KAYSERLING, MEYER (Moritz; 1829–1905), German rabbi and historian. Kayserling, born in Hanover, studied with S.R. Hirsch in Nikolsburg, S.J. Rapoport in Prague, and S.B. Bamberger in Wuerzburg and at Halle University. From 1861 to 1870 he was rabbi at Endingen, Switzerland, where he fought strenuously for Jewish rights; thereafter he was rabbi and preacher in Budapest.
Kayserling published a large number of works on various aspects of Jewish history, literature, and religion, mostly in German, which were very popular in their day, including Moses Mendelssohn: sein Leben und seine Werke (1862, 18882); Bibliothek juedischer Kanzelredner (2 vols., 1870–72); Die juedischen Frauen in der Geschichte … (1879); and a popular Jewish history, Lehrbuch der juedischen Geschichte und Lite ratur (1874); which ultimately went through ten editions. He also contributed the section on modern Jewish literature to Winter and Wuensche's handbook on post-biblical Jewish literature, Juedische Literatur seit dem Abschluss des Kanons … (vol. 3, 1896).
But Kayserling's reputation rests on his long series of pioneering publications on the history of Spanish Jewry and the Marranos, based to a great degree on original and, in some cases manuscript, sources. His Geschichte der Juden in Spanien und Portugal, which in fact covered mainly Navarre and the Balearic Islands (vol. 1, 1861) and Portugal (vol. 2, 1867), was the first work in which Hebrew sources were consistently
L. Philippson, Biography of Meyer Kayserling (1898); W.A. Meisel, Ein Lebens-und Zeitbild … (1891); M. Weisz, Bibliographie der Schriften Dr. M. Kayserlings (1929); E. Neumann, Kayserling (Hg., 1906).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.