Zecher Ov, i.e. Memory of Father by Zev Wolf Olivenstein of Warsaw, published by Rev. H. Olivestone, Tredegar (Wales), London 1916.

6n Olivestone_0001This little book has the most amazing prenumeranten (subscription) list, so please read right through to the end!

Henich/Chanoch/Henry Olivestone was born in Warsaw in about 1884 and died in 1952. he emigrated to the British Isles and became a Shochet (Ritual Slaughterer) and Shaliach Tsibur (Synagogue Reader) in Tredegar, in Wales.

The Jewish community of Tredegar was founded in the early 1870s, and although small, as it was situated in a small town, grew to be a small but significant percentage of the town.  It is famous for the Tredegar pogrom of 1911, when a large group of inebriated miners attacked the 20 or so Jewish businesses in the town.

After Rabbi Olivestone left Tredegar he served in other communities, including Portsmouth, Blackpool and Leytonstone.

He was also an inventor, and patented a new design of electrical loudspeaker.

David Olivestone, Rabbi Chanoch Olivestone’s grandson has kindly provided additional information for this page, and he writes:

“Bernard Olivestone, ע״ה, the founder and long-time President of the Yeshurun Synagogue in Edgware, was my father. He was Chanoch’s eldest son and was also born in Warsaw. He passed away in 1995 at age 91.”

Reverend Olivestone published this book in 1916.  It consists of halachic epithets on Pesach and Succos, written by his father, Wolf Olivenstein, who had died in Warsaw in 1911.  Rabbi Wolf Olivenstein’s tombstone still exists, in Warsaw.  Another edition was published in Warsaw in 1929.

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What is really remarkable about Zecher Ov is that it teaches the laws of Pesach as an acrostic, with each word of the text beginning with a letter of the laws of Pesach in Shemot chapter 12. The complete pesukim are printed at the foot of each page:

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Also remarkable is the gematria of Ze’ev Wolf’s name in the colophon on page 36 (lamed vav below) which Rabbi Chanoch has worked out to be the numerical value of the year of publication 5767

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And now for the Prenumeranten List:

David Olivestone, who is Rabbi Olivestone’s grandson, has written: One reason that so many people may have subscribed to the book is that my grandfather, , ע״ה, says in his introduction that he is publishing it with the express desire to raise funds to help Jewish communities in Russia and Poland, etc., and that he would not be earning anything from it personally.

These are the names of the honourable gentlemen, volunteers of the people, who subscribed to this book and sent its cost before the book was published:

The list starts with the Chief Rabbi, Dr. J. H. Hertz, followed by the very distinguished Rabbis:

Nochum Lipman
Moshe Avigdor Chaikin (for whose book click here),
Samuel Isaac Hillman (for whose book click here)
Asher Feldman (for whose book click here)
Yehuda Mendelsohn
Harris M. Lazarus (click here for his book about the Brondesbury Synagogue)
Jacob Korenberg
Reverend Rosenzweig
Reverend Bernstein

Then: London, Aberdare, Abertillery, Barrow-in-Furness…

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Barry, Belfast, Brynmar, Bridgend, Glasgow, Dublin (includes Myer Joel Wigoder), Durham, Hull (For Rabbi Samuel Menachem Brod’s book click here), Waterford, Tredegar…

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More Tredegar, Tonypandy, Limerick, Liverpool, Manchester, Merthyr, New Tredegar (about six miles south of Tredegar)…

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More New Tredegar, Newport, Sunderland, Ebbw Vale, Edinburgh, Pontypridd, Coventry, Cardiff, Cork…

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2 thoughts on “Zecher Ov, i.e. Memory of Father by Zev Wolf Olivenstein of Warsaw, published by Rev. H. Olivestone, Tredegar (Wales), London 1916.

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