Rabbi Joseph Shapotchnick was like Marmite – you either loved him or hated him. He came to London in 1913 and settled in the East End, where he soon became a well known character. He was already a published author in Europe, and when he came to London became amazingly prolific. Rabbi Harry Rabinowitz’s bibliography in his book “A World Apart” lists 64 entries for Joseph Shapotchnick. He was Chassidic, controversial, and when it came to writing, full of energy, constantly starting projects that he could not finish. I have written about him previously here. I have also written about his son Louis Levy Shaposnick, depicted on a cigarette card here. Eventually, Rabbi Joseph Shapotchnick’s undoing was his book and opinions about the Agunah problem – particularly women whose husbands were missing in the First World War, but that is another story which I will cover in due course.
When this book, Kedushas Hashem, was published in 1918, the Rabbi had only been in England for five years and was not yet controversial. This is the second edition and was printed by the Ekspress printing house at 98 Commercial Street, E1. This edition is not listed in Rabbi Rabinowitz’s bibliography (although an edition apparently in English is listed).
The book consists of explanations of the meaning of Gods name in Hebrew. The author states that all who will read this book every day will be strengthened in the force of their faith and knowledge, and will have the right to eat good fruit and the blessing of success in this world, and will enjoy the fund of faith and knowledge in the world to come.
The book itself is printed on paper that has browned with age. Here are scans of the preface, first and last sections: