Sefer HaChaim by Chaim Woolf Rosenfeld, London 1922

sefer hachaim 1_0001Chaim Woolf Rosenfeld was a prolific writer and lecturer.  He was born in Radomsko, Poland, in 1847 and settled in London about 1885.  He died on 22nd February 1922, and this book was published posthumously, in 1922, by his son, Meyer Rosenfeld, and printed at the Narodczky press.  He is buried at Edmonton Federation Jewish Cemetery, section AR, plot I-18.

sefer hachaim 2As the cover says, he was a descendent of famous rabbis, Rabbi Mordecai Banet and the Chocham Zvi.





sefer hachaim 3He was a prolific author, in Hebrew and English, and this is only a partial list.  His first book, published in English in 1890, entitled Torat Haadam – Teachings of Humanity is available from several sources as a print on demand book.

As well as an author, he wrote on current affairs and was in demand as a lecturer.  At the time of the Russian pogroms, On April 4th 1906, Chaim Rosenfeld wrote from 117, Whitechapel Read, in the Daily Chronicle that there is not the slightest doubt that Jews are shot on the Russian frontier—not only political refugees, but people who do not possess a passport. He says this was general, but it more frequently happens at present.  Mr. Rosenfeld mentions as a case well within his town knowledge the shooting of Mr. Ornstein, of Odessa, on the frontier on his return from last year’s Zionist Congress at Basle, which he attended as a delegate.

There is an excellent article about Chaim Rosenfeld in the June 2004 issue of Shemot, the journal of the Jewish genealogical Society of Great Britain, written by his grandson, Wilfrid Webber.  See:

The book starts with a dedication from his son Meyer Rosenfeld.

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Then there is a quite detailed and interesting autobiography, which I have scanned in full.

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The book itself consists of commentary and explanation of the weekly potion of the Pentateuch.  My copy has mostly uncut pages and paper covers, as it was intended that the purchaser would take the printed pages to a bookbinder for cutting and binding.

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