STRACK, HERMANN LEBERECHT:
German Protestant theologian and Orientalist; born at Berlin May 6, 1848. Since 1877 he has been assistant professor of Old Testament exegesis and Semitic languages at the University of Berlin. He is the foremost Christian authority in Germany on Talmudic and rabbinic literature, and studied rabbinics under Steinschneider. Since the reappearance of anti-Semitism in Germany Strack has been the champion of the Jews against the attacks of such men as Hofprediger Stöcker, Professor Röhling, and others. In 1885 Strack became the editor of "Nathanael. Zeitschrift für die Arbeit der Evangelischen Kirche an Israel," which is published at Berlin; and in 1883 he founded the Institutum Judaicum, which aims at the conversion of Jews to Christianity. In the beginning of his career the Prussian government sent Strack to St. Petersburg to examine the Bible manuscripts there; on this occasion he examined also the antiquities of the Firkovich collection, which he declared to be forgeries.
Of Strack's numerous works the following may be mentioned: "Prolegomena Critica in Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum" (Leipsic, 1873); "Katalog der Hebräschen Bibelhandschriften der Kaiserlichen Oeffentlichen Bibliothek in St. Petersburg" (St. Petersburg and Leipsic, 1875), in collaboration with A. Harkavy; "Prophetarum Posteriorum Codex Babylonicus Petropolitanus" (ib. 1876); "A. Firkowitch und Seine Entdeckungen" (ib. 1876); editions of the Mishnah tractates Abot (Carlsruhe, 1882; 2d ed. Berlin, 1888), Yoma (ib. 1888), 'Abodah Zarah (ib. 1888), and Shabbat (ib. 1890); "Hebräische Grammatik" (Carlsruhe, 1883; 3d ed. Munich, 1902); "Lehrbuch der Neuhebräischen Sprache und Litteratur" (ib. 1884), in collaboration with Karl Siegfried; "Herr Adolf Stöcker" (ib. 1885; 2d ed. 1886); "Einleitung in den Talmud" (Leipsic, 1887; 2d ed. 1894), a revised reprint of his article on the subject in Herzog-Hauck's "Real-Encyklopädie," to which he made a whole series of contributions on rabbinic subjects; "Einleitung in das Alte Testament" (Nördlingen, 1888; 5th ed. Munich, 1898); "Der Blutaberglaube in der Menschheit, Blutmorde und Blutritus" (ib. 1891; 5th ed. 1900); "Die Juden. Dürfen Sie 'Verbrecher von Religionswegen' Genannt Werden?" (Berlin, 1893); "Abriss des Biblischen Aramäisch" (Leipsic, 1897). Since 1886 Strack has been associated with Zoeckler in editing the "Kurzgefasster Kommentar zu den Schriften des Alten und Neuen Testaments" (Nördlingen and Munich). Strack is a member of the Foreign Board of Consulting Editors of
- Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon.