Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Kiruv, 1790s style.

Here is Wolf's account of Moroccan-born religious revivalist Rabbi Joseph Maimon (1741-1822) who revitalized religious life in Bokhara when he arrived there in 1793 and discovered that the Jews were ignorant of their religion. The story is reminiscent of the better-known R. Chizkiya Mediniwho revitalized the Rabbanite Jewish community in Crimea in the 1860s.

Wolf includes something which is less-than-flattering. It's hard to square it with what would seem to make sense about the man. So I'll assume it's a mistake, but this is how it was reported only ten years after he died, in 1832.

See here for something about R. Medini, the Sdei Chemed.


  1. re Milk after Meat -- i guess he just held like Tosafot, without the extra hhumras us 3-hour people add on.

  2. It's possible (don't you mean 1 vs 6?) but it sounds like this is something he said privately. I can't make out why he would teach 1 hour for the masses. I guess his theory of the the public and private aspects of religion comes into play. Interesting, the chumrot for the masses and the kulot for the elite.

  3. "Interesting, the chumrot for the masses and the kulot for the elite."

    Whaddaya mean? Shas is filled with examples of this. Every time something is said to be forbidden because of fear what the amharetz might say, the implication is that anyone learned enough to know the truth need not be worried. Rashi in many places also speaks about not publicizing certain things, ie, the fact that work on Tisha B'av is not prohibited, that lesions on an animal's lungs are not necessarily sign of a treifa, and a few others that dont immedaitely jump out.

    My guess is Rabbi Joseph really said it was no sin to drink milk after POULTRY, and either the recorder or the disciples mixed it up.

  4. This is the early 19th century, not Shas.

    Anyway, yes, I get the concept behind it. It is interesting to see it apparently taught in practice, if we are interpreting it correctly. I think we can agree that in all likelihood the promulgators of chumros today are not teaching each other that they can be meikil quietly. I'm not saying no one does this for himelf, but to teach this to his students? I find that surprising.

  5. 3 hours = holding like tosafot + the hhumra of waiting (1 hour) + an extra hhumra of waiting the amount of time until the next naturally-occuring meal in central european culture would have happened



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