LANDAUER, MEYER HEINRICH HIRSCH (1808–1841), writer on the philosophy of religion and Kabbalah. Born at Kappel, near Buchau (Wuerttemberg), he was the son of a cantor and became rabbi of Braunsbach (Wuerttemberg). He had to abandon this post for reasons of health.
On the basis of prolonged study of Hebrew manuscripts in the Munich Library (in 1838), Landauer wrote several studies on the history of medieval Hebrew literature and of the Kabbalah, which constitute the first attempt at a scholarly study of the development of Jewish mysticism. Covering "Sefer ha-Bahir," "The word Kabbalah," "Survey of the history and literature of the Kabbalah," "A preliminary appraisal of the *Zohar," and others, they were published posthumously in incomplete form in Literaturblatt des Orients. Under the influence of Schelling, Landauer attempted a symbolic mystical interpretation of the Torah and its commandments which should have served as a basis for a religious philosophy of Judaism and which should have also connected it with kabbalistic themes. Of decisive significance in this respect for Landauer was the philosophical-metaphysical meaning of the names of God-YHWH as designation for the "first basic
I.M. Jost, in: Israelitische Annalen, 3 (1841), 69f.; L. Zunz, in: I. Busch (ed.), Jahrbuch der Israeliten, 6 (1848), 90; A. Geiger, in: WZJT, 3 (1837), 403–13; Steinschneider, Cat Bod, 1596 no. 6109; Fuerst, Bibliotheca, 2 (1863), 219f.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.