- Gaming the System: The Jewish Community Council, the Temple, and the Struggle over the Rabbinate in Mid–Nineteenth-Century Lemberg
- Jewish Quarterly Review
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 106, Number 3, Summer 2016
- pp. 352-382
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- Additional Information
This article discusses the struggle over rabbinical positions in the largely traditional Jewish community of Lemberg in the mid-nineteenth century. Special attention is given to the legal and administrative system, imperial and local, within which this struggle was shaped. The article explains the reasons for the appointments of the Bohemian born Rabbi Abraham Kohn to rabbinic positions in Lemberg, showing that what made those appointments possible was the omission of the mandatory elections for the post, because of lack of eligible voters. Based on unexamined archival documents, the article discusses the growing orthodox frustration as a result of this, especially after the failed bid of Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Chajes for the position of district rabbinate of Lemberg. It also shows that while the Austrian legislature kept raising the educational bar for eligible candidates for the rabbinate, the different Austrian authorities relied on the Jewish community council’s recommendation in their final approval of candidates.