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Natan Adler

(1803—1890) chief rabbi


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(1741–1800), German rabbi and kabbalist. A recognized scholar at the age of twenty, he founded a yeshivah in his native Frankfurt am Main, which attracted many pupils. While engaged in several branches of Torah studies, his particular leaning was toward Kabbalah. He and a group of his followers conducted prayer services in his home using a different rite (the prayer book of Yitshaq Luria, recited in a Sephardi pronunciation) from that accepted in German communities. This aroused the anger of the community heads, and in 1782 a ban was placed on the minyan and sanctions were placed on Adler. After spending three years in Boskovice, Moravia (1782–1785), he returned to Frankfurt, reopened his yeshivah, and restarted his minyan, which led to a renewal of the ban, but this was lifted during his last fatal illness. He never published any works, but the notes he wrote in the margins of his Mishnah volumes were later published as Mishnat Rabbi Natan (Frankfurt am Main, 1862). The Ḥatam Sofer (see Sofer Family) was his pupil.

From The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.


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