Guardians of Our Heritage (1724-1953), edited by Leo Jung, New York, 1958 (inscribed).

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This is an important book, edited by the British educated Rabbi Dr. Leo Jung. My copy is inscribed by him personally as a gift to Dr. Samuel Belkin, who was the President of Yeshiva University in New York.    It includes the mailing label.

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In 1912 the Federation of Synagogues in London, England, appointed a new Chief Minister, Dr. Meir Zvi Jung, the Rabbi of Ungarisch Brod in Moravia, which was then part of Austria-Hungary.  Rabbi Jung was born in Hungary in about 1858, and had studied at the leading Yeshivos of central Europe, and also acquired a secular education  at the universities of Marburg and Heidelberg. He received a doctorate from the University of Leipzig for a thesis on Pirkei Avos (Ethics of the Fathers).  He married, in 1886, to Ernestine Silberman. They had six children.

Rabbi Meir Tzvi Jung believed in the Torah im Derech Eretz (Torah combined with worldly activity) philosophy of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.

Among his many activities in London, he was concerned with stimulating Orthodoxy among the younger generations, and for this purpose he founded the Sinai League, with branches which combined social and literary activities with Jewish study.

(As a minor footnote, he gave his hashgacha (supervison) to my great-grandfather Marks Maidart’s Mikveh in Bow, known as the Maplin Street Baths).

In 1916, Rabbi Meir Tzvi’s son, young Rabbi Leo Jung, became the director general of the Sinai League of which his father was founder and president. Rabbi Meir Tsevi founded the journal, “The Sinaist”, based on the Torah im derekh eretz philosophy. Leo Jung became the editor of this bi-monthly journal, which he claimed expressed his father’s philosophy, “study is great, for it leads to (right) action”.

Leo Jung received a secular and Talmudic education.  He attended Cambridge University and received his doctorate from the university of London.  In 1910 he attended the Yeshiva of Eperies and in 1911 he went to study in Galanta, Hungary. He also attended the Hildersheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin.

Rabbi Leo Jung emigrated to the United States in 1920, where he was appointed to his first rabbinical post in Cleveland, and by 1922 was in New York.  He became a major leader of American Orthodox Judaism.

He wrote and edited a large number of books.  The Table of Contents (below) of this one, Guardians of Our Heritage, shows the depth and richness of the historical essays about great world-wide Rabbinical leaders.

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