Rabbi Hillman was born in Kovno, Lithuania, in 1868 and came to Great Britain in 1908, when he was appointed a rabbi in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1914 he was appointed a Dayan of the London Beth Din, serving until 1934, when he settled in Jerusalem. He died in 1953.
His son-in-law was Rabbi Isaac Herzog, Chief Rabbi of Ireland and then Palestine under the British Mandate and the State of Israel, and his grandson was Chaim Herzog, President of Israel.
This is one of a series of books, all called Ohr Hayashar. It was published in 1927, containing sermons on the first book of the bible, Bereishis (Genesis), and also a very interesting series of Hespedim or Eulogies, as we shall see.
Rabbi Hillman explains that the word Yashar consists of the initials of his own name, Shmuel Yitzchol Hillman, and the word Ohr (light) is derived from the initials of his parents, Abraham Chaim and Rivka Hillman.
The first section of the book are the sermons:
The hespedim (eulogies) include two that are quite historical and interesting. The first is his eulogy on the the death of King Edward the Seventh in 1910, which he delivered in Glasgow.
The second eulogy is on the death of Leopold de Rothschild in 1917. This starts with a side story – the story of relief and shelter provided to the Belgian refugees by the London Jewish community, and the people who were involved in this effort.