Galician Rabbi and scholar (1790–1867), one of the pioneers of the Jüdische Wissenschaft movement. Rapoport held no official Rabbinic position until his appointment in 1837 as Rabbi of Tarnopol. Before that time he was supported by his father and father-in-law or engaged in business, devoting most of his time to Talmudic learning and, under the influence of Krochmal, to the study of science and Western languages. In 1840 Rapoport was appointed Rabbi of the prestigious community of Prague where the Haskalah had made inroads and the community felt the need for a more or less modernist Rabbi.
Rapoport acquired fame as a result of his biographies of some of the Geonim and Rashi in which, for the first time, the lives of spiritual giants of the past were approached critically and historically. With astonishing erudition Rapoport supplied copious notes to his articles, his keen analysis helping to pave the way for all later scholars who wished to employ the historical–critical methodology in the investigation of the Jewish past.
Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.