Adolf Jellinek - Encyclopedia


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ADOLF JELLINEK (1821-1893), Jewish preacher and scholar, was born in Moravia. After filling clerical posts in Leipzig, he became Prediger (preacher) in Vienna in 1856. He was associated with the promoters of the New Learning within Judaism, and wrote on the history of the Kabbala. His bibliographies (each bearing the Hebrew title Qontres) were useful compilations. But his most important work lay in three other directions. (r) Midrashic. Jellinek published in the six parts of his Beth ha-Midrasch (1853-1878) a large number of smaller Midrashi, ancient and medieval homilies and folk-lore records, which have been of much service in the recent revival of interest in Jewish apocalyptic literature. A translation of these collections of Jellinek into German was undertaken by A. Wuensche, under the general title Aus Israels Lehrhalle. (2) Psychological. Before the study of ethnic psychology had become a science, Jellinek devoted attention to the subject. There is much keen analysis and original investigation in his two essays Der jiidische Stamm (1869) and Der jiidische Stamm in nicht jiidischen Spriich-wortern (1881-1882). It is to Jellinek that we owe the oft-repeated comparison of the Jewish temperament to that of women in its quickness of perception, versatility and sensibility. (3) Homiletic. Jellinek was probably the greatest synagogue orator of the 19th century. He published some 200 sermons, in most of which are displayed unobtrusive learning, fresh application of old sayings, and a high conception of Judaism and its claims. Jellinek was a powerful apologist and an accomplished homilist, at once profound and ingenious.

His son, GEORGE JELLINEK, was appointed professor of international law at Heidelberg in 1891. Another son, MAX HERMANN

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