Akiva Eiger

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Akiva Eger)
Rabbi Akiva Eiger
Akiba ben Moses Guens
Born(1761-11-08)8 November 1761 (11 Cheshvan 5522 Anno Mundi)
Died12 October 1837(1837-10-12) (aged 75) (13 Tishrei 5598 Anno Mundi)
Posen, Kingdom of Prussia
(modern-day Poznań, Poland)
ChildrenSolomon Eger
Sarah Eger
DenominationOrthodox Judaism
ResidenceMarkisch Friedland, Posen
19th century portrait of Akiva Eiger, in the collection of the Jewish Museum of Switzerland.

Rabbi Akiva Eiger (/ɡər/, also spelled Eger; Hebrew: עקיבא איגר, Yiddish: עקיבא אייגער), or Akiva Güns (1761 – 1837)[a] was an outstanding Talmudic scholar, influential halakhic decisor and foremost leader of European Jewry during the early 19th century. He was also a mohel.


Eiger was born in Pressburg - Bratislava,[1] Royal Hungary (modern-day Slovakia). He was a child prodigy and was educated first at the Mattersburg yeshiva and later by his uncle, Rabbi Wolf Eiger, (1756–1795) (b. 5516, d. 6 Tishrei 5556), at the Breslau (Wrocław) yeshiva, who later became rabbi of Biała and Leipnik. Out of respect for his uncle he changed his surname to Eiger. He therefore shared the full name Akiva Eiger with his maternal grandfather, the first Rabbi Akiva Eiger (1722–1758) (b. 5482, d. 15 Elul 5518), the author of Mishnas De'Rebbi Akiva who was rabbi of Zülz, Silesia from 1749 and Pressburg from 1756.

He was the rabbi of Märkisch Friedland, West Prussia, from 1791 until 1815; then for the last twenty two years of his life, he was the rabbi of the city of Posen (Poznań). He was a rigorous casuist of the old school, and his chief works were legal notes and responsa on the Talmud and the Shulchan Aruch. He believed that religious education was enough, and thus opposed the party which favored secular schools. He was a determined foe of the Reform movement, which had begun to make itself felt in his time.[2]


Among his children were his two sons, Avraham (1781–1853) and Solomon (1785–1852), a rabbi in Kalisz, Poland and chief rabbi of Posen from 1837 to 1852. His daughter Sorel (Sarah) Eiger Sofer (1790–1832) (b. 5550, d. 18 Adar II 5592), was the second wife of the Chasam Sofer (1762–1839) rabbi of Pressburg.


His commentaries on the Talmud have also been published as Chidushei (novellae of) Rabbi Akiva Eiger on Shas


  1. ^ "נחשף: רבי עקיבא איגר נולד בעירו של החת"ס".
  2. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  1. ^ His mother was surnamed Eiger (according to some, the Hungarian word for "mouse"; others, that for "alder tree") and his father was surnamed Güns (toponym from Güns, Bergenland). In his youth he generally signed his name Güns except on official documents, but later in life his family adopted Eiger, which was seen as more prestigious.


External links[edit]