Hermann Leberecht Strack

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Hermann Leberecht Strack

Hermann Leberecht Strack (born May 6, 1848 in Berlin ; † October 5, 1922 there ) was a German Protestant theologian and orientalist .


Hermann L. Strack was the son of the prorector of the royal secondary school in Berlin Max Leberecht Strack and his wife Emilie Kraft. He had attended the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Gymnasium in Berlin and studied from 1865 to 1870 in Berlin and Leipzig. In 1872 he became a teacher at the Wilhelms-Gymnasium in Berlin and received his doctorate in philosophy in Berlin that same year. From 1873 to 1876 he was commissioned by the Prussian government in Saint Petersburg to examine the ancient oriental Bible manuscripts there . On this occasion he also examined the antiquities of the Firkowitsch collection, which he described as forgery. Abraham Firkowitsch (1786-1874) was Chasan of Jewish- Karaite religious community, collector of manuscripts and amateur archaeologist. In 1877 Strack became an associate professor of Old Testament exegesis and also taught oriental languages ​​at the University of Berlin . In 1884 he received the theological doctorate at the University of Leipzig .

He was a leading figure in Germany in the field of rabbinical literature and had studied with Moritz Steinschneider . The commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Midrash that he suggested and edited , compiled by Paul Billerbeck , is reprinted again and again and is often referred to briefly in the specialist literature as "Strack-Billerbeck".

After the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany, Strack became a pioneer in the defense of the Jews against attacks by court preacher Adolf Stoecker , Professor August Rohling and others. In a report on the ritual murder trial in the Hungarian Tisza-Eszlár , he published in the Evangelische Kirchen-Zeitung on August 12, 1882 that “in the entire halachic literature of the Jews there is no reference to any ritual use of blood in the Jewish religion, but rather blood consumption through the Jewish dietary laws are strictly forbidden ”. In 1883 he suggested the establishment of the Institutum Judaicum (today Institute for Church and Judaism ), headed by him in Berlin from 1886 , the aim of which was theological research into Judaism and the conversion of Jews to Christianity ( mission to the Jews ). In 1885 Strack took over the editor of the newspaper Nathanael. Journal for the work of the Evangelical Church on Israel , published in Berlin.

From 1886 Strack worked together with Otto Zöckler on the publication of the Concise Commentary on the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (Nördlingen and Munich). Strack advised the editors of the Jewish Encyclopedia . When the number of blood murder allegations increased in the 1890s , the Association for the Defense against Anti-Semitism commissioned Strack, who, like Franz Delitzsch and Paul de Lagarde, also acted as an expert in the Max Bernstein case , to write a book about "blood superstition" Published by CH Beck in 1891.

Strack was one of the few German Protestant theologians who still actively opposed anti-Semitism after the First World War. In his book Jewish Secret Laws? he showed that the Jewish religious laws were always public and nothing was hidden and that Jewish ethics did not allow Jews to behave towards non-Jews in a way that was not allowed towards Jews. Strack refuted anti-Semitic writings, for example the Protocols of the Elders of Zion , and other anti-Semitic publications of his time.

Publications (selection)

  • Prolegomena Critica in Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum . Leipzig 1873
  • Catalog of the Hebrew Bible Manuscripts of the Imperial Public Library in St. Petersburg . St. Petersburg and Leipzig 1875, in collaboration with Abraham Harkavy
  • Prophetarum Posteriorum Codex Babylonicus Petropolitanus . 1876
  • Abraham Firkowitsch and his discoveries . 1876
  • Issue of various mixed natracts :
  • Hebrew grammar . Karlsruhe and Leipzig 1883; from the 10th and 11th edition Munich 1911 as volume 1 of the series Clavis linguarum semiticarum ; 15th edition 1952
  • Textbook of the New Hebrew Language and Literature . 1884, in collaboration with Karl Siegfried
  • Mr. Adolf Stöcker - Christian love and truthfulness . H. Reuther, Karlsruhe et al., 1885; 2nd edition: 1886. (deals with the anti-Semitism of court preacher Adolf Stoecker )
  • Introduction to the Talmud . Leipzig 1887; 2nd edition: 1894
  • Introduction to the Old Testament . Nordlingen 1888; 5th edition: Munich 1898
  • The superstition of blood among Christians and Jews. Minden 1891.
  • The blood superstition in mankind, blood murders and blood rites . CH Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (Oscar Beck), Munich 1891;
    • from the fourth edited edition in 1992 as The blood superstition in mankind, blood murders and blood rites. At the same time an answer to the challenge of the "Osservatore Cattolico" . (= Writings of the Institutum Judaicum in Berlin. No. 14.)
  • The Jews - may they be called 'criminals of religious ways'? Files, at the same time as a contribution to the characterization of the maintenance of justice in Prussia . Walter, Berlin 1893. (Writings of the Institutum Judaicum 15).
  • Outline of the Biblical Aramaic . Leipzig 1896; from the 2nd edition Leipzig 1897 under the title Grammar of Biblical Aramaic ; from the 5th edition Munich 1911 as volume 4 of the series Clavis linguarum semiticarum
  • Jewish secret laws ?. With 3 appendices: Rohling, Ecker and no end ?. Artur Dinter u. Art, science, fatherland. "The Elders of Zion" and their believers. Schwetschke & Sohn, Berlin 1920; 3rd and 4th edition 1921. (About the anti-Semites August Rohling , Jakob Ecker and Artur Dinter and the anti-Semitic pamphlet The Wise Men of Zion ).
  • Commentary on the New Testament from Talmud and Midrash. in collaboration with Paul Billerbeck , 4 volumes, Munich 1922–1928

Literature (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. E.g. Donald A. Carson, Douglas J. Moo: Introduction to the New Testament. Brunnen, Gießen 2010, p. 454. Often only Billerbeck is cited as the actual editor of this "commentary".
  2. Jürgen W. Schmidt: No case of "ritual blood drawing" - the criminal trials against the rabbinate candidate Max Bernstein in Breslau 1889/90 and their sexual psychological background. In: Specialized prose research - Border Crossing 8/9, Deutscher Wissenschaftsverlag, Baden-Baden 2012/2013 (2014), ISSN 1863-6780, pp. 483-516, here (cited): p. 489.
  3. Jürgen W. Schmidt: No case of "ritual blood drawing" - the criminal trials against the rabbinate candidate Max Bernstein in Breslau 1889/90 and their sexual psychological background. 2012/2013, p. 510 and more often.
  4. Benjamin Murmelstein: History of the Jews - The people wandering around the world. Verlag Josef Belf, Vienna 1938, p. 386.