Chidushe Ri”ch, by Rabbi Yehoshua Chaim Halevy Epstein, Vilna, 1890. Copy of Rabbi Namyot of Gateshead.

ChidusheRich01Rabbi Dov Moshe Namyot is another of Britain’s forgotten Rabbis – he owned this book, and this is his story.

Rabbi Namyot was Rav of the Blechener Shul (Synagogue) in Gateshead, long before the famous Gateshead Yeshiva was started.  The Synagogue was built in 1912 and known as Blechener from the Yiddish word for tin, as it had a corrugated iron roof.

Rabbi Namyot was born about 1860 in Zetel in Lithuania, the birthplace of the Chofetz Chayim..  His father, Rabbi Yehiel Mikhel Namyot was Rabbi in Krozsh and then in Plungian.  Rabbi Dov Moshe received semicha (his rabbinical diploma) from the renowned Rabbi Josef Dov Soloveitchik of Brest Litovsk (Brisk), who was known as the Beis Halevi.  He married the daughter of Rabbi Zevulun Leib Barit of Filipowe, of whom more is written below.  They had a son and a daughter.  His daughter, Molly Rebecca married Rabbi Moses Feldman.  There was also a son who emigrated to California. 

ChidusheRich05Rabbi Namyot was a Rabbi in Plungian, Lithuania, for 23 years.  He was a scholar and published a book, Divrei Moshe, in Vilna in 1906, and later was a Rabbi in Antwerp, Belgium.  He came to England with the Belgian Refugees early in the First World War and was unanimously elected Rav for Gateshead in 1915. 

ChidusheRich03Gateshead had a history of refusing to accept the authority of the Chief Rabbi, and the October 29th 1915 issue of the Jewish Chronicle stated that Chief Rabbi Hertz was not informed of the appointment. 

ChidusheRich04The places where Rabbi Namyot lived can be seen from his stamps in the book.

After Rabbi Dov Moshe’s first wife died, he married again, in January 1919 in Gateshead, to Ettie Z Klebansky. After his  sudden death in August 1919, she married again, in June 1920, to Chune Helpern.

Rabbi Namyot died suddenly on a Friday night, August 23rd 1919, after attending synagogue.  He had returned from London that week, having made the final arrangements for his departure for Palestine.Rabbi Namyot was the first Rabbi to be buried in Gateshead, at the Gosforth Park cemetery.

In the Jewish Chronicle issue of August 19th, 1919, “GDG” wrote that “Rabbi Namyot was a veritable storehouse of rabbinical lore and knowledge.  He was thoroughly proficient, from memory, in the whole of the contents of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds and the Posekim.  Several works which he compiled are a lasting monument to his profound thinking.”

The book itself is called Chidushe Ri”ch on Midrash Rabbah, by Rabbi Yehoshua Chaim Epstein, printed in Vilna at the Romm press in 1890.  It has impressive Haskomos (approbations or letters of praise) from the Netziv of Volozhin, from Rabbi Shmuel Moholiver, from Rabbi Yechiel Michel HaLevi Epstein and others.

ChidusheRich02There is a handwritten dedication in the book by the author to Rabbi Namyot’s father-in-law, Rabbi Zevulun Leib Barit, 1835-1903.  (Barit is an abreviation for son of Yom Tov).  Rabbi Barit was an important scholar, was the head of the Rabbinical Court in Plungian, near Kovno.  He was close to the Mussar movement (a Jewish ethical, educational and cultural movement) and the rabbis of Lithuania – and was also a supporter of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel. In 1870 he corresponded with Rav Tzvi Hirsch Kalischer. He published articles in ‘HaMelitz’ and in ‘HaLevanon’. His famous approbation for settlement in the Land was included in the 1892 work Shivat Tzion, a compilation of tens of letters from major contemporary Rabbinical scholars in praise of dwelling in the Land of Israel.


6 thoughts on “Chidushe Ri”ch, by Rabbi Yehoshua Chaim Halevy Epstein, Vilna, 1890. Copy of Rabbi Namyot of Gateshead.

  1. Correction: R Namyot is buried in the Gateshead community section of the Hazelrigg Cemetery, Newcastle, not in Gateshead. Most of the cemetery is used by the United Hebrew Congregation, Newcastle upon Tyne. It is not far from Gosforth Park, but that is a different place. Uniquely, R Namyot has an ohel. Here is a picture of the plaque:

  2. What a wonderful post all ways wanted to know about this rov on the Ohel in Gateshead is writen that he published a Sefer ??? ??? do you know anything about the Sefer

    Kind regards

    Moishe kraus London

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