Rabbi Yitzchok Mordecai Rudnick (as he was when he wrote this book – he became a Dayan of the Federation of Synagogues Beth Din later) was the Rabbi of the Cannon Street Road Synagogue in the East End of London. He was born in Lithuania, studied at the Slobodka Yeshiva and then was a founding student at the Hebron Yeshiva in Palestine. After surviving the 1929 riots and massacre he came to London. He married the younger daughter of Rabbi Pinchas Gerber, who was then Rav of the Cannon Street Road Shul, and in due course inherited his position. Rabbi Rudnick was an outstanding Torah and Talmudic scholar. His book was published in 1960, and I hesitated whether to include it in a library of mostly antique books, but 1960 is already 60 years ago. I was going to write more about him, but instead please read the excellent article by Rabbi Johnny Solomons which you can find by clicking here.
The book starts with a facsimile of a haskamah (approbation) by Rabbi Samuel Joseph Rabinow. He was a Talmudic scholar who was born in the district of Kovno and studied under the Chofetz Chaim. In 1937 he was in Antwerp and managed to reach London in 1940 where he became Rav of the Stamford Hill Beis Hamedrash (the Grove Lane Synagogue). he was President of the Vaad HaRabbonim of the Federation of Synagogues.
Next comes the introduction. He wrote this book because his congregation wanted sermons and did not ask him halachic questions, and also as a memorial to his family as he and his wife (daughter of Rabbi Gerber) did not have any sons to carry on his name.
Next is a memorial page to his family, his father, Rabbi Arieh Rudnick, his mother Mrs. Reizel Rudnick and his brothers Nochum and Moshe who were murdered in the Holocaust.
And a memorial to his father-in-law, Rabbi Pinchas Yaakov Gerber, his mother-in-law, Mrs, Beile Gerber, his brother-in-law Shmariyahu Yona Gerber, who died young, and his sister-in-law Dobra, who was the wife of Rabbi Simcha Kossowsky.
Rabbi Rudnick’s book consists of interpretations of Torah and also halachic questions and answers. He wrote about some quite “modern” and everyday things and the, perhaps theoretical, halachic discussion about them. As an extract from his book I have chosen his answer to the question of whether a Jew is allowed to take up boxing, which would cause bruising and wounds, damage to limbs and brain damage: