SCHWAB, LÖW (called originally Baḥur Löb Krumau):

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Moravian rabbi; born at Krumau, Moravia, March 11, 1794; died April 3, 1857; pupil of R. Mordecai Benet in Nikolsburg, R. Moses Sofer in Presburg, R. Joshua Horwitz in Trebitsch, and R. Joachim Deutschmann in Gewitsch. He held successively the rabbinates of Gewitsch (1824), Prossnitz (1831), and Budapest (1836). Unaided, he obtained a knowledge of French and German and acquired also a good mathematical and philosophical education; he was well versed, moreover, in Jewish and Kantian philosophy as well as in Christian theological literature, especially Protestant homiletics.

Schwab was a conservative theologian and sanctioned only those reforms in the religious services which, in view of the changes in esthetic standards, were absolutely necessary to prevent the better-educated classes of the community from being alienatedfrom the Synagogue. He was the first rabbi in Moravia to preach in German and to perform the wedding ceremony in the synagogue (1832). He was a verse to radical reforms, and in 1852 he brought about the dissolution of the Reform association in Budapest, which had been modeled on that of Berlin. Schwab's work in Budapest left lasting traces in the Jewish community, and the establishment of the first important hospital and the large synagogue in that city was due to his efforts.

Schwab frequently used his pen in the struggle for the emancipation of the Hungarian Jews, although he was averse to publication. He drafted petitions from the Jews of the country to the Land-tag, and wrote a refutation of malicious attacks made upon them. A short treatise by him on faith and morals (1846) is still widely used as a text-book in Hungarian intermediate schools. A volume of his sermons was published in 1840.

After the suppression of the Revolution in 1849, Schwab was tried before a court martial and imprisoned for twelve weeks; but, notwithstanding this, he frequently served as councilor to the government in Jewish affairs.

His son, the mathematician David Schwab, also preached for a time, and was for four years on the staff of the "Pester Lloyd."

  • L. Löw, Gesammelte Schriften, i.-iv.;
  • idem, Jüdischer Kongress, Index;
  • Ben Chananja, i. 27, 194;
  • Bärmann, in Allgemeine Illustrierte Judenzeitung, Budapest, 1860;
  • Magyar Zsidó Szemle, xvi. 128;
  • Büchler, Azsidòk Története Budapesten, p. 416.
S. I. Lö.
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