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Frankfurter, Akiwa

Akiwa Frankfurter came to Frankfurt from Prague around 1550 to take over his late uncle's position as kosher butcher. He soon abandoned this office, became a member of the yeshiva, whose principal was the community rabbi Elizier Treves, a leading scholar in the Jewish community. Akiwa became a celebrated preacher, much liked within the community, with the result that in 1574 the community made a gift "in perpetuity" to him of the house Heppe. In return he undertook to deliver a sermon on every sabbath.
Many of his prayers and religious songs were preserved and later published. His initiatives led to the establishment of numerous welfare and medical care associations, and learned contemporaries regarded him as the the founder of the Jewish Associations movement.
His death in 1597 was deeply mourned far beyond the limits of Frankfurt. The famous chief rabbi of Prague, "High Rabbi" Löw ben Bezalel, wrote a funeral oration for him: it ran to two editions in Prague in 1598, and was reissued in Frankfurt in 1719.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources