Shemos (Exodus), titled Derech Selula, Furth, 1802 – copy of Rev. Bernard Bindman of Newcastle, England.

Bindman01This fine copy of Shemos (Exodus), the second book of the Chumash (Pentateuch) was printed in Fuerth in 1802.

It includes the Moses Mendelssohn commentary and a translation into German (with Hebrew letters). This translation  was by Joel Brüll, who was one of the most notable students of Moses Mendelssohn.

Bindman03This book belonged to Reverend Bernard Myer (Meir Bendit) Bindman.  He was born in Aniksht, near Kovno, Lithuania, on 25th August 1878. His family emigrated to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he was active in the Edinburgh community from at least 1910, and where his father, Israel Reuven Bindman died in 1915.  In 1916 he was employed by the newly built (1914-15) Jesmond Synagogue in Newcastle, England, as Shaliach Tzibbur (Reader/Chazan), Shochet (Slaughterer of kosher meat) and Teacher.

He became a naturalized British citizen in 1916 and remained in Newcastle for about 30 years until his death on September 14th, 1945 (Tishri 7, 5706).

The Jesmond Hebrew Congregation, which was Ashkenazi and Orthodox was founded in 1914, and closed in 1986.  The listed building was used as a school, but it has now been converted into flats.


The Chumash Has an interesting list of prenumeranten – subscribers who prepaid for their copies and whose names are printed in the book.



The language of the translation is clearly from the school of Mendelssohn. For example, God’s name is translated Ewiger, which means (in this context) the Eternal One.

This is not a traditional term for God. It is Mendelssohn’s idea. In his comment to Exodus 3:14 (“Ehyeh asher ehyeh”), which is scanned below, he explains his use of this term, namely that he wanted to capture the meaning assigned to the Tetragrammaton by rabbinic tradition (God was, is, and will be) with one German word that meant eternity.Bindman09Bindman10


One thought on “Shemos (Exodus), titled Derech Selula, Furth, 1802 – copy of Rev. Bernard Bindman of Newcastle, England.

  1. My parents knew Rev. Bindman. They got married in Jesmond Shul. In fact, I have a descendant of Derekh Selulah called Derekh Mesilah (Fuerth, 1841), to which my great great grandfather, Samson Steppacher of Ichenhausen, subscribed. These chumashim were intended for the strictly observant followers of Ramad (R Moshe Dessau) in the traditional, rural communities of Bavaria. They wanted the translation and commentary in an edition that also contained the tefilos. The later edition that I possess substitutes R Wolf Heidenheim’s supercommentary on Rashi for the Biur.

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