1810 - 1874 ABRAHAM GEIGER (Germany)
Author and Bible critic, he helped to inspire the Jewish Reform movement. He was elected Rabbi of Breslau in 1840 and was one of the founders of theJuedisch-Theologisches Seminar in Breslau, the first reform rabbinical seminary in Central Europe. He eventually refused to preach to the Breslau reform congregation, feeling that they had gone too far with their reforms. Geiger viewed Judaism as a religion divorced from national aspirations, so much so that he was against Jewish political solidarity during the Damascus Affair. Although he considered circumcision "barbaric" he was against its elimination in the same way that he was against changing the Shabbat to Sunday. His works include Das Judenthum und seine Geschichte (Judaism and its History) as well as studies on Maimonides, the Karaites, and the influence of Judaism on Islam.
1810 - 1904 HAYIM SELAG SLONINSKI (Bialystok, Poland)
Known as "Hazas". Orthodox mathematician and science writer. His works included Kochva d'Shavit on astronomy, Toldot ha-Shamayim on the calendar and Yesodai Hochmat Hashiur (Founding of the Science of Calculation). He founded Ha'Zefira, a Hebrew newspaper on science. His writings were accepted even by Orthodox Jews.
1810 - 1883 (25 Shvat 5643) ISRAEL LIPKIN (SALANTER) (Lithuania)
Scholar and founder of the Mussar or moralist movement, which stressed humility, as well as moral and ethical teachings. He was influenced by Joseph Salant (1786-1866) who is the spiritual Father of the Mussar movement and considered him his ideal. After serving for a time in Vilna as mashgiach (spiritual guide), he realized success in his ethical sermons to the degree that he established his own school. The Yeshiva Knesset Yisroel at Slobodka was founded on Salanter's principles. Similar schools were soon opened at Telshe, Lomza, and Slutsk. Although these teachings were designed to compliment the intellectual study of the Talmud and to encourage students' moral self-examination, many rabbinical leaders became concerned that it would lead to a neglect of talmudic study. Once, during a cholera epidemic, he commanded his congregation to eat on Yom Kippur, setting an example by eating at the pulpit. He worked tirelessly to combat the disease, even on the Sabbath. Salanter was known for lecturing on Judaism to Koenigsburg University students. He advocated vocational training for Jewish youth. He was also in favor of translating the Talmud into Hebrew . Salanter left no major works, but his many articles were published in collections such as Imrei Binah (Sayings of Wisdom), Or Yisrael (Light of Israel), and Even Yisrael (Rock of Israel).
1810 July 17, FIRST REFORM SERVICE (Germany)
Was organized by Israel Jacobson in Seesen, Germany. Five years later, he began Reform services in his home in Berlin where he introduced prayers in German.
1811 GAZA (Eretz Israel)
The Jewish community decided to relocate to Hebron. They took their synagogue's 15th century doors and reset them in a synagogue in Hebron where they were destroyed by the Arabs in 1929.
1811 - 1884 JUDAH BENJAMIN (USA)
"Brains of the Confederacy". He served as a senator in the United States Senate from 1852 until the Civil War. Jefferson Davis appointed him Secretary of State of the Confederacy. After the war, he fled to England where he joined the English Bar.
1811 December 28, CIVIL RIGHTS (Germany)
Were extended to Jews in Frankfurt.
1812 HANNAH ADAMS (1755-1831) (USA)
Wrote History of the Jews from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Present Time. Adams, who was not Jewish, also included information on American Jewry and is considered one of the first woman professional writers in America.
1812 NAPOLEON (France)
Began his Russian campaign. Hasidim in Russia debated whether supporting Napoleon against the Czar would speed up the coming of the Messiah. In Western Europe many of the civil restrictions on the Jews fell wherever Napoleon conquered, although this did not take place in Russia.
1812 January 21, - 1875 MOSES HESS (Germany)
Author, socialist, and forerunner of the Zionist movement. In his book Rome and Jerusalem (1862), he based German anti-Semitism on race and nationhood and advised Jews to accept the fact and revive their own state in Eretz Israel. Hess, a socialist, orginally worked with Marx and Engels but grew disillusioned with the idea that a "progressive society would eradicate anti-Semitism".
1812 March 11, PRUSSIAN JEWS WERE GRANTED CIVIL RIGHTS (Germany)
Chancellor Hardenburg announced that full rights were extended to Jews of the Prussian Monarchy. Jews were still not allowed to be appointed to judicial and administrative offices. One of the other directives was that from then on Jews had to adopt family names.
1812 June 18, WAR OF 1812
Was declared by Congress. During the war, John Ordroneaux, a naval commander, sank five British ships in one battle and was raised to the rank of commodore. In 1814, at the Battle of Fort McHenry, there were 30 Jews in the garrison. Its defense inspired the composition of the "Star Spangled Banner". Another Jew, Captain Mordecai Myers, became a hero when he saved more then 200 men, as well as most of the supplies from sinking boats. He later became one of the first Jews to settle in western New York.
1812 December 4, ARGENTINA
Though the Inquisition would only officially be abolished the following year, President Bernardino Rivadavia (1780-1845) called for freedom of immigration and promised the preservation of Jews' basic human rights.
1813 - 1893 ISAAC MEIR DICK (Lithuania)
First Yiddish author to use humor rather than satire. He also wrote in Hebrew and many of his characters were later adopted by Sholem Aleichem and I.L. Peretz. In all, he wrote over 300 stories, and a two volume collection of his Yiddish humor was published.
1813 March 24, ARGENTINA
The Inquisition was officially abolished. Two months later, the Assembly passed regulations allowing freedom to practice religion in one's home.
1814 March 29, DENMARK
The king officially allowed Jews to find employment in all professions and made racial and religious discrimination punishable by law.
1814 July 21, PORTUGAL
King Ferdinand VII re-established the Inquisition six years after it was abolished by Joseph Boneparte.
1815 - 1871 (19 Tevet 5631) ABRAHAM SAMUEL BENJAMIN (The Ktav Sofer) (Hungary)
Rabbi, educator, and Orthodox leader of Hungarian Jewry. He was the son of Moses Sofer and took his father's place upon his death in 1839. His responsa and clarifications on the Torah were published under the title Ktav Sofer.
1815 - 1905 ISAAC HIRSCH WEISS (Moravia)
Scholar and writer. Weiss taught at the Vienna Beit Hamidrash and believed in a combination of tradition and secular culture. His most famous work was Dor Dor ve-Dorshav, in which he traces the history and development of the Oral Law from its inception until the expulsion from Spain.
1815 - 1865 ROBERT REMAK (Posen, Poland)
One of the founders of modern neurology. He introduced the use of electricity in the treatment of neurological disorders.
The earliest Hasidic Yiddish works were published. The books Shivchei Ha Besht (In praise of the Baal Shem Tov) and Stories of Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav were published in the same year.
1815 ESTHER EMANUEL (Louis Grafemes)
Dressed as a man, she joined the German army to be near her husband. She was promoted to sergeant major and decorated with the Iron Cross. Only after her husband's death did her true identity become known.
1815 March 6, LUBEK (Germany)
With the defeat of Napoleon, new restrictions were imposed on the Jews all over Europe. In Lubek, the guilds demanded and obtained a decree expelling all Jews.
1815 June 8, NAPOLEON'S DEFEAT AT WATERLOO, CONGRESS OF VIENNA
The immediate effect on the Jews of Napoleon's deposition was a return to their previous lack of freedom. At the Vienna Congress, Jews sent a Christian attorney, Carl Buchortz, to act on their behalf. An agreement was reached whereby "Jews were given rights in proportion to accepting the duties of citizenship." This was the first time that Jewish rights became a European political issue.
1816 - 1882 COUNT ARTHUR DE GOBINEAU (France)
Radical author, he upheld the credo of purity of race. In his book The Inequality of Human Races Gobineau "proved" that only the white or "Aryan" race was capable of preserving civilization. His works inspired Alfred Rosenberg (Nazi theorist).
1816 - 1907 MORITZ STEINSCHNEIDER (Hungary)
Teacher and scholar known as the "Father of modern Jewish bibliography". A prodigious author in his own right, he showed how classical Greek knowledge was transmitted through Hebrew and Arabic to Western Europe. He cataloged all the Jewish writers in Arabic, along with their bibliographies and biographies. As a teacher, he counted among his students Judah Magnes, Ignaz Goldziher, Solomon Schechter and Hayyim Brody.
1816 MUNICH (Bavaria, Germany)
Jews were allowed to bury their dead within the city limits. Until this time, all the Jewish dead had to be transported to Kriegshaber for burial. This marked the beginning of the official Jewish presence in Munich.
1816 - 1841 EDWARD DAVIS ("Teddy the Jewboy") (Australia)
Australian Highwayman. Davis was born in London and deported to Australia in 1832 for stealing five shillings. After his arrival in Australia he escaped and organized a gang of runaway convicts known as the Teddy and the Jewboy gang. Davis was considered a kind of "Robin Hood" for his help to the poor, polite language, and refusal to engage in violence. Although Davis only used force in self-defense, his luck failed him when in December 1840, one of his men killed a shopkeeper. Davis and five of his men were caught and convicted. He was accompanied by the hazzan of the Sydney Synagogue when he was hung. His brother John was at the same time police chief in Penrith and his nephew became speaker of the Tasmanian House of Assembly. Many former deportees formed the basis for the Australian Jewish community.
1816 - 1909 (29 Av 5669) SAMUEL SALANT (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) (Eretz Israel)
The son-in-law of Joseph Salant. He arrived in Jerusalem in 1841 and proceeded to become one of the most influential figures in Eretz Israel. During his time as chief rabbi, the population of Jerusalem grew from 5000 to 30,000 Jews. Salant was behind the establishing of educational facilities which would include instruction of Arabic and Hebrew. He was one of the founders of Bikur Holim (Cholim) hospital and encouraged people to move into the "new" neighborhoods outside the old city walls.
1816 December 30, THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR EVANGELIZING THE JEWS (New York, USA)
Was formed in New York. Its founders included Joseph Boudinot, a former president of the Continental Congress, and John Quincy Adams, then secretary of state. Many other such societies were organized, leading the Jewish community to publish pamphlets and articles against these efforts. The first pamphlet, Israel Vindicated (1820) was published by Abraham Colins.
1817 - 1896 ADAM GIMBEL (USA)
A poor immigrant from Bavaria, he built a retail empire including Saks Fifth Avenue and, of course, Gimbels.
1817 - 1891 HEINRICH GRAETZ (Germany)
Celebrated historian, his works were based on original sources. Though he was sometimes biased, especially when it came to Eastern-European Jewry, his works on history are nevertheless considered monumental even today.
1817 MIR (Poland)
Rabbi Samuel Tiktinski (c. 1883) founded a Torah college (yeshiva) which eventually served five hundred students and was renowned throughout the Jewish world.
1817 WITHIN TWO YEARS OF NAPOLEON'S DEFEAT (Germany, Austria)
Prussia, Austria and the Church (Pope Pious VII) forbade liberal movements. In Werger, the cry "Hep, Hep" (Hierosolyma est Perdita - Jerusalem is destroyed) rang through the streets. In Heidelburg, the criminal rapist of a Jewish girl was freed by a mob.
1817 - 1896 (21 Adar 5656) ISAAC ELCHANAN SPECTOR (Kovno, Russia)
Considered the leading Russian rabbinic scholar of his day. Spector, who was active in many aspects of Jewish life, was a supporter of the Hovevei Zion movement, declaring it a mitzvah (religious duty) to settle in Eretz Israel. He fought for the right of Jewish soldiers to obtain kosher food and against a ban on ritual slaughter proposed by the Russian government. His considerable responsa were published in three parts: Beer Yitzchok, Nachal Yitzchok, and En Yitzchok (the Well, Stream, and Spring of Isaac).
1817 - 1893 (28 Av 5453) NAPHTALI ZEVI YEHUDA BERLIN (the Netziv) (Belorus, Russia)
Head of the Volozhin Yeshiva, which grew to over 400 students during his time. He was both a scholar and an organizer, and the yeshiva reached its zenith under his guidance. His works include Emek Davar, a commentary on the Torah, and Emek Hanatziv, a commentary on the Sifri. He was among the first religious leaders to encourage weekly study of the Torah portion. He joined the Hovevei Zion movement, which urged Orthodox Jews to support settlement in Eretz Israel. In 1892 the Russian government closed his yeshiva, and he felt that his place was with his community despite his great desire to go to Eretz Israel. His health rapidly deteriorated and he died shortly after.
1818 - 1864 ISRAEL JOSEPH BENJAMIN (Benjamin II)
Traveler and explorer. Benjamin fashioned himself after Benjamin of Tudela (1154) and undertook to find the 10 lost tribes. His travels took him throughout the Far East as well as North Africa. His exploits and information on the Jewish communities he visited were published as Sefer Masei Yisrael (The Book of the Travels of Israel).
1818 JOHN ADAMS (1735-1826) (USA)
Statesman and President. In a letter to Mordecai Manuel Noah, he wrote: "I wish your nation may be admitted to all the privileges of citizens in every country of the world." Regarding the re-establishment of a Jewish state, he wrote in the same year: "I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation."
1818 - 1876 LUDWIG TRAUBE (Germany)
Founder of experimental pathology. He gained renown for his research on diseases of the lungs, heart, and kidneys.
1818 May 5, - 1883 KARL MARX (Father of Communism)(Germany)
Converted to Protestantism as a child. He embraced Lutheran anti-Judaism and charged that the basis for Judaism is greed and that social emancipation could only be accomplished by freeing society from commercialism, which was associated with Jews. Although many Jews embraced Communism as a panacea, many fled to the haven of socialism or capitalism. Still, the Capitalists call the Jews Communists and vice versa. Marx's theories were published under the title Das Kapital in 1867.
1818 October 18, HAMBURG (Germany)
Dedication of the Reform Temple, the first temple established specifically for that purpose. A year later, the temple composed a new prayer book, deleting any mention of the Messiah and the return to the Holy Land.
1819 - 1900 ISAAC MEYER WISE (USA)
Emigrating to New York in 1846, he later settled in Cincinnati where he became the head of the American Reform movement. He was responsible for the founding of the Hebrew Union College and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.
1819 - 1880 JACQUES OFFENBACH (France)
Composer. Son of a cantor, he composed over one hundred operettas including Tales of Hoffman. His Paris Life, Blue Beard, and Beautiful Helen are the best of French comic operas.
1819 August 2, GERMAN POGROMS
Began in Lubeck, and Bremen. They soon spread to Bamberg, Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Mannheim, and Hamburg. Most of the riots were the consequence of rising nationalism (see 1817), the defeat of the French, and the anti-liberalism that resulted from it all.
1819 August 31, HAIM FARHI (Acre, Eretz Israel)
Was murdered on the command of Abdullah Pasha. Farhi was the head of an important banking family, which had been influential in helping Abdullah come to power. Farhi had previously narrowly escaped death at the hands of Abdullah's predecessor, Ahmad al-Jazzar Pasha. During Napoleon's siege of Acre in 1799, Farhi refused Napoleon's offer of a promised Jewish independence and defended the city. Farhi was warned that his former backer had a change of heart but he refused to flee, fearing a backlash against the Jews in the Galilee. He was noted for his generous philanthropy, especially in Acre and Damascus.
1819 November 27, FOUNDING OF THE VEREIN FUER CULTUR UND WISSENSCHAFT DER JUDEN, (The Society for Culture and Science of Judaism) (Germany)
Set up by Leopold Zunz and Eduard Gans. It delved into Jewish history, culture, and literature using scientific methods of criticism and assessment. The Society lasted less then five years. Gans and many others converted to Christianity.