Abraham Geiger


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Reform Rabbi and scholar (1810–74). Geiger, born in Frankfurt, received the traditional Talmudic education of his day and later studied at various German universities and was thus well equipped to become one of the pioneers of the Jüdische Wissenschaft movement, in which the historical–critical method was employed to uncover the sources of Judaism and the way in which the religion developed. After occupying various Rabbinic positions (serving in Breslau as an Orthodox Rabbi where he met with determined opposition on the part of the Orthodox), Geiger became the Director of the Hochschule in Berlin, a position he occupied until his death. Geiger was strongly opposed to the neo-Orthodoxy of S. R. Hirsch, a friend of his youth, and to the conservative philosophy of Zechariah Frankel, but he was less radical in his Reform stance than S. Holdheim, whose ideas seemed to Geiger to destroy continuity with the Jewish past.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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