Thursday, February 28, 2013

On the Hebrew pronunciation of Chinese Jews

Here's some interesting information about the way the Jews of Kaifeng, China pronounced Hebrew. Note the careful (?) transcription of how they named the five books of the Torah in the footnote: 

Pe-lesh-itze (Bereshit)
Shemeot-ze (Shemot)
Va-yi-ke-lo (Vayikra)
Pe-me-ze-paul (Bamidbar)
Te-ve-liim (Devarim)

The same book also mentions that they divided the Torah in 53 portions, not 54, uniting Nitzavim and Veyelech. Which is interesting, because I think that was the original custom; they were combined. It is also claimed that when asked why their Torahs do not have nekkudot, the answer they gave was that God recited the Torah too fast for Moses to transcribe with vowels, but the wise men of the West supplied them later.

Help the Main Line out with your feedback

I recently installed one of those not-so-newfangled feedback poll options that appear on the bottom of each post, as follows:

My hope is that these three options are enough to capture a reader's impression of any given post. Did you like it or not, or is there a "Yes, but" or "No, but" sort of reaction; to keep it simple I combined that into the "It's Complicated" option.

If lots of people take the extra second to click one of these after looking at a post, I will learn a lot. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On a Jewish 'sign of the cross' and the Sephardic provenance of the name "Shneor" occasioned by a 17th century prayer book

In 1687 Benjamin Senior Godines published a book from a manuscript he found in the home library of Rabbi Yshack Abohab. The core of the book is the 100 blessings a Jew should recite daily, but with many more additions and explanations, and all translated by Godines into Spanish. Thus, the book is called מאה and סדר ברכות Orden de Bendiciones. Frontispiece illustration and title page:

Godines was an artist (and scribe) so the illustration must be his - you can see that it is initialed B. G.

Now, on pp. 203 - 204 there is something very interesting, which I'd never heard of before. It is basically instructions for making a Jewish sign of the cross, so to speak, as a way of warding off fear - hard to see how else to interpret it. Who knows if this sign was even specifically invented to wean Conversos off from making the sign of the cross. If anyone has ever seen this before, please do tell. 

It says, 
"If you are see a person whose approach frightens you, make a Shaddai with your right hand; place the thumb out like the form of a daleth and the three middle fingers will form the shape of a shin and the little finger will be as a yud; place this on your face and recite..."

Finally, a word about Godines' name. As mentioned, he was Benjamin Senior. It is worth pointing out that in Hebrew it was בנימין שניאור. Now, שניאור is a name used by some Ashkenazic Jews of European descent, especially Chabad-Lubavitch, given that the first Chabad rebbe was named שניאור. There is a somewhat popular belief that this name is the grammatically dubious composite from the Hebrew words שני אור, to denote Two Lights (whatever that is supposed to mean). See, for example, Beis Shmuel who claims that the name was invented on account of a baby boy being born with two ancestors named Meir to be named after, and also the entry שניאור in Shem Ha-gedolim, where Chida quotes a similar thing in the name of Maharshal, who said that it was for grandfathers named Meir and Uri. Chida continues by noting that the name Shneor actually precedes this, because Rabbenu Jonah (Spanish rabbi, 13th century) quotes his own teacher, Rabbi Shneor.

Be that as it may, Spanish Portuguese Jews used this name and there is no question that they thought it meant Senior, despite the respectful hearing of the Ashkenazic idea of its etymology by Chida, and here is one of many such examples where this can be seen.

Pesach is in the air, so... Civil War seder, 1862

This is a well-known story, but very moving nonetheless. Here is J. A. Joel's account of the Passover seder he and twenty fellow Union soldiers who were Jewish were able to hold (for both nights) in West Virginia in 1862. 

Only 19 years old at the time, he writes about securing permission to take off, and the manner in which they were able to acquire matzos, their delight  when it arrived containing haggados and prayer books, and some - but not all - of the necessary food. They could find no horseradish, but used a very bitter weed. In lieu of charoses, they used a brick. Not knowing which part of the lamb to use for the zeroah, they put an entire lamb on the table (and ate it afterward). He describes how some of them got drunk from the cider, which they used for the four cups (or, possibly, more).  His letter was printed in the Jewish Messenger April 1866.

As I was preparing this post, I discovered there is even a children's book loosely based on this letter and the event described:

And here is Joseph Joel, apparently he sent this photograph to his friend Rutherford B. Hayes (link):

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Interesting Purim-y thing in a book of Psalms printed in 1723

I was perusing R. Yechiel Michl Epstein's edition of Psalms (Frankfurt 1723) and I noticed the following on the last page:

After the ma'amadot additions in this book, after the table for prayers at the very end, is a list of the verses recited aloud by the congregation at the megillah reading on Purim. The megillah itself is not printed in this book. The explanation I could think of was that in 1723 printed humashim or Bibles which included Esther, much less personal megillah scrolls, were sufficiently rare that many people - presumably women, especially  (?) - could be present at the megillah reading with no text to follow along with.So here, at the end of a book of Psalms, it was deemed appropriate to list these verses for those who had their Psalter with them, but no Esther so that they could say them aloud with everyone. What do you think?

Friday, February 22, 2013

In honor of Purim, let's parody 19th century Reform prayerbooks

Or so this is. Here is a hilarious parody of a siddur review for Purim 1875 in the American Hebrew (February 19, 1875/ 14 Adar 5635). It's long, but in my opinion entirely worth reading.

The background is that in those times there was a glut of new siddurim, each purporting to be a new minhag, or liturgy, that somehow improved on both the traditional siddur and all the competing reformed versions. Although my guess is that two or three volumes of equal size can be written to exhaustively discuss the topic, especially to include America, the definitive work is Petuchowski's Prayerbook Reform in Europe: the Liturgy of European liberal and Reform Judaism. From reading that work, one thing which cannot fail to escape the reader's attention is that however sympathetic one may be toward the concept of prayerbook reform, if one is, the unavoidable result is dozens if not hundreds of liturgies. As far as I can tell, this was not the desired goal of any of the prayer book reformers. Many of them surely must have rationalized that there wasn't really a traditional liturgy anyway, but there were dozens, and indeed in polemical discussions this was often pointed out. However, these new siddurim were so different from one another that the unintended effect of all of them was to render the synagogue service unfamiliar to all. 

So here we have a review of "Pulver's New Prayer-Book." Although there was a Louis Pulver in Australia who produced books for Jewish children, he never produced a prayer book. This review is completely fictional, as are the other names and periodicals and so on which appear in it. It appeared, as I said, in 14 Adar edition of the American Hebrew.

So Caleb, the reviewer, says that he is grateful to receive such a beautiful book, and he is sure it will became famous, unlike the siddurim of Joram, Dumsprach, Kleinfuss and Swartzkopf (all fake). He hopes Pulver will succeed better in the "minhag making business" than his predecessors. Then he pulls out the knives and enumerates all of the shortcomings of this new siddur, the Prayers for the Congregation Men of Uprightness.

There's no point in rewriting the review, but one sentence is worth pointing out: 
"Look here, Pulver, in what respect does your prayer book excel the old Roedelheim tefila? It is more adapted to the spirit of the age, you think. Don't be a fool. Speak out what you mean. It has less Hebrew, yes, and more doggerel English and German."
In short, it is humorous, but a very serious statement and a sign of the times.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A description of the internet* from 1889

*Okay, not exactly, but it is the same kind of breathless, optimistic description of emerging technology. 

An interesting reflection from 1889 on cutting edge technology, like the phonograph, and its presumed future uses. I'm sure there a thousand like it, but I thought the call to study electricity in every school as a basic, necessary form of education is interesting, like calls to teach computer programming. From the Jewish Messenger.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sabbathian memories from the 1830s

Here's a fascinating bit of testimony about Sabbateans, real and imagined, in Prossnitz in the 1830s. Prossnitz was known from the prior century as a place of Sabbateans. 

This is excerpted from an article in the American Hebrew 3.27.1896 by Gotthard Deutsch, in honor of Moritz Steinschneider's 80th birthday.

No Tefillin, No Leah - San Francisco Jewish wit Maftir on yahrzeits, Rabbi Jacob Joseph and 19th century American Yiddish

The San Francisco correspondent for the American Israelite signed his dispatches Maftir, but he was actually Bavarian-born Isidor Nathan Choynski (c. 1835 - 1899). Here is Maftir:

His pieces were quite witty and irreverent. Here is one fascinating piece from December 21, 1888, where he tells of his attempt at getting an aliya in shul on his father's yahrzeit, only he had no tefillin, even though he did own a pair written by "the finest sofer of Vilna" - so  "No Tefillin, no Leah." (Leah = 'liyah = aliyah)

Worth reading. I included another little excerpt from elsewhere in his column, because he refers to Rabbi Jacob Joseph, newly brought to New York to be Chief Rabbi as "the chief Chariff of the nation, His Excellency, Reb. Joseffele Yankele." Rabbi Jacob Joseph was, of course, known as R. Yaakov Charif in his native Vilna, and being a charif, a sharp Talmudic dialectician was deemed hilariously irrelevant to those American Jews who could not fathom appointing a maggid from Vilna as an alleged Chief Rabbi of the Jews in New York, much less seeing him - or anyone - as a chief rabbi of the United States.

Also of interest to Maftir was the emerging Yiddish press in America, and he frequently pointed out what he thought were hilarious examples of American Yiddish. Thus, in one column from 1879 he refers to an expression by the editor of the Yudishe Gazetten:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gotthard Deutsch's interesting historical musings on Rabbenu Tam's grandma's socks, Neo-Orthodoxy, Solomon Schechter and Napoleon

Moravian-American Reform Rabbi Gotthard Deutsch was a very entertaining writer. Two volumes of his articles were published in the work Scrolls, and they're just a lot of fun to read. But much much more remains, scattered in various periodicals. A voracious reader of traditional responsa, which he gleaned for sources and polemics, and countless other works, his articles were written in a kind of very whimsical, chatty, personal and arrogant way which I like. Can't beat a piece by Gotthard Deutsch for a good anecdote. For fun, someone should mine his articles the same way he mined the Sdei Chemed (his favorite). Maybe one day I will collect them. 

In any case, I came across a polemical article in the American Israelite (Sep. 4, 1913) in which Deutsch responds to his conservative critics, specifically, to Solomon Schechter. Now, Reform rabbis like Deutsch had something of an obsession with so-called Neo-Orthodoxy, because it seemed to pull the carpet out from the central arguments of Reform Judaism. Deutsch and many others believed that Neo-Orthodox Judaism is no more authentic, no more traditional, and no more continuous with pre-modern rabbinic tradition than Reform Judaism is, but unlike Reform, it is not honest because it pretends that it is. Furthermore, the half-measure reforms of Neo-Orthodoxy did nothing to solve the modern dilemmas of the modern Jews, let us say, because according to them Jews must still miss two months of working days out of the calendar year, and so on. People like Deutsch intentionally used the term Neo-Orthodox to highlight the discontinuity with what they saw as the genuine traditional Orthodoxy of old and, in Deutsch's case, of his own childhood. A Noda Beyehuda, a Chasam Sofer, a R. Mordechai Banet - they were really Orthodox.

Now, Solomon Schechter had given a speech in which he was talking about how "cultured conservative Jews . . . are sometimes stigmatized as neo orthodox." Schechter said that this taunt can only hit its mark if the idea of something like an orthodox Jew taking a college degree is something new, and a paradox. But, said Schechter, "a better knowledge of Jewish history  would have taught them that culture combined with religion was the rule with the Jews. Culture without religion was an exception."

Taking this personally, Deutsch assumed that it was he who was being told he needed "a better knowledge of history." So he wrote an article in which he listed source after source of traditional Orthodox rabbis who were decidedly against culture and secular education. 

Of course both positions can be defended in different ways, because the truth is that the truth is complex. Neither Schechter nor Deutsch wanted to truck in complexities, so there you have it. In any case, toward the end of his piece Deutsch has this wonderful nugget about history-as-dry-facts. And that's really the purpose of this post:

"...the idea that history in a dry array of indifferent facts. This argument, used by an orthodox, is on one level with a statement ascribed to Rabbi J. J. Oettinger of Berling, who said of Zunz: "If you wish to know what color Rashi's trousers were you ask Zunz, but if you wish to know what Rashi taught, you ak me." Similarly one of the leading liberals is fond of amusing his audiences with an attack on those who write volumes on the color of the socks which Rabbenu Tam's grandmother wore on Sabbath Hanukah. You see that this is the same clever speculation on the vanity of the Philistine. He is to be told that he is just as well, or even better, off for not knowing the results of painstaking scholarship, and naturally, Mr. Philistine appreciates the compliment. 
The actual situation is this. There are indeed a number of facts that are brought out by historical research that are in themselves indifferent. At the same time it goes with these things, as with furniture in a well arranged household. Every piece has to have its place, because our aesthetic sense, our love of order, demands it so. It may be, and in all likelihood, it is is indifferent, whether Alfred Sutro, the English playwright, was born in 1870, as the Jewish Encyclopedia states, or in 1863, as I found out recently, but there is no reason why we should not state a fact correctly, as long as we know it. 
In some instances such a trivial fact may be a valuable point in determining an important historical fact. Napoleon was of late often praised as a liberator of the Jews. Quite recently someone published reminiscences of his physician in St. Helena, who reports that Napoleon claimed credit for his work in emancipating the Jews. The emancipation, however, took place in 1791, while Napoleon did not become first consul until 1799. In this way we establish proof that the reports of this physician are not reliable. 
In another instance somebody-again I do not name him because I wish my statement to be understood, free from all personal prejudice-claimed Zunz for the conservatives. Such a general statement is easily made, and not one out of a hundred, perhaps out of a thousand readers, will have reason for doubting. I prove with quotations from chapter and verse, that Zunz said, he had no interest in Judaism, that rabbis, priests, lamas, fortune tellers, etc., were all the same to him, that all he cared for was Jews. I further proved with chapter and verse that Zunz dated Leviticus from post exilic times, which would result in making Yom Kippur an institution with which Moses had no more to do than he had with Hanukah or with Thanksgiving. I admit that such insistence on cold facts is occasionally inconvenient, but it's the only sound method of presenting history.
It goes without saying that while I think Deutsch is right abut lots in this, once again, he is incapable of nuance and also it does not occur to him that his interpretation might be incorrect. To take the reminiscences of Napoleon's physician. Is it really the case that because France emancipated its Jews in 1791, and Napoleon only became first consul in 1799 that the physician made it up? Can we not imagine that Napoleon himself may have given himself more credit than was due him? My goodness, Napoleon exaggerate? Never! Or, perhaps, even though technically the emancipation  of Jews in France happened in 1791, Napoleon might have been referring to other acts and initiatives he took concerning the civil rights of the Jews in France and conquered territories? Dismissing the testimony of the physician (and presumably all else he said) because two dates do not work the way he thinks it should is more of a failure of deeper thinking, or at least imagination, than good critical historical thinking. Same with Zunz. While maybe it did not occur to him in 1913, Zunz's opposition to Reform-style reform may well have been more significant in how to characterize him overall than his view of rabbis or the Torah's origin. 

Adopt a WWI impacted family for Passover for $10

Advertisement from Marc 1918.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What happened when some people ascended to the attic of Prague's Altneschul in 1861

Allegedly ascended, anyway. Manuscripts, no Golem.

From the American Israelite Feb. 22, 1861.

Heinrich Graetz endorses the future of Judaism in America in 1854

Here is an interesting 1854 letter from Heinrich Graetz to the Zion Collegiate Association, which was basically an American Jewish plan to establish schools to train Jewish ministers, or at least at this stage, a plan to establish such a school in connection with an American university.

As you can see, he writes that "no other land on the globe is as eminently qualified as the United States, to unfurl the grandeur, dignity, and sanctity of Judaism" because it is "the land of absolute liberty" and therefore it doesn't have to contend with prejudices and various other things, including the idea that such an institute would not be the "accommodating idol of any sect."

Printed in the American Israelite.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A beggar in Vilna who begged for others

Here's a heartwarming story from 1875 in the American Israelite about a man who spent his days begging in the streets of Vilna for 30 years and is said to have ultimately acquired and distributed 90,000 rubles to the needy. At 3000 silver rubles a year - well, I don't know if that amount is plausible, but a nice story of giving it certainly is. As the blurb says, this man who worked at night for his own living, "was poor for himself and rich for others."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On the Vilna Gaon yeshiva in Harlem, and 100th yahrzeit rumor from 1897

Here is the announcement of the formation of a yeshiva in Harlem called Yeshivas Ha-gaon Eliyahu Vilna in 1907. If f anyone has any further info if this actually occurred beyond what was stated here (45 students), please let me know. From the American Hebrew.

And here is an interesting story about a rumor, apparently sweeping eastern Europe, that a letter from the Vilna Ga'on was going to be publicized for his 100th yahrzeit as per his alleged instructions. American Hebreew 1897. (This rumor does not, by the way, refer to Alim li-Trufah, the well-known letter by Rabbi Eliyah Wilna, which was already published in 1849, and perhaps earlier.)

Rabbi Mayer Bar Ilan's visit to Chaim Berlin in 1914

From the American Hebrew.

And since fake Jewish names are always fun, here's one from 1905: Chajim Berlinerblau.

The Divrei Chaim of Sanz's obituary in the Jewish Messenger, June 16, 1876

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rav Soloveitchik threatens a herem on El Al

Jerusalem Post 12.24.1963.

Note, it quotes him saying that he'd never made a cherem in 32 years, but "this time I cannot avoid it."

Monday, February 11, 2013

An American Reform view of the symbolism of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

From the Israelite March 8, 1861.

A Lithuanian rabbi grapples in a most fascinating way with English in early 20th century America

I wanted to call attention to something really fascinating I found in the Reverend Benjamin Safer Digital Collection at the University of Florida. Safer was a Lithuanian rabbi in Jacksonville, FL, although he used the title Reverend because he did not have semicha. I'm not quite sure when he was born and died, although he was alive in 1954, the date of one letter of his I looked at, and he came to Florida in 1901. Here are pictures of him from that website, young and older.

What I wanted to point to are a few of his writings and jottings which would seem to show his efforts to acquire English, and what specifically he found difficult, and what he was comfortable with.

So here is a couple pages from one of his notebooks:

As you can see, what he was doing was writing down English words with their transliteration and definition in  Yiddish. There seems to be no pattern as to which words he chose; "devoid" "gust" "inertia" "vary" "haunt" and so on. My guess is that these were words that he came across in speech or reading and he wanted to remember them, or they gave him trouble or something. He probably wrote them as he came across them.

Next, is part of the text of a "sermonette" for Chanukah, for children. What is fascinating about this one is that it is entirely in English - written entirely in Yiddish/Hebrew letters. Evidently reading English was difficult, or still difficult, for him, although my guess is that he understood it and spoke it without too much difficulty. One wonders how many in his congregation realized that he was doing what we see below.

I haven't tried to read it yet, but you can see it begins with a Bible quote:

"רימעמבער דהי דייז אוו אלד"
.סשו מאזעס ספאק טו היז פיפל דזשאסט ביפאר היז דעטה

"Remember the days of old"
So Moses spoke to his people just before his death.


I should point out that much later we see whole letters written in English, so evidently he worked out whatever issues he had acquiring it. Without a doubt this collection is a treasure trove. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A 17th century Jewish physician warns against the evil effects of alcohol

Came across a fascinating passage in the 17th century Hebrew medical book Ma'aseh Toviyah (link). Fascinating for its remark about drinking alcohol and fascinating to the 8 year old in me for the amusing, to modern English ears, turn of phrase highlighted by me in red.

"Of drinks, they drink whiskey that burns the heart and soul, and mead and beer, and other improper alcoholic drinks. Without a doubt these cause illnesses, and a smoky head causes headaches, dizziness, dementia, ringing in the ears, and eye maladies. Galen had said that even honey itself, when eaten too much, causes boils, because it burns the blood and causes and increase of redness (medical historians, jump in). 
Now, of the intoxicating drink known as beer, it is already known to all who drink two kinds (?) causes the condition of dripping urine known in Latin as stranguria and in German as die kalte piss. We also discover in books that poisonous honey, derived from various herb species which are poisonous, kill all who eat or drink it.  
Now that God has made all this known to us, do not wonder at the bad diseases which befall them because of their terrible practices, but wonder how they are even alive at all."

Monday, February 04, 2013

Sacrebleu! notice of a Jewish artist from 1844

Here is a fantastic art review (ok, notice) in the Archives israélites de France from 1844 (pg. 346). It concerns an exhibit in the Louvre:

"Regarding art, we have visited the painting exhibition at the Louvre and we noticed the following pieces by our coreligionists: # 818, Goldschmidt 928 the Sybil of Cumae, 929: Simon Hertz Offering to the Virgin (oh!) and a Procession to the Corpus Christi (oh! oh!)."
So, it's probably not a lesson, and it's probably not a grandfather. Still, wonderful photograph. Circa 1902.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

An appeal to readers - please donate

Dear Readers,

Necessity has compelled me to appeal for donations. If you enjoy On the Main Line, please donate something, whatever you can in accordance with your capability and how much you feel I've given you. I am doing this once again because my family and I need me to use my blog as a platform to generate much-needed income.

Please note that you do not have to have a PayPal account to click the link below and donate. Thank you.

Note: I am constantly adding new posts. Please check below - and comment!

Friday, February 01, 2013

A British court tries to make heads of tails out of halacha in a libel suit in 1911, Part. I

The year was 1911. A Jewish butcher bought a libel suit against the "Investigating Officer of the Shecheta Board," as well as against the Jewish Chronicle, for printing an advertisement on February 10 of the prior year that argued that the butcher's meat was treife.

Here is the ad:

As you can see, this sort of announcement must have been fairly routine. Four of these announcements, one top of each other, but only one sued. The butcher, Marcus Hirsch, argued that his meat was not in fact unkosher at all, and he was therefore libeled, by the board (in the person of its inspector, Simon Myers) and by the newspaper. The defendants of course had to argue that it was true. The February 17, 1911 issue gave a lengthy account of the trial proceedings, some of which are quite interesting.

Here is a picture of the presiding judge, since I can virtually guarantee that reading the following will be more entertaining if you picture it occurring in front of him:


Famed novelist Israel Zangwill was called as an expert witness for the plaintiff. He testified that this Board of Shechita was rejected by one group of London Jews, the ultraorthodox Machzikei Hadass, the point being that it isn't some kind of universal authority on kashrut.

Then a controversy ensued as to whether or not Zangwill was an expert, and whether an expert who admitted he was not expert in all of Jewish law could be an expert. The judge pointed out that many people in the legal profession do not know the entire law which they practice. Zangwill had begun his testimony by giving his qualifications as an expert, saying that he knew much about Jewish law and customs, but when asked, acknowledged that he did not  know as much as a rabbi or rabbinical students did. Pressed to be specific by the judge, he said that he could read "all but the most difficult" Hebrew, had learned very little Talmud, but had read much of the Jewish Encylopedia, and parts of the Shulchan Aruch, both in the original and in translation. The lawyer for the defendant wanted him to not be admitted as an expert. Then a discussion about the nature, appointment, and authority of rabbis took place.

In any case, the crux of the matter here was, what authority did the Shechita Board have, and are just any Jews authorized to perform shechita? To be sure, the Board of Shechita was an arm of the London Beth Din under the auspices of the Chief Rabbi. So with that in mind, the Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler was called as witness.

He gave testimony concerning the workings of Jewish law, whether or not there existed a translation of Yoreh Deah, and if there was, would it have any authority (no, he said), what is the process for appointing a shochet, that a simple minyan of ten Jews does not constitute a kehilla (congregation), and he gave a citation from the Pische Teshuva and Be'er Hetev to the effect that if a community had issued a proclamation that only a known shochet can act, then if someone contravenes it, according to some that shechita is forbidden.

Upon cross examination the lawyer made a little to-do over the fact that the law that kabbalah has to come from a rabbi is a gloss (a hagah of the Rema) and not in the text of Yoreh Deah proper! I think we are starting to understand why the case against Hebrew National and Triangle-K was thrown out of court, right? (See here.) For another example of a failure to understand the role the Rema plays in the Shulchan Aruch, see this earlier post of mine (here).

When asked about his own authority, Adler said that he basically has authority over all the Jews, except the Reform Jews who kind of sort of recognize his authority - sometimes, and a group of "Liberal Jews" (i.e., Britain's radical Reform) who do not acknowledge his authority at all, and also the group called Machzikei Hadass. Regarding the latter he claimed that their secessionist tendency was no longer an issue and they do at that point in time acknowledge his authority!

Then there was further discussion, really splitting  hairs, about which other groups and individual congregations accept his authority.  Then it moved back in time to the 18th century, and a detailed examination of the nature of  the English rabbinate at that time was discussed, and the fact that they too had shochetim, and how it was that they were appointed.

To be cont.


Related Posts with Thumbnails