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SUTRO, ABRAHAM:

German rabbi; born at Brück, near Erlangen, July 5, 1784; died at Münster Oct. 10, 1869. He studied in the yeshibot of Fürth and Prague, and was in 1814 appointed teacher in Reichensachsen by the then existing consistory of Westphalia; later in the same year he was transferred as teacher to Beverungen, where he officiated also as rabbi of the district of Warburg. After the redistricting of Westphalia he was appointed "Landesrabbiner" for the districts of Münster and Dortmund in 1815, and in 1828 chief rabbi of the district of Paderborn, holding the latter position until his death. He wrote: "Widerlegung der Schrift des Herrn H. B. H. Cleve 'Der Geist des Rabbinismus' aus Bibel und dem Talmud" (Münster, 1823); and "Milḥamot Adonai" (Hanover, 1836; 2d ed., Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1836), a protest against religious reforms, especially the use of the organ in the synagogue. He published also sermons and articles in the "Zionswächter" of Altona.

Sutro was an active advocate of the emancipation of the Jews, and during the era of reaction he repeatedly petitioned the Prussian Diet to repeal the ordinances declaring the Jews ineligible for public office. A few months before his death he had the satisfaction of seeing passed the law of July 3, 1869, which removed all the disabilities of the Jews. Some of Sutro's grandchildren have become converts to Christianity ("Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1902, p. 488; 1903, p. 325).

Bibliography:
  • Der Israelit, pp. 829-831, Mayence, 1869.
S. D.
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