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FRANKENBERG, ABRAHAM VON:

German mystic of the seventeenth century; friend and correspondent of Manasseh ben Israel. He was a nobleman and the most influential personage in the district of Oels in Silesia. A disciple of Jacob Böhme, he said: "The true light will come from the Jews; their time is not far distant," etc. He also wrote: "Hebræi habent fontes, Græci rivos, Latini paludes" (cited by Grätz, "Geschichte"). He wrote to Manasseh ben Israel on the coming glory and salvation of the Jews; and his mystic writings undoubtedly influenced his countrymen. As a token of his friendship, Manasseh presented Frankenberg with a portrait of himself bearing the emblem of a wanderer and a torch (the printer's device of Manasseh), and the circumscription (in Hebrew), "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet" (Ps. cxix. 105).

Bibliography:
  • Grätz, Gesch. x. 83, and note 2;
  • M. Kayserling, Menasse, ben Israel, in Jahrbuch für die Gesch, der Juden und des Judenthums, ii. 120, and note 109, Leipsic, 1861;
  • Cat. Anglo-Jew. Hist. Exh. frontispiece.
D. A. M. F.
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