Aaron ben Samuel of Hergershausen

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Aaron ben Samuel of Hergershausen
Native name
אהרון בן שמואל מהערגרשויתה
Diedc. 1732

Aaron ben Samuel of Hergershausen (Hebrew: אהרון בן שמואל מהערגרשויתה‎, romanizedAharon ben Shmuel me-Hergersoyse; 1665–c. 1732)[1] was a Hessian Jewish writer. He is considered to be the first person in Germany to attempt to bring about the use of the vernacular in lieu of the Hebrew in the daily prayers.[2]

He began his career as a small trader or pedlar, later becoming a distiller of brandy for sale in his tavern.[3][1] In 1709 he published in Frankfurt his Liebliche tefiloh, oder kreftige artznai for guf un neshomoh ('A Lovely Prayer, or a Tonic for Body and Soul'), a volume of prayers and personal supplications in Yiddish. Though not the first Yiddish adaptation of the siddur, the work was original in that it sought to give a literary form to the vernacular version, by amplifying considerably the original text of the prayers.[3] The object of the writer is clearly expressed in the introduction to the book, namely, to bring about the substitution of this Yiddish version for the Hebrew text in those spheres in which Hebrew was no longer understood.[4]

In the early nineteenth century, hundreds of copies of Liebliche tefiloh were found in the attic of a synagogue.[5] In an 1846 article, Rabbi Leopold Stein [de] of Frankfurt claimed that the work had fallen into obscurity because of a ban by the Palatinate Orthodox rabbinate. No evidence of such a ban, however, has been found.[1]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMilwitzky, William (1901). "Aaron ben Samuel". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. p. 20.

  1. ^ a b c Klarberg, Manfred (2007). "Aaron ben Samuel". In Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred (eds.). Encyclopaedia Judaica. 1 (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-02-866097-4. Gale CX2587500035.
  2. ^  Milwitzky, William (1901). "Aaron ben Samuel". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. p. 20.
  3. ^ a b Stein, Siegfried (January 1970). "Liebliche Tefilloh: A Judaeo-German Prayer-Book Printed in 1709". The Leo Baeck Institute Year Book. 15 (1): 41–72. doi:10.1093/leobaeck/15.1.41.
  4. ^ Dinse, Helmut; Liptzin, Sol (1978). Einführung in die jiddische Literatur. Sammlung Metzler (in German). J. B. Metzler. p. 38. ISBN 978-3-476-10165-5.
  5. ^ Wetzlar, Isaac (1996). Faierstein, Morris M. (ed.). The Libes Briv of Isaac Wetzlar. Brown Judaic Studies. 308. Translated by Faierstein, Morris M. Atlanta: Scholars Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7885-0268-2. JSTOR j.ctvzpv4xn.

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