This book is in my library not because of its content, but because it has the stamp of the Scarborough Street Synagogue, and I am going to relate the story of this Synagogue. I have previously written about another book with this stamp – see “Dayan Fisher’s copy of Chemdas Hanefesh”. The book itself is a volume of novellae on the Talmud, and has a large list of haskomos (approbations), from:
Rabbi Zvi Hirsch of Kaidanov, Rabbi Yechiel Heller of Kaidanov, Rabbi Yekutiel Zalman Landa of Vitebsk, Rabbi Shaul Zelig Hacohen of Dinaberg, Rabbi Rafael Shapira of Bobriusk, Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Hindin of Minsk, Rabbi Shaul Padwa of Polotsk, Rabbi Eliezer Rabinowicz of Minsk, Rabbi Ari Leib Horowitz of Brezhin, Rabbi Meir Simcha Hacohen of Dvinsk (the Ohr Sameach), Rabbi Yosef Rozin of Dvinsk. However, we are not concerned here about the book itself.
As well as the stamp of the Scarborough Street Synagogue, my copy has a brief inscription, “from the books of the Rav” and a signature, which has been deciphered by Joseph (see note at bottom) as Michoel Fisher. This would fit, as I have another book with the same Scarborough Street Synagogue stamp that definitely belonged to Dayan Michoel Fisher.
Very little has been written about the Scarborough Street Synagogue – I found less than a page in an article that Cecil Roth wrote for Miscellanies Part III of the Jewish historical Society of England, printed in 1937.
And yet, the Scarborough Street Synagogue, originally called the Gun Yard Synagogue, dated back to 1792 – one of London’s oldest synagogues. It was one of the original sixteen synagogues that attended the meeting in 1887 that decided to form the Federation of Synagogues. It amalgamated with the Great Alie Street Synagogue in 1922, and that synagogue amalgamated with the Fieldgate Street Synagogue in 1969, which closed in 2014. The Scarborough Street Synagogue also had a very important Rabbi, albeit unpaid, Rabbi Aaron Hyman, whose books are still in print today, and whom I have written about previously.
After 70 years in Gun Yard, Hounsditch, the Synagogue had to move due to rebuilding, temporarily to Mansell Street, and then to a new, purpose-built building in Scarborough Street. Here is the story, told through the pages of the Jewish Chronicle. July 5th 1872 on the right and August 2nd 1872 (below):
May 30th, 1919 – Siyum HaShas 1919. The THIRD time that the Scarborough Street Synagogue had completed a reading of the Talmud, predating the modern Daf Yomi!:
January 2st, 1921:
And finally – the end – September 1st, 1922: