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Trier, Salomon Abraham

Salomon Abraham Trier, chief rabbi from 1817 to 1844, was the last to hold that office in Frankfurt.
The title of chief rabbi was not accorded to any of his successors. Serious dissent between the Orthodox and Reform Movement during the 19th century, which also troubled the Frankfurt Jewish Community, led to the rabbis losing their position as the spiritual leaders of the community.
Salomon Trier was descended from a family of priests which had been given right of residence in Frankfurt in 1644. His father, Abraham Trier, was a rabbinical judge, was principal of the yeshiva, and a rabbi for a small synagogue. The family lived in the house Weißer Widder.
From 1792 onwards Salomon Trier exercised a decisive influence within the Frankfurt rabbinate. He was selected together with the merchant Isaak Hildesheim to represent the Frankfurt Jewish community at the "Great Sanhedrin" in Paris: this was a congress of rabbis and lay people from European countries who were summoned by Napoleon in 1807 and required to determine the nature of the relationship between the Jewish religion and the state.
Trier was an individual of immense rabbinical knowledge and was an authority in matters of religious law. In 1844 he published a casebook on the subject of circumcision with contributions by numerous rabbis, and won great respect for the views he expressed.
As a chief rabbi, Trier represented Jewish orthodox circles, who doggedly opposed all new ideas about religious life proposed by the Reform Movement. The number of Jewish Reform Movement supporters in Frankfurt grew steadily throughout his period of office; indeed, they had held the majority on the community's committees since the community elections in 1839. He was increasingly unable to implement his rulings, despite enjoying the support of influential Jewish families such as the Rothschilds. The appointment of Leopold Stein as rabbi to assist him (and who subsequently succeeded him), took place against his will, and led finally to his resignation in 1844.
In the course of an extended dispute with the community about his pension, he died two years later, an embittered man, and was buried in the Frankfurt Cemetery in the Battonstraße.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources