Moses Kann

en:Portrait of Samson Wertheimer, Chief Rabbi ...

Porträt Samson Wertheimer - Landesrabbiner von Ungarn (XVIII Jahrhundert)

Moses Kann was a German rabbi; born at Frankfurt am Main; died there Dec. 1, 1762; son of Löb Kann. He was chief rabbi of Hesse-Darmstadt and head of the Talmudical school at Frankfurt, which had been founded and richly endowed by his father-in-law, Samson Wertheimer, of Vienna.

For over half a century this school flourished under Kann’s guidance, and maintained the high reputation of Frankfurt as a seat of Talmudic study.

Expulsion of the Jews from Frankfurt on August...

English: Expulsion of the Jews from Frankfurt on August 23, 1614, after riots in the "Jews Street" led by Vincent Fettmilch. According to the text, "1380 persons old and young were counted at the exit of the gate" and herded onto ships on the river Main. Jews were connected in business to the city's wealthy merchants, while Fettmilch led the small craftsmen and traders opposed to the Jewish presence in Frankfurt. Deutsch: Vertreibung der Juden aus Frankfurt am 23. August 1614 nach dem Fettmilch-Aufstand. Bildtext: „Auszug der Juden den 23. Augusti da man ihnen das Fischerfelds Pförtlein eröffnet und sie vff dem Wasser hinauf und hinunder abfahren lassen, da sindt ihrer 1380 Personen Jung vnd Alt so zu der Pforten hinauszgangen abgezehlet worden. Abb. 37 Auzug der Juden aus Frankfurt 1614 . Gleichzeit. Kpfr. von Georg Keller. München, Kupferstichkabinett.“

By his energy and activity in behalf of the Jews, Moses Kann’s name became celebrated throughout German Jewry. He and his father-in-law furnished the means for the publication of a new edition of the Talmud (the Frankfurt-Amsterdam edition).

Through the denunciations of a baptized Jew, Paul Christian, this edition and a number of prayer-books were confiscated.

By the testimony of the Berlin court preacher Jablonski and the consistorial councilor Scharden of Halle, supported by the opinion of twenty-four Christian professors and preachers who, in 1728, had declared that “neither the Jewish prayer-book nor the Talmud contained anything derogatory to Christianity,” Moses Kann proved before the Elector of Mainz the bad character of the apostate.

On Aug. 1, 1753, the Imperial Court rescinded the order of confiscation of these books.

Moses Kann’s name is perpetuated in the memor-book of the Frankfurt congregation; Meïr ben Eliakim Götz, in “Eben ha-Shoham,” responsa, praises him as his benefactor, and Eleazar Kallir, in his preface to “Or Hadash,” mentions him in terms of admiration.

Jacob Joshua was called from Metz to the rabbinate of Frankfurt (1741) chiefly through Kann’s influence.

The latter’s sons Moses Kann and Bär Kann administered the charitable foundations which he had established during his life, in addition to his bequest of $10,000, from the interest of which students of the Torah were to be supported. In 1763 the sons turned over this fund in trust to the congregation, the semiannual interest, $275, to be distributed among beneficiaries proposed by the brothers Kann and approved by the board of the congregation.

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