Guardian of the Law. The Chief Rabbi Dr. J. H. Hertz by Philip Paneth, London 1943.

Hertz01This is a wartime book, produced under wartime book publishing stringencies.

Hertz04A dust cover on a paperback with no paper wasted on a table of contents or an index.

Philip Paneth was a Central European journalist who had worked in Prague and escaped to London just before the war.  He was the author of a large number of books, many of Jewish interest.

Hertz02This book is about Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire for more than 50 years, regarded as a leader of contemporary thought in 1943.  The book contains Dr. Hertz’s views on the dignity of labour, problems of married life, the Sabbath and traditional observance, and especially his condemnation of the treatment of European Jewry.

The book, published by the Allied Book Club is very much a wartime publication, when Jewish losses to the Nazis were still thought to be ‘only’ one million.

Prior to the Second World War, the League of Nations had come up with a proposal to standardize the calendar, which would have had serious consequences for sabbath observers. The Chief Rabbi was at the forefront of the fight to save the Sabbath day (Saturday) and the pages reproduced below include this story:

Hertz03Hertz05Hertz06Hertz07Hertz08Hertz09Hertz10Hertz11Hertz12Hertz13Hertz14Hertz15Hertz16Hertz17Hertz18Hertz19

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