The present letter, written by hand in Judeo-German with scattered Hebrew phrases, comprises a request on the part of Mendelssohn that Herz look after Mendel Meyer and his business partner, who were fine, hardworking, righteous, and talented young men but whose business skills were not yet well developed, during their first visit to the Leipzig trade fair that year. Mendel (also known as Johann Martin) was the son of Nathan Meyer Katz (Wollenberger; 1740-1814), a dear friend of Mendelssohn’s who was born in Frankfurt an der Oder and was appointed Jewish Court Agent of the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1775. Mendel would go on to marry Mendelssohn’s second daughter, Rebecca (also known as Recha or Reikel; 1767-1831), the following year, and his sister Henriette (1776-1862) would marry Joseph Mendelssohn (1770-1848) in 1794. Interestingly, of Moses Mendelssohn’s six children, Rebecca and Joseph were the only two to remain Jews.
Johanna and the Brothers Goldschmidt
Lazarus Levi Adler, “Eigenhändige Briefe von Moses Mendels[s]ohn,” Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums 8,3-7 (1859): 100-103, 170-175, 261-265, at pp. 262-263.
Meyer Kayserling, Moses Mendelssohn: sein Leben un seine Werke (Leipzig: Hermann Mendelssohn, 1862), 504-505 (no. 20).
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