Raphael Levi Hannover

Rafael Levi (also: Raphael or Rafael Levi Hannover; * 1685 in Weikersheim, † May 17, 1779 in Hannover ) was a German mathematician and astronomer. The Jewish scholar and student of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was also a modern scientist and - unusually for that time - outside of the Jewish community estimated as " noble Jew ".

Life and work

Rafael Levi came from a Jewish family and attended the yeshiva in Frankfurt am Main. After he and his father, Jacob, Joseph, a poor traveler, moved at a young age in 1700 to Hanover, where he became an orphan when his father died a few days after arrival. Then Rafael was taken in Hannover in the Israelite charity school.

Rafael Levi got a job as an accountant with the banker Simon Wolf Oppenheimer and operation during which autodidactic studies in the natural sciences: " When he was once [ ... by Leibnitz ] expressed a pointing of sharp intellect remark on the definition of scaffolds in the presence, took this of his, and taught him in mathematics. " Rafael Levi became secretary of Leibniz and lived for several years in the house (" Leibnizhaus "). As Rechenmeister Levi taught himself soon mathematics, astronomy and natural philosophy.

After Levi had 1747/48 published in German logarithmic tables, he was invited to London to give a talk on the computational methods for the determination of the ship's location in front of the local Admiralty and the Royal Society.

1756 Levi published in Hebrew his studies of astronomy and calendar client and 1757/57 its much-used calendar tables for calculating the Jewish holidays.

Again in German language published Levi 1760 prices and exchange tables for merchants.

The Jewish scholars met in 1772 along with the future experimental physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1777 by Moses Mendelssohn.

Rafael Levi Hannover is buried in the Old Jewish cemetery on the upper road.

Writings ( incomplete)

  • Luḥot ha - ' Ibbur, astronomical tables for the Jewish calendar, Hanover: Leyden, 1756 The Luḥot ha - ' Ibbur published with ME Furth 's Yir'at Shamayim in Maimonides, " Yad ," Ḳiddush ha - Hodesh, Dessau, 1820-21

Literature ( incomplete)

  • Adolf howler: Levi, Raphael. In: General German Biography (ADB ). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1883, p 505
  • William Rothert: Hanover Biography, Vol 3: Hannover under the electoral hat, from 1646 to 1815, with many portraits and four coat of arms, ed. Mrs. A. Rothert and Peter Martin, Hanover: Sponholtz, 1916, p 512
  • Entry in the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1901-1906 (English)
  • Blessed Gronemann: Genealogical studies of the ancient Jewish families in Hanover, Hanover, 1913, passim
  • Encyclopaedia Judaica. Judaism, past and present, Berlin [- Charlottenburg, Bismarckstr. 106 ]: Eshkol -Verlag [, Dept. Encyclopaedia Judaica], 1931, column 996f.
  • Life and Fate. For the inauguration of the synagogue in Hanover, ed., Association of the City of Hannover, Press Office in cooperation with the Jewish community of Hannover, np, nd [Hanover: 1963 ], pp. 57-64
  • John F. Oppenheimer ( Chefred. ), Emanuel BinGorion ( Mithrsg. ) and others: Encyclopedia of Judaism, Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1967, p 422 [ 2 Ed ]: Gütersloh; Berlin; Munich; Vienna: Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, 1971 ISBN 3-570-05964-2