Monday, April 19, 2010

A curious and unintentionally humorous anecdote about Berlin's Av Beis Din Hirsch Lewin.

From Judah and Israel: or, The restoration and conversion of the Jews and the ten Tribes (1812, 4th ed.) by the famed conversionist apostate Rev. Joseph Samuel C. F. Frey:

Actually, I don't quite know what to make of it. To me this sounds like a rabbi who has given up. Note that Rabbi Lewin famously reflected on three of his rabbinic positions "In London hatte ich Geld und keine Juden, in Mannheim Juden und kein Geld, in Berlin kein Geld und keine Juden," or "In London I had money but no Jews, in Mannheim Jews but no money, in Berlin no money and no Jews."

Incidentally, here is an interesting image of his father, R. Aryeh Leib Lowenstamm of Amsterdam (who was Chacham Tzvi's son-in-law, and thus R. Yaakov Emden's brother-in-law):


  1. Joe in Australia8:47 PM, April 19, 2010

    The apostate was named Frey? That's rich :-)

  2. Ha. But I'm not sure Evangelical Christianity is "frei" exactly.

  3. The story reflcts the truism that Jews do what they want, and claim halacha when it suits them. In this case the printer personally did not want to publish a messianic tract, and so invented the dodge that he couldnt do it without the rabbi's permission.




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