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KISSINGEN:

Bavarian health-resort; it has a total population of 4,024, including 333 Jews. Jews lived in Kissingen as early as the thirteenth century, and they suffered greatly from persecutions under Rindfleisch in 1298 (Salfeld, "Martyrologium," pp. 64-66).

In the town hall of Kissingen there is a helmeted and bearded figure of a man carved in stone. Report declares it to be in memory of a Jew who, during the siege of Kissingen by the Swedes, cast for the defenders bullets that never missed their mark. From that time he and his descendants went under the name of "Schwed." In 1650 and 1656 the Kissingen butchers complained in regard to the slaughtering of cattle and selling of meat by the Jews living in houses under the jurisdiction of the manorial lords; in 1725 the Kissingen citizens objected to the buying of property by the Jews. In 1775 and again in 1791 disagreements occurred between the Jews of the bishopric of Würzburg and the Jewish representative of Kissingen, Herz Löw.

There were three classes of Jews in Kissingen: Jews of the principality of Erthal, of Von Heller, and of the bishopric of Würzburg.

In 1792 the Jewish representative of Kissingen charged the Jews of Erthal with unwarranted interference, in matters of ritual, with the local synagogue; six years later the citizens of Kissingen complained of the increase in the Jewish population.

The present synagogue was dedicated in 1902. The synagogue built in 1853 is still standing, but is not used at present; it occupies the site of an earlier house of worship the history of whose origin is not known. In the year 1892 the Bavarian Jews of the district of Gersfeld were placed under the jurisdiction of that of Kissingen, which now includes about thirty communities. Of the rabbis who officiated there the names of the following are recorded: R. Moses (1799-1809), who was also ḥazzan; L. Adler (1840-52); Gabriel Hirsch Lippman (1852-64), who edited several works of Ibn Ezra; Moses Löb Bamberger (1867-99), who left many manuscripts (see the oration delivered at Rabbi Bamberger's funeral by Dr. S. Bamberger of Schrimm [Paks, 1900], his successor). The last-named edited the Midrash Leḳaḥ Ṭob to Ruth, and "Zikron Abraham," Abraham Bing's glosses to the Shulḥan 'Aruk, and wrote a commentary on the Pirḳe Abot, to be used as a text-book.

D. S. Ba.
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