The Big Flop. Emissaries of Institutum Judaicum and Greater Poland Regional Rabbi Cover Image
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Das grosse Scheitern. Die Emissaere des Institutum Judaicum und der Landrabbiner von Grosspolen
The Big Flop. Emissaries of Institutum Judaicum and Greater Poland Regional Rabbi

Author(s): Jan Doktór
Subject(s): History
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: Polish Jews; missions; pietists; heretics; Messianism

Summary/Abstract: The first mission journey from the years 1730-31 occupies a special place in the history of Institutum Judaicum et Muhammedicum. Planned as a one-off journey, it started more than 50 years of missionary travel of the Institute’s associates. That expedition was organized on the initiative of Johann Georg Widmann, who earlier toured the Jewish communities of Germany, Poland and Hungary for two years, pursuing a private mission among the Jews. During those travels he met the regional rabbi of Greater Poland Jaakow Mordechej ben Naftali ha-Kohen and, having obtain his unofficial approval, went to Halle. Once there he assured Callenberg and his associates that many Jews in Poland were also leaning toward Christianity, or could even be covert Christians. He also argued that it was necessary to persuade the regional rabbi, whom who considered to be a covert Christian, to confess his faith in public and move to the Evangelical Church together with his followers. Callenberg recruited Widmann as his associate and consented to his trip to Poland. Johann Andreas Manitius, a theology student, was to accompany Widmann and verify his story. The expedition ended in a fiasco, the rabbi refused to accede to the Evangelical Church, broke any ties with the envoys of Institutum Judaicum and urged everybody to burn the Institute’s publications.

  • Issue Year: 220/2006
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 521-529
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: German