What was Rabbi Ferber reading? Tsuf Dvash by Vidal Tsarfati, 1718, Amsterdam.

Before we discuss the book itself, which is interesting in its own right, it is inscribed twice, has a marginal note, and has the ownership stamp in red ink, of Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Ferber. Rabbi Ferber was born in Slobodka, a suburb of Kovno, Lithuania, in 1879. He was a renowned Torah and Talmudic scholar … Continue reading What was Rabbi Ferber reading? Tsuf Dvash by Vidal Tsarfati, 1718, Amsterdam.

Sefer Shalos uTshuvos (Responsa) of Rabbi Solomon Luria, Furth 1768 – from Jews College London.

This book of responsa (questions and answers) is by Rabbi Solomon Luria.  Solomon the son of Yehiel Luria is known as  Maharshal or Rashal.  He was a Rabbi and author; born in Brest-Litovsk, Lithuania, in 1510.  He died in Lublin in 1573. When he was still a youth his parents sent him to Posen, where … Continue reading Sefer Shalos uTshuvos (Responsa) of Rabbi Solomon Luria, Furth 1768 – from Jews College London.

Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Annual Report 1938-9, London.

This booklet is really the Annual Report of the British Friends, who had been established in 1926.  It describes the University on the eve of the Second World War and has interesting lists of subscribers and donors. The Organizing Secretary of the Friends when this report was written was Chaim Raphael.  He was born Chaim … Continue reading Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Annual Report 1938-9, London.

What did Dayan Hillman Read? Kereisi Upleisi and Tiferes Yisroel by Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz, Warsaw, 1878.

These are two important Rabbinical works by Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz (1690-1764), bound in one volume, and printed in Warsaw in 1878.  Rabbi Eibeschutz was an important talmudist, kabbalist and author who was the Dayan (rabbinical judge) of the city of Prague and later Rabbi of the Three Communities of Altona, Hamburg and Wansbeck.  Kereisi Upleisi … Continue reading What did Dayan Hillman Read? Kereisi Upleisi and Tiferes Yisroel by Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz, Warsaw, 1878.

Sidrei Taharah, by Rabbi Elchanan Ashkenazi Chen, Dyhrenfurth, 1796 – Rabbi Eli Munk’s copy.

This book belonged to Rabbi Eli Munk of Golders Green, London (not to be confused with his cousin Rabbi Elie Munk of Paris).  Rabbi Munk's father, Ezra (1867–1940) was a Rabbi in Germany, who had studied at the Berlin Rabbinical Seminary under his uncle Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer and at the Universities of Berlin and Koenigsberg. … Continue reading Sidrei Taharah, by Rabbi Elchanan Ashkenazi Chen, Dyhrenfurth, 1796 – Rabbi Eli Munk’s copy.

The Proverbs of Solomon, by Abraham Elzas, Leeds, 1871. (Baron Louis Benas’ copy)

This is an English translation of the book of Proverbs (Mishle), with extensive scholarly notes.  One of the sources that Elzas uses extensively is Benjamin Boothroyd, a Christian Minister and scholar from Pontefract in Yorkshire, who produced a significant Hebrew Bible with notes and commentaries in about 1800. (I have a copy and will eventually … Continue reading The Proverbs of Solomon, by Abraham Elzas, Leeds, 1871. (Baron Louis Benas’ copy)

Minchas Pitim by Rabbi Chanoch HaCohen Ehrentreu, Chief Rabbi of Munich, Frankfurt-on-Main, 1928.

With the recent passing of Dayan Chanoch Ehrentreu (1927 - 1922), forner head (Av Beis Din) of the London Beth Din,  I had a look at his grandfather, Rabbi Chanoch Ehrentreu, Chief Rabbi of Munich's book, Minchas Pitim. Known as Heinrich, Rabbi Chanoch Ehrentreu was born in Alt-Ofen (Obuda), Hungary. He was considered a brilliant … Continue reading Minchas Pitim by Rabbi Chanoch HaCohen Ehrentreu, Chief Rabbi of Munich, Frankfurt-on-Main, 1928.

Anglo Jewish Association Quarterly, London, October 1967, (including the new Chief Rabbi, Dr. I. Jakobovits’ busy day).

I've written before about the Anglo-Jewish Association, which still exists, but is, perhaps, a relic of a bygone age. It was formed in 1871 with the aim of strengthening Anglo-Jewish life and as a charitable support for Jewish education in schools in the Middle East and the former British Empire.  It was always a strong … Continue reading Anglo Jewish Association Quarterly, London, October 1967, (including the new Chief Rabbi, Dr. I. Jakobovits’ busy day).

Three Hundred Years. A volume to commemorate the Tercentenary of the Resettlement of the Jews in Great Britain 1656-1956, London 1956.

This was a celebratory book to mark a celebratory year - 300 years since the Jews had officially been allowed to live in the United Kingdom in 1656 - after the expulsion of 1290. We will leave aside the questions of whether the resettlement was official and the fact that there were unofficial Jews living … Continue reading Three Hundred Years. A volume to commemorate the Tercentenary of the Resettlement of the Jews in Great Britain 1656-1956, London 1956.

Jewish Religious Education Board, Forty-Fourth Annual Report 1938.

This is the record of a substantial organization, dedicated to providing Jewish Religious education in London schools, mainly in the East End of London. However, by 1938, numbers were declining as the Jewish community was already relocating to better or more middle-class neighbourhoods. This was also at a time when the minimum school-leaving age had … Continue reading Jewish Religious Education Board, Forty-Fourth Annual Report 1938.