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Geiger, Abraham

From 1863 to 1870 Abraham Geiger was Rabbi to the Jewish community and a member of the Jewish Reform Movement.
Abraham Geiger was born in FrankfurtamMain in 1810 and descended from a longestablished Frankfurt family. He studied in Heidelberg and Bonn, where he graduated in 1832. Following his ordination as a rabbi, he was called first to Wiesbaden, then in 1838 to Breslaw, where he worked for 28 years.
In 1863 he was called to his home town of Frankfurt and worked as a rabbi for seven years. He then followed his vocation to Berlin, where he became a cofounder of the University of Judaic Knowledge. Geiger was the spiritual father of the Reform Movement and provided the theoretical foundation for a fresh understanding of Judaism. He distinguished between universal religious values on the one hand and concrete commandments and ritual laws on the other. The latter were determined by historical circumstances, and were therefore to be adapted to the present day. This put him in conflict with orthodox opinion, which regarded the prescriptions of religious law as sacred and inviolable. He was a major scholar whose research extended to every area of Jewish knowledge, including the Bible, part of the Talmud, and also to historical, philosophical and poetical literature of the Middle Ages. He published many books on Jewish religion, history, and philosophy, and was the publisher of several Jewish religious periodicals.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources