The 100th Blog Post: Sefer Chemdas Yisroel by Rabbi Meir Dan Plotsky, Piotrkov, 1924

5e plotsky 1This book is in my Anglo-Judaica library partly because of its prenumeranten (subscription list) which shows that its printing was financed by pre-subscriptions from Jews of Belgium, England and the United States.

Unfortunately my copy is printed on very poor quality paper which cracks and crumbles.  It cannot be scanned, but the photographs are sufficient to discuss the subscribers.

Rabbi Meir Dan Plotsky (1866 – March 27, 1928) was a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah and the president of Kollel Polen, a talmudic scholar who wrote Kli Chemdah, a commentary on the Torah. He also wrote this book Chemdas Yisrael on Sefer ha-Mitzvot.

Rabbi Plotsky was a disciple of Rabbi Avrohom Bornsztain (who wrote a book called Avnei Nezer), the first Sochatchover Rebbe, whom he considered his lifelong primary Torah teacher.

Rabbi Plotsky married at the age of 15 and spent the next 10 years in Dvohrt with his in-laws. In 1891, he became Rabbi in Dvohrt. At the age of 36 he published this work on the Sefer Hamitzvos of Maimonides, called Chemdas Yisrael. In 1918, he became Rabbi of Ostrov-Mozbaisk in eastern Poland. He was voted chairman of Agudas Harabbanim of Poland, a prelude to Agudat Israel. In 1919 he left the rabbinate to head a large yeshiva in Warsaw, known simply as the Mesivta.

In 1920 Rabbi Plotsky visited England and was at the Chassidic Black Lion Yard shtiebl in London, which is where, presumably some of the subscribers came from for this 1924 edition.  He visited London again in 1922 on his way back from the United States.

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Among the subscribers below from London are:

  • possibly Abraham Pinchas Landau (not Aharon Pinchas as printed), of the Black Lion Yard shtiebl.
  • David Frost, the herring merchant, a trustee of the Machzikei Hadath and a regular worshipper of the Black Lion Yard shtiebl
  • Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Ferber of the West End Great Synagogue
  • Yitzchok Zev Zilbershteyn (the restauranteur Velvel Silverstein, 27 Whitechapel Road) of Black Lion Yard.
  • Shemariya Menashe Adler (known as Menashe Adler, the Talmudist and author, or the Black Lion Yard shtiebl

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