FRIEDENTHAL, MARKUS BÄR:
German banker and scholar; born in 1779; died at Breslau Dec. 3, 1859. Although one of the leading bankers at Breslau, he devoted much time to study and to communal affairs. His special interest lay in the field of religious philosophy and dogma, which he treated rather in an apologetic than in a purely scientific manner. His works nevertheless betrayed great sagacity, and had the merit, coming as they did from a conservative, of opening to the Talmudists the field of modern critical studies. Friedenthalwrote; "'Iḳḳare Emunah," on the dogmas of Jewish religion, proving that Mosaism is in accordance with the aims of humanity (Breslau, 3 vols., 1816-1818); "Yesod ha-Dat," a characterization of Jewish law (ib. 7 vols., 1821-23); "Mishpaṭ ha-Aḥizah we-Mishpaṭ ha-Zekiyyah," on the law of property, a summary of the preceding work (ib. 1838); "Miktab le-Ḥakme Yisrael," an open letter to Jewish scholars concerning Jewish dogmas (ib. 1825); "Ma'amar Mordekai," a defense of the institutions of the great synagogue at Breslau, with notes on the use and form of the prayers (ib. 1834); "Ha-Ḥokmah, ha-Tebunah, weha-Dat," on intelligence, comprehension, and religion, in 4 parts (ib. 1843-46). Several of these works were translated into German by R. J. Fürstenthal and by Wilhelm Freund. Friedenthal was also the author of many pamphlets written in German, dealing with the communal affairs of Breslau.
- Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1860, No. 1.