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MATTHÄI (SIMEON), ADAM RUDOLF GEORG:

German convert to Christianity; born at Fürth 1715; died at Nuremberg 1779. After having studied Talmud at Prague under his father, Jaidel, who was lecturer on Talmud in the bet ha-midrash, Matthäi, whose name was then Simeon, returned to his native town. There he was appointed teacher in the Jewish high school and afterward lecturer in the bet ha-midrash. In April, 1748, Matthäi announced to the clergy of Fürth his intention of embracing Christianity, and on their advice he went to Nuremberg, where he was baptized on Sept. 20 of the same year, and where he was afterward appointed sacristan of the Dominican Church.

Matthäi wrote several works in German which, according to his admirers, were a defense of Christianity against the attacks of the Jews, but in reality were attacks on Judaism. It must be admitted, however, that he displayed in his writings a wide knowledge of rabbinical literature.

The following is a list of his works in their chronological order; with one exception they were published at Nuremberg:

  • Beschreibung des Jüdischen Sabbats. 1750.
  • Die Verderbniss des Heutigen Judenthums. 1752.
  • Beschreibung des Jüdischen Neujahrsfestes. 1755.
  • Beschreibung des Jüdischen Purimfestes. 1758.
  • Beschreibung des Jüdischen Jom Kippur. 1760.
  • Sammlung Talmudischer Lehrsätze. Schwabach, 1763.
  • Abhandlung von der Verleumdung. 1765.
  • Sendschreiben an Rabbi Peloni aus der Stadt Lo-Theda. 1766.
  • Erneuerung des Taufbundes. 1768.
  • Kurzgefasste Talmudische Lehrsätze von der Nothwendigkeit Sich in den Ehestand zu Begeben. N.d.
  • Beweis von der Uebereinstimmung der Alten Israelitischen Kabbala mit der Lehre des Apostels Paulus. N.d.
  • Beweisgründe von der Uebereinstimmung der Altjüdischen Lehre mit der Lehre der Christen. 1770.
  • Christlich Gesinnte Erklärung der Kabbalisten Ueber das Hohelied. 1776.
Bibliography:
  • De le Roi, Juden-Mission, i. 398;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 335.
G. M. Sel.
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