Keter Shem Tob, by Haham Shem Tob Gaguine, Part III, 1948

0 Keter_0001Dayan Shem Tob Gaguine was born in 1884 in Jerusalem, and died in Manchester in 1953. He was a British Sephardi Rabbi and scion of a famous Moroccan rabbinical dynasty which emigrated to Palestine from Spain at the time of the Spanish Inquisition.  He was appointed Chief Rabbi (‘Haham’) of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in England in 1920.

0 Keter_0003Keter Shem Tob is his tour de force – a halachic and ethnographical work that documents the religious customs – the rites and ceremonies and liturgical variants of the Sephardim of the East and West as well as those of the Ashkenazic Jews.  The volumes were published over many years, some posthumously. This is Volume III, about Pesach (Passover) and goes through the customs associated with the festival as well as the Haggadah which is read on the first nights of Passover.

0 Keter ferberMy copy belonged to Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber, a famous London rabbi and prolific author.  Rabbi Ferber was born in 1879 in Kovno, Lithuania, and died in London in 1966.  he was a renowned  Talmudic and Torah scholar, orator and prolific author.  he studied in the Slobodka Yeshiva, and came to England in 1911. in 1913 he became the Rabbi of the West End Talmud Torah Synagogue, in Soho, London.  My copy has some noticeable wear, and I like to think of Rabbi Ferber reading carefully through it.

The book has been reprinted and is available.  It is a mine of information which Haham Shem Tob Gaguine collected over many years, visiting communities which no longer exist.  Here are a few excerpted pages:

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