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LIEBERMANN (LIBERMANN), ELIEZER:

Talmudist of the first half of the nineteenth century. According to G. Wolf, in his biography of Isaac Noah Mannheimer (p. 10, Note), he was a native of Austria; Jost ("Culturgesch." iii. 24) says that he pretended to be a Hungarian rabbi; but in the preface to "Or Nogah," Liebermann signs himself "son of Zeeb Wolf, rabbi of Hennegau" (probably Hagenau, Alsace). He was the agent of the patrons of the Reform Temple at Hamburg, in defense of which he published "Nogah ha-Ẓedeḳ," a collection of the views of Shem-Ṭob Samun of Leghorn, R. Jacob Vita Ricanati of Pesaro, R. Moses Kunitz, or Kunitzer, of Budapest, and R. Aaron Chorin of Arad. The indorsement by the rabbinates of Leghorn and Jerusalem, which was added to that of Shem-Ṭob Samun, was afterward declared to be fictitious.

The "Nogah ha-Ẓedeḳ" was followed by "Or Nogah" (Dessau, 1818), in which Liebermann gives a lengthy and learned exposition of his own views in favor of Reform. It is prefaced by two eulogistic poems, one from Chorin and another signed "Ze'ebi." In refutation of this book the Hamburg rabbinate published "Eleh Dibre ha-Berit," a collection of the views of prominent Orthodox rabbis, and containing a declaration of Aaron Chorin revoking his former opinion (Altona, 1819). On the title-page of "Or Nogah" Liebermann claims the authorship of "'Ir Dammeseḳ," which work does not seem to have been printed.

In 1819 Liebermann traveled in Austria to propagate Reform ideas and, according to the statement of the chief of police Sedlnitzky, to found for that purpose a journal called "Syonia." Nothing else is known of Liebermann's life. According to Wolf and Graetz, Liebermann became a convert to Roman Catholicism; but there is nothing positive to corroborate this assertion.

Bibliography:
  • Fürst, Bibl. Jud. ii. 248;
  • Grätz, Gesch. xi. 420-424, Leipsic, 1870;
  • Jost, Culturgesch. iii. 24-25, Berlin, 1847;
  • Schreiber, Reformed Judaism, pp. 76-77, Spokane, 1892;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 964;
  • Moses Sofer, Responsa, vi. 91.
D. S. Man.
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