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04 February 2020

Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer

Israel: Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer, 4 February 2020. Images from Israel Post.

Issue Date: ט’ שבט תש”פ 04/02/2020
Stamp: Rose – Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer
Designer: Renat Abudraham-Dadon
Denomination (in NIS): 13
Size of Stamp: 30 mm X 40 mm
Plate: 1142
Stamps per Sheet: 15
Tabs per Sheet: 5
Method of Printing: Offset
Security Mark: Microtext
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France


Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer was a yeshiva headmaster, an adjudicator, a leader. One of the greatest of his generation and a leader of Orthodox Jewry in Germany.

Rabbi Hildesheimer was born on May 11, 1820 in Halberstadt, Germany. He began serving as a rabbi in his hometown community in 1846, where he founded a yeshiva and assisted the local rabbi. In 1851, he was chosen to serve as the rabbi for the well known community of Eisenstadt, Hungary, where he headed the local yeshiva and established an education system.

In 1869, he began his tenure as the rabbi for the ‘Adass Jisroel’ congregation in Berlin, establishing its institutions and education system. In 1873, he opened a seminary for rabbinical studies which subsequently produced generations of rabbis, educators and public leaders who saved Jewish communities from spiritual decline. The rabbinical seminary functioned continuously until 1939, when it was closed by the Nazis.

Rabbi Hildesheimer fought vigorously against the Reform movement in all its manifestations throughout his life.

He was actively in favor of settling Eretz Israel and founded two companies to support the Jewish Yishuv, helping many agricultural communities and needy individuals. He chaired the ‘Almshouses on Mount Zion’ central committee in Jerusalem. In recognition of his work for the Jewish Yeshuv he was given the title ‘President of Eretz Israel’.

Rabbi Hildesheimer was renowned for his widespread work for the public needs of Jews throughout Germany as well as for Russian Jewry, which led to his being called ‘the Russian Jewish Consul’.

He published books on many subjects and wrote hundreds of articles in various fields for the Hebrew and German press. His responses to Jewish legal questions and interpretations of the Talmud were published based on writings he left behind.

Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer died in Berlin on July 12, 1899.

The stamp features an image of Rabbi Hildesheimer (photo courtesy of the family).

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