Bekurei Avi”v by Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Guterman of Radzymin, London 1947

5j Bikorai_0001This book, on the weekly portion of the Torah, is believed to be the first Chassidic book printed in London, by the Narodiczky Press in 1947.  It was published by Rabbi Yechiel Meir Morgenstern of London, and could be obtained from Rabbi Ch. Morgensztern of 100, Fairholt Road, N16.

Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh of Radzymin (1792-1877) was one of the fathers of Chassidus. He was known as the “Sabba Kadisha” – the holy grandfather.  In his youth he learned from the Chozeh of Lublin and the Maggid of Kozhnitz and later from HaYehudi HaKadosh and Rabbi Simchah Bumin of Peshischa. After the death of Rabbi Yitzchak of Varki, he began to serve as a Rebbe in Radzymin. He lived a long life and was considered to be very influential and the “elder of the Rebbes” in his generation. Among his grandsons who are named after him were the Rebbes of Ger and Amshinov.

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The book has a strong warning that it is not allowed to print it in whole or in part or the “holy letters” that are at the end of the book without permission of the publisher, and so I have not scanned the body of the book at all or the letters from famous Chassidic Rebbes – just the haskomos (approbations) the preface and the long, interesting  list of donors to the cost of printing the book.

5j Bikorai_0003The haskomos are from:

  • The Rebbe of Ger, Rabbi Avraham Mordecai Alter (the Imrei Emes).
  • The Aleksander Rebbe, Rabbi Yitzchok Menachem Mendel, who was murdered at Treblinka.
  • Rabbi David Bornshtein, the third Sokatchover Rebbe, who died in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • Rabbi Menachem Mendel Alter of Pabianice, murdered in 1942.
  • Rabbi Yitzchok Zelik of Kotzk, the Rabbi of Sokolow.

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Here is the preface, followed by the donors and prenumeranten.  This is a most interesting list.

Donations to print this book were headed by Chayim Eliezer Lass, a native of Mlava, near Warsaw, who came to London in the early 1900s.  He was a supporter of many worthy causes and made regular contributions to Chassidic Rebbes in Poland, including Rabbi Aaron Menachem Mendel Guterman of Radzymin, who was a grandson of the author of our book.

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The Prenumeranten (Subscribers) List is headed by Rabbi Kopul Rosen, an important Anglo-Jewish educator, followed by Rabbi Menashe Adler and Rabbi Israel Domb.

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