Dr. Manfred Raphael Lehmann, of Miami Beach, Florida, formerly of New York City, died on May 30,1997. He was 74 years old. He is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Sara Anne, his daughters Barbara Lehmann Siegel (Yitzchok) and Karen Lehmann Eisner (David), 4 grandchildren and 2 brothers. He was predeceased in 1982 by a son, Jamie. He is buried next to Jamie on Har Hamenuchot, Jerusalem.
Dr. Lehmann was the president of Lehmann Trading Corporation, an international trading firm founded, by his father, in 1904. He was also the founder of the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation, ( the agent for dozens of foreign postal administrations), the Greater Development Services Corporation, and Telecom Development Corporation. He recognized the importance of emerging African nations since the 1950's, and together with his wife, was actively involved in ( among others) Ghana, Togo, Dahomey (now Benin) Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia, Bahamas, Trinidad, Grenada, Antigua, Marshall Islands, and Palau. In the early 1960's, Dr. Lehmann testified before Congressional committees, encouraging American support and trade with the newly independent African nations. His business interests in Africa and the Caribbean extended to creating markets for international postage stamps, the fishing and aviation industries, providing the region with the most advanced telecommunication systems, as well as modernizing Indian Ocean port systems. In 1985, Dr. and Mrs. Lehmann acquired Communications Supplies Ltd., in London from Cable & Wireless.
Dr. Lehmann, in addition to being known as a successful businessman, political activist, and world traveler, was an esteemed scholar who published prolifically. His doctoral thesis on the Biblical purchase of the Hebron Double Cave ( now known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs) by Abraham, is considered the definitive work on Hittite property transfer laws. An expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Dr. Lehmann contributed frequently to the Revue de Qumran, Biblical Archeological Review, and others. He published 3 volumes of his collected scholarly writings and 4 catalogues of the Lehmann Collection (available for sale). Just before his death, he published On My Mind, a book of personal memoirs and essays (available for sale). Dr. Lehmann wrote weekly articles that were featured in ( among others) the London Chronicle, Algemeiner Journal, Long Island Jewish Week, Intermountain News, Jerusalem Post, and the Jewish Press. Letters on current political events were frequently published in the International Herald Tribune, Jerusalaem Post, and other foreign press. At the time of his death, Dr. Lehmann was in the midst of preparing another collection of Hebrew scholarly articles.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 28,1922, the son of Hans and Fanny Lehmann (z”l), Dr. Lehmann came to this country in 1940. A life long Zionist, he was proud that at the age of 15, in 1937, he was the usher to the private loge of Chaim Weizmann at the Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland. His interest in archeology and oriental studies began early in life - at the age of 10 he had taught himself hieroglyphics. In the United States, he studied at Harvard University, University of Chicago, and the Johns Hopkins University, earning a degree as a disciple of William Foxwell Albright. Dr. Lehmann was ordained in 1946 at the Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore. His strong love for Israel deepened throughout his life. He championed her causes, receiving the Defender of Jerusalem award in 1992 and the Maimon Prize for Hebrew Literature in 1990. Dr. Lehmann was a strong supporter of Menahem Begin and Benyamin Netanyahu.
We all cherish his memory and mourn the loss of this great champion of Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. He was a true example of Torah Im Derech Eretz ! May his memory be blessed by the Almighty, and may we merit the coming of the Messiah.
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