BERLIN, ARYEH LOEB BEN ABRAHAM MEIR


BERLIN, ARYEH LOEB BEN ABRAHAM MEIR
BERLIN, ARYEH LOEB BEN ABRAHAM MEIR (1738–1814), German rabbi. Berlin, the younger brother of Noah Ḥayyim Ẓevi Hirsch Berlin , was born in Fuerth where his father, a well-to-do merchant, was communal leader of Franconian Jewry. Like his brother, he was appointed dayyan in Fuerth but Aryeh Loeb was at the same time rabbi of Baiersdorf in Bavaria. From 1789 he was rabbi of Bamberg, where his duties included that of civil judge. While there he was involved in an unpleasant lawsuit when the heirs of a large estate of which he was appointed executor accused him of abusing his office, exacting illegal fees, and not accounting for certain expenditure. He was acquitted of dishonesty, but made to pay a fine. The publication of the relevant documents by Eckstein (see bibl.) shows that the charges were groundless. In 1794 Berlin was appointed chief rabbi of Hesse-Kassel, but owing to the opposition of his detractors in Bamberg he was unable to leave and did not assume his post until the following year. When the kingdom of Westphalia, with Kassel as its capital, was created by Napoleon in 1807 and given to Jerome Bonaparte, Berlin delivered a sermon in Hebrew welcoming the new king and composed a hymn of praise in Hebrew (published under the title Davar be-Itto Mah Tov, with a German translation, Kassel, 1807). In 1808, when the jewish consistory was organized on the basis of the French consistories he was appointed chief rabbi of the kingdom. The president of the consistory was israel jacobsohn , and Berlin, despite the protests of the more extreme rabbis, agreed to certain relaxations of the strict laws of Passover, in particular permitting the eating of peas and beans on Passover. Berlin's annotations to the Talmud appear in the three volumes of the Fuerth edition (1829–32) which were published, and his annotations to the tractate Shevu'ot are in the Romm-Vilna edition. Some of his novellae appear as an appendix to his brother's Aẓei Almuggim (Sulzbach, 1779). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Eckstein, Geschichte des Juden im ehemaligen Fuerstbistum Bamberg (1898), 176–9, and Nachtraege (1899), 3–44; E. Kohn, Kinat Soferim (1892), 896f.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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