Rabbi Chaim Yoel Zevulun Gould, often known as Rabbi Julius Gould, was born in the 1890s in Lithuania. He was educated at Telz Yeshiva, where he was a student of Rabbi Eliezer Gordon. Rabbi Gordon came to London to raise funds for the Yeshiva in 1910, where he suffered a fatal heart attack. He is buried in Edmonton Federation Cemetery.
By 1916, Rabbi Gould was in Leeds and was delivering sermons at the Chevra Kaddisha Synagogue, 40 Lady Lane.
He became the Principal of the Leeds Rabbinic College (Yeshiva) and is noted in the Jewish Chronicle as having been there for over 20 years in 1940.
Rabbi Gould was constantly and publicly attacking other British Rabbonim. His complaint was not that they did terrible things, but that they did not speak out when members of the community did what he considered to be terrible things. In 1941 he was outraged that Jews attended a memorial service for a prominent Jew that was held in a church, and wrote a controversial letter to the Jewish Chronicle about it. In 1942 he attacked other Rabbonim and demanded a return to traditional Judaism. In 1943 he wrote that the secularization of Jewish education was catastrophic. In 1960 he was attacking other Rabbonim again for not speaking out against mixed dancing. At the time of the Jacobs affair he criticized rabbonim including the Chief Rabbi for “not standing up for the Torah.” He was described by Rabbi Babad of Sunderland as a fearless fighter for Yiddishkeit.
I bought this book for two pounds from my friend, a Golders Green book dealer. It did not seem to be important and my copy is almost in mint condition. However, as I started to read, it became interesting. Rabbi Gould’s book was printed by the Narodiczky press in London in 1939, and this date is important, as we shall see. He explains that while the method of learning at Telz was ‘pilpul’, which means critical analysis and argument, he has become interested in the kabbalistic method of ‘remez’ – looking for a hint about something in the text. What is startling is that he writes about the indications and hints of the name Adolf Hitler in various texts – and this is was printed in 1939, before the worst things had happened.
I have not posted for a few days. This is because once I had picked this book up, I spent some time reading it. Here is the first section of his book, the introduction, plus an extra page that illustrates the last point: