Rabbi Lewis Bernstein, who was the Rabbi of the Bethnal Green Great Synagogue from 1898 until his death in 1922, is another of the almost forgotten British Rabbis. He was born in Pren, near Grodno and was known as the Grodno Maggid and was a Talmudic scholar and teacher.
His son was our author, Moses Henry Berstein (whose Hebrew name was Moshe Chenoch). He was born in Grodno, Poland, in 1873, and moved to England with his parents. He was a shochet (a slaughterer of cattle), but was also an author who wrote a number of books.
This book was the fourth book printed by Israel Narodiczky in 1904 at his new press at 48 Mile End Road, Whitechapel. It consists of a collection of more than 300 somewhat amusing items drawn from Rabbonim and famous Hebrew literature.
3 thoughts on “Otzar Pitgamim MeChochamim – Treasury of Wit, Humour, Satire and Poetry, by Moses Henry Berstein, London 1904.”
I love the way he starts off by wishing the reader a pleasant read!
And also a man who works in slaughterhouses but into vegetation and personal qualities retains his Learning together with a sense of humour and a fine mind! Not many slaughter men around that can do that in broader circles. At least not the ones that I have met. Thank you Jeff
Hebrewbooks has a later edition avaialble for downloading, but with all the even-numbered pages missing…
It would be difficult to scan completely without destroying the book, which has fragile paper, because of the simple stapled binding – one would have to bend the paper to scan the odd pages. Later Narodiczky Press items seem to have better bindings. Moses Henry Berstein (sometimes Bernstein) wrote a later book, Olam HaSoshia Le’am Segulah, published in two parts, 1936 and 1950, which has important opinions on the kashrus of animals and birds – but I have not been able to locate copies for my collection.