Professor Turned Lampooner: Moshe Gerson Ha-Lewi of Mitau (Karl Anton), Faithful Disciple of Jonatan Eibeschütz
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Moshe ben Gerson ha-Kohen, who adopted the name Karl Anton upon his baptism, was the only Jewish convert to make an authentic academic career in the 18th century. In a span of just six years of work at the university in Helmstedt (Lower Saxony), he published sixteen books and received the post of full professor. He was also the most outstanding and closest disciple of Jonatan Eibeschütz. Actively and part of the time under his own name, as university professor he joined in the famous dispute over the amulets between Eibeschütz and Jacob Emden, siding naturally with his tutor, with whom he continued to cooperate intensively also after taking his baptism. In 1756, he ran away from his creditors, abandoning his Christian wife, pregnant and with two small children. According to unconfirmed reports, he returned to the Judaic faith.
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