Rabbi Yaakov Ben Zion Morein was born in Kreitzburg, in the Vitebsk district of Russia. He changed his name to Mendelsohn to make it harder for the Russian authorities to track him, and emigrated to England. In 1897 he was appointed Rabbi of a synagogue in Leeds, then in Gateshead in 1905 and then in Glasgow, Scotland. He emigrated to the United States in 1915.
I must apologize for the poor quality of some of the scans. My copy, which is bound in one volume with a copy of Mesilat Yesharim, printed in Vilna, is very tightly bound and cannot be scanned without damaging the book. If you would like to read the book for yourself, click here for HebrewBooks.org (which mistakenly says that the book was printed in Glasgow, when it was printed in Leeds).
You can also find my previous post on Rabbi Mendelsohn’s next book, Mishnas Yaavetz, printed in 1913 by clicking here.
The book has an impressive list of haskamos (approbations) as follows:
- Rabbi Rafael Zilberman, who was the Ashenazi ABD of Tzfat from 1884 to 1918
- Rabbi Eliahu Posek, Alapalia
- Rabbi Eliezer Don Yochai, ABD Lutzin
- Rabbi Menachem Duber Dagutzky of Manchester
- Rabbi Nosson Halevy Bamberger of Wurtzburg
- Rabbi Shlomo Yaakov Katan (Cotton), ABD Leshnob, Galicia
- Rabbi Shlomo Hacohen of Vilna
- Rabbi Akiva HaCohen Matlon, of Heina near Minsk, currently visiting Gateshead
The introduction has some autobiographical details:
This is followed by the body of the book. If you want to read it in full, click here.
Finally, there is an excellent prenumeranten (subscription) list of the prominent religious Jews of Glasgow, in alphabetical order of first name: