Duytsch was born in Temesvár, Hungary, in 1734. Following his bar mitzva, he was sent to study in a prestigious yeshiva in Prague, from which he graduated after seven years of religious studies. Returning to Temesvár, he married into a wealthy family and continued to study and serve in the Jewish Community. In 1760 the chief Rabbi of Moravia bestowed on him the title of “Morenu.” Tragedy struck when his beloved wife died, leaving him a brokenhearted single father of a six-month old baby girl, Esther. Four months later, his father in law prevailed on him to marry Sara, his late wife’s younger sister.
Two years later, excited on the subject of conversion and distracted by religious doubt, he became a wanderer, and visited Dresden, Leipsic, Berlin, Amsterdam, Arnheim, Wesel, Halle, and even London in his search for the truth, serving as a rabbi in various places.
In 1767, owing to the influence of Pastor van Essen, he received baptism in Amsterdam. In 1768 he married for the third time, and then studied theology at the University of Utrecht, becoming in 1777 a preacher at Mijdrecht.
A number of Duytsch’s sermons were published; and his confession of faith, entitled “Jehova Verheerlijkt door de Erkenning van den Waren Messias Jezus Christus,” had a large sale. His principal work was “Israels Verlossinge en Eeuwige Behoudenis,” 3 vols., Amsterdam, 1769-93. His “Nederlands Deborah ‘t Middle in God’s Hand tot Reddingvan ‘t Zinkend Vaderland” appeared in 1767, and a new edition in 1873.
De le Roi, Gesch. der Evangelischen Juden-Mission, pp. 59-61.S. N. D.
Jewish Encyclopedia on-line