשיך במפעליו. פתח בית מדרש להכשרת רבנים דומה לקודם בברלין, ובעזרתו של מאיר (מרקוס) להמן - עורך העיתון איזראליט התחיל להוציא ספרים ומאמרים נגד התנועה הרפורמית. למרות היותו רב קהילה נהנה מעצמאות פיננסית, הקים מוסדות חסד רבים, וכן תמך ביישוב הארץ, בה בנה 73 בתים למחוסרי בית בירושלים, שנקראו "בתי מחסה". נסע רבות לקהילות היהודיות, ודאג לשיפור תנאי חייהן והשכלתן. בין הקהילות הידועות להן דאג, אתיופיה ופרס. נפטר בד' בתמוז ה'תרנ"ט (1899) בברלין.

הילדסהיימר עזריאל

מרבני ברלין במאה ה- 19 [1820 - 1899]

עזריאל הילדסהיימר - נולד בהלברשטאט שבפרוסיה. למד באלטונה שליד האמבורג בישיבה של ר' יעקב עטלינגר גדול התורה שבדור. משם עבר לברלין ולמד ב"בית המדרש", מעין "ישיבה", של ברלין, שנוסדה במאה ה -18 ובה בעת למד גם באוניברסיטת ברלין לשונות שמיות. שם הוכתר בתואר ד"ר.

בשנת 1851 נתמנה לרב בקהילת אייזנשטאט שבהונגריה. שם יסד ישיבה ובית מדרש לרבנים, שכלל בתוכנית הלימודים גם לימוד לשונות וחכמת ישראל. מספר התלמידים גדל משנה לשנה. והמסיימים נתקבלו ברצון כרבנים בקהילות שונות. ר' עזריאל נלחם במאמרים בעיתונות ובחוברות נגד "המתקנים" שהייתה להם אחיזה בעיר. אך בגלל המלחמה במתקנים מחד גיסא, ומאבק של החסידים נגדו מאידך גיסא עקר לברלין. לאחר מו"מ ארוך עם פרנסי ברלין הצליח לייסד את בית המדרש לרבנים, שמיזג בתוכו יסודות של הישיבה המסורתית עם תוכנית לימודים בתחומים של חכמת ישראל לשונות ופילוסופיה.

ר' עזריאל הילדסהיימר היה טרוד מאד בענייני הציבור, אע"פ כן לא חדל מללמד ש"ס ופוסקים בבית המדרש, והשיב תשובות לשואליו מקהילות שונות.

חיבוריו: שו"ת ר' עזריאל הילדסהיימר, וכן ספר חידושים על הש"ס.

מקור הערך: מעובד לפי "גדולי האחרונים" מאת נח עמינח ויוסף ניצן

מתוך משנת הציונות הדתית עמ' 29 גאון בהלכה ובמדע, בעל תואר דוקטור של אוניברסיטת ברלין. רב באייזנשטאט, שם ניסה לקדם את הקהילה בהתאם לדרישות הזמן, אולם רבני הונגריה לחמו בו והוא החליט לקבל את דעת הקהילה החרדית בברלין לכהן בה כרב. הוא הקים את בית המדרש לרבנים בברלין וממנו תורה לכל יהודי גרמניה שומרי התורה. עשה גדולות ונצורות למען הישוב בארץ ועם זאת כתב ספרים תורניים חשובים.

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Rabbi Dr. Ezriel Hildesheimer's Timeline

May 20, 1820
Age 25
Age 29
Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
August 23, 1851
Age 31
Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
September 20, 1852
Age 32
Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
August 23, 1853
Age 33
February 2, 1855
Age 34
Eisenstadt, Germany
February 15, 1856
Age 35
Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Age 35
Age 37
Eisenstadt, Eisenstadt-Umgebung District, Burgenland, Austria