Kli Yakar, Lemberg, 1895. This copy belonged to Rabbi Elkan Eliezer Gavron of Dublin.

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This book itself is not rare.  It is a copy of Kli Yakar, printed in Lemberg in 1895.  This is a Torah commentary written by Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim ben Aaron Luntschitz and originally published in 1602. The name, Kli Yakar, comes from Proverbs 20:15 where it says that wise speech is a “kli yakar”, a precious object.

However, my copy is stamped and inscribed by Rabbi Elkan Eliezer Gavron of Dublin, Ireland, and this gives me the opportunity to write about him.

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Rabbi Elkan (Elchonon) Eliezer Gavron was born in Klikol, in the county of Kovno, Lithuania. His father was a merchant called Shlomo Gavronsky.  From his early youth he had a reputation as a Talmudical scholar. His teacher was the famous Rabbi Yitzchok Elchanan Spektor of Kovno. Rabbi Gavron studied at Volozhin under renowned Rabbonim, and then emigrated to London.  In 1896 he received Semicha (his Rabbinical diploma) from Rabbi Werner, Rav of the Machzikei Hadath of London.

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A year later he was appointed Rav of Cardiff. Subsequently he returned to Lithuania, and in 1900 came to Dublin, where he took up. a position which he held for over 20 years in the Adelaide Road Synagogue.

He also has an entry in Ohalei Shem (on the right), which was a directory of world Rabbis, published in 1912. This gives remarkable details about his ancestors and teachers, mentioning many famous names.

It was through Rabbi Gavron’s efforts that the Mikveh (ritual bath) was erected in the grounds adjoining the Synagogue in 1915. In 1908 Rabbi Gavron received Semicha from Chief Rabbi, Dr. Hermann Adler, of London.

In 1921 Rabbi Gavron was appointed Rabbi and Minister to the Lombard Street Synagogue in Dublin, a position he held until his retirement in 1939. After the departure of Rabbi Dr. Isaac Herzog from Dublin (to be Chief Rabbi of Palestine), Rabbi Gavron was appointed Rav in charge of Kashrus for the city, on Rabbt Herzog’s recommendation. He was the author of several works of rabbinical commentary.

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