Leipzig: Wilhelm Gottlob Sommer, 1784. First edition. Paperback. Small quarto. A-D4, E2 (= 18 leaves). 36pp., half-page woodcut vignette at A4 recto; quotations in Hebrew throughout. Unbound, with contemporary red paper overlay along spine. Text lightly toned, else fine.
Doctoral thesis examining how the cleanliness of the body is understood in Jewish tradition and medical practice as a means to ward off disease. Salomon Hirsch Burgheim (1756-1823), the first Jewish student to obtain a doctorate at the University of Leipzig, here quotes biblical and later sources, including Maimonides. Burgheim went on to publish several works, the most well-received being a brief guide on sexually transmitted diseases, Kurze, praktische Anweisung den venerischen Tripper und Weissen-Fluss (Halle, 1792). Re-issued three times by 1799, it was a best-seller in its day. While Jews in cities with large Jewish populations and more tolerant policies began to matriculate at German universities in the late seventeenth century, "[t]he first matriculation of Jews took place only later in Protestant states that either did not tolerate a Jewish population or only had an insignificant one. In Saxony, for example, even the court agents were ususally foreign Jews. The first Jew to matriculate in the state was probably Jonas Jeitteles from Prague, who matriculated in Leipzig, a city much frequented by Jews for the Leipzig fair, in 1752... The Elector of Saxony only granted permission for Jews to gain a doctorate at the two state universities of Leipzig and Wittenberg in 1784... The first Jew to gain a doctorate was Salomon Hirsch Burgheim from Burg near Magdeburg. The Prince-elector permitteed doctorates on July 7, 1784, but expressly excluded Jews with a doctorate from becoming privatdozents" (Richarz). “Obwohl in der Stadt erst 1832 eine jüdische Gemeinde gegründet wurde, studierten schon lange vorher Juden an der Alma mater und promovierte 1784 mit Salomon Hirsch Burgheim der erste Jude an Leipzigs Universität. Sein damaliger Medizin-Bestseller steht übrigens in der Albertina auch hinter Glas: eine kurze, theoretisch-praktische Anleitung, was gegen Geschlechtskrankheiten zu tun sei." (online exhibition notes for “Leipziger Judentümer” at the Bibliotheca Albertina).
Provenance and annotations: Letterpress stamp of H.P. Schlosser I.V.D. at title; stamp of Prof. F. Craina [?] at title; library shelf mark in manuscript along spine overlay.
OCLC locates only three copies in the USA: Harvard Medical; National Library of Medicine, MD; College of Physicians, Philadelphia
M. Richarz; J. Bagchee (trans.), German Jews and the University, 1678-1848 (NY: Camden House, 2022), p.43. For a recent discussion of the milieu see: Leipziger Judentümer in Stadt und Universität (Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2010). Nearly Fine. Item #48860