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BRENZ, SAMUEL FRIEDRICH:

Anti-Jewish writer; born at Osterburg, Bavaria, in the latter half of the sixteenth century; date and place of death unknown. He was converted to Christianity in 1610 at Feuchtwangen, and wrote "Jüdischer Abgestreifter Schlangenbalg" (The Jewish Serpent's Skin Stripped), in which he bitterly attacked his former coreligionists, whom he accused of hating "the most pious and innocent Jew, Jesus Christ," and in which he denounced their religious literature. This book, divided into seven chapters, appeared at Nuremberg in 1614, 1680, and 1715.

Against him Solomon Ẓebi Hirsch of Aufhausen (not Offenhausen nor Ufhausen) wrote "Der Jüdische Theriak" (The Jewish Theriak or Antidote), Hanau, 1615. For the use of Christians as well as Jews he had it printed in German and in Hebrew, and the work was successful in refuting the false accusations of Brenz. A new edition of the "Theriak" appeared at Altorf in 1680, and a Latin translation by Johann Wülfer, together with the Schlangenbalg, was published at Nuremberg in 1681.

Wülfer strongly defended the Jews against Brenz, whose crass ignorance, hatred, falsehood, and pernicious fanaticism, as well as his plagiarism of Pfefferkorn, he exposed. A Hebrew translation under the title "Ha-Yehudim," by Alexander ben Samuel, is extant in manuscript in the library of the University of Leyden.

Bibliography:
  • Allg. Zeit. des Jud.1846, pp. 340-342;
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. i. 131, iii. 46, 537;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 805, 2379, 2734;
  • Wolf, Bibl. Hebr. i., Nos. 576, 2131.
D.S. Man.
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