Rabbi Yoel Halevi Herzog (1866-1934) was born in Lomza. He was a member of an illustrious family. His son Isaac Herzog became Chief Rabbi of Ireland, and then Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Palestine. His Mechutan (father of his daughter-in-law) was Dayan Shmuel Isaac Hillman, a famed Rabbi and author, whose son David Hillman was the artist who designed stained glass windows in synagogues in Britain and Israel. Rabbi Herzog’s grandson was Chaim Herzog, sixth President of Israel. Another grandson, Rabbi Yaakov Herzog was chosen as a candidate to be Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, but withdrew due to ill-health.
Rabbi Yoel Leib Herzog came to England in about 1899 and was a Rabbi in Leeds until in 1911 he became Rabbi of the congregation of Russian and Polish Jews in Paris.
He wrote a series of five books called Imre Yoel, which consist mainly of his sermons and other speeches that he had given in Leeds and in Paris. This is the second book, Imre Yoel on the weekly readings from Shemos (Exodus), printed in 1922 by the Express Press in London.
This was a speech for a Barmitzvah, given in the New Briggate Synagogue in Leeds:
At the end of the book is a memorial to Rabbi Herzog’s late mother, Sarah Bluma, followed by thanks to those who had helped finance publication and then a list of subscribers. Naphtali Goldberg was the father of Rabbi Herzog’s son-on-law, Reuven Goldberg.
The subscription list which follows has some well-known names, but unfortunately it is mainly surnames only, making the subscribers difficult to identify. The list is headed by Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Perlmutter, who was the Chief Rabbi of Warsaw, and a member of the Polish Parliament, representing Agudas Yisroel. It also includes Dayan Samuel Isaac Hillman and his son, David Hillman.
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