Shlomo Zalman (Solomon) Breuer (27 June 1850, Nitra, Kingdom of Hungary – 17 July 1926, Frankfurt am Main) was a Hungarian-born German Rabbi, initially in Pápa, Hungary and from the early 1890s in Frankfurt as a successor of his father-in-law Samson Raphael Hirsch.
Life and work
Born in Pilisvörösvár, Hungary, into a family of German-speaking merchants, he studied with his maternal grandfather rabbi Simon Wiener. At the age of twelve at the yeshiva of Nitra, but returned to study with his grandfather until he could enroll in the Pressburg Yeshiva, then headed by Rabbi Samuel Benjamin Sofer (the Ksav Sofer). He then proceeded to university studies and eventual doctorate in Mainz, where he became acquainted with rabbi Marcus Lehmann, one of the leaders of German Orthodoxy.
He married Sophie, youngest daughter of rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch of Frankfurt, in 1876, and soon after accepted the rabbinate of Pápa in Hungary. His father-in-law died in December 1888, and Breuer succeeded him as the rabbi of the Frankfurt Austrittsgemeinde (secessioned community) in 1890.
In Frankfurt he participated in the Freie Vereinigung, a national organisation of Orthodox communities, and created its rabbinical representative body, the Verband der orthodoxen Rabbiner Deutschlands (Union of Orthodox rabbis in Germany). He would later also be one of the founding members of Agudas Yisroel, and was a strong opponent of political Zionism; he viewed participation in the Zionist movement as an implicit approval of the idea that a Jewish state can replace Jewish religious identity.
Little of Breuer's work remains in writing. Collected sermons were published in English under the title Chochmo u'Mussar in three volumes between 1972 and 1977 by his grandson Jacob Breuer, and some of his responsa appeared in the Hebrew volume Divrei Yosef, which mainly contained the work of his son Joseph.
He had eight children. Simon died in childhood. Raphael Breuer was rabbi in Aschaffenburg, Joseph Breuer taught at the Torah Lehranstalt and recreated the Frankfurt community in 1940's New York, Isaac Breuer was an ideologue of Agudat Yisrael, Moses Breuer was a linguist, Samson Breuer a mathematician and actuary, and Joshua Breuer a pediatrician. His daughter Hannah Breuer married Edmund Meyer, a lawyer in Cologne. Breuer died in Frankfurt.