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Mózes Richtmann

(1880 – 1972)

Mózes Richtmann was a Hungarian scholar, teacher, and Zionist. Richtmann was born in Homonna (now in Slovakia). He completed his studies at the rabbinical seminary and the University of Budapest, where he obtained a doctorate in philosophy (1904) and a rabbinical diploma (1906). A gifted teacher, Richtmann taught at the Jewish Teachers' Seminary in Budapest over a period of 40 years, starting in 1907; from 1950, he lectured at the rabbinical seminary. Richtmann first attracted attention in Hungarian Jewish academic circles as a philosophy disciple of D. *Kaufmann. His doctoral thesis was "Az arab zsidó neoplatonikusok etikai nézetei" ("The Ethical Views of Arab-Jewish Neoplatonists," 1904). Richtmann also published works in Jewish history: Landau Ezékiel prágai rabbi és a magyar zsidók ("Ezekiel Landau Rabbi of Prague and the Jews of Hungary," 1905), and A régi Magyarorszag zsidósága ("The Jews of Ancient Hungary," in: Magyar Zsidó Szemle, vol. 29, 1912).

Principally, however, Richtmann devoted himself to work on behalf of Zionism, which he considered to be the solution for the spiritual crisis within Hungarian Jewry, especially among its intellectuals, and which would assure the continuity of Jewish vitality. He contributed to the official Zionist organ Zsidó Szemle and was its editor for a period during World War I. He was a frequent contributor to the general Jewish press, especially Zsidó Ujság (1925–38) and the Orthodox Zsidó Ujság (1939–44). After World War I and the ensuing revolutions, Richtmann's assimilationist rivals denounced him before the disciplinary tribunal of government teachers for the crime of "lack of patriotism," i.e., Zionism, but the minister of education annulled the proceedings against him. From then onward, he published his articles anonymously. During the fascist regime in Hungary, he was among the few who were active in the resistance, and he published a number of anti-regime pamphlets illegally. Richtmann was elected member of the Pest bet din after World War II, and he devoted himself exclusively to research. The works Orthodoxia és cionizmus ("Orthodoxy and Zionism," 1920) and Szombat Almanach ("Saturday Almanac," 1927) were published under his editorship. In 1955, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, a tribute was published which includes a bibliography of his writings.


Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929), 746; A. Scheiber, in: új Élet no. 38 (1950); Shunami, Bibl, 734 no. 4181.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.