Monday, November 21, 2011

What did Rebbetzin Chorin wear on her head?

Here is an interesting, and unexpected reference, to Rabbi Aharon Chorin, in Solomon Schiller-Szinnessy's edition of the Radak to Psalms (Cambridge 1883).

Listing his teachers and influences, he mentions Chorin, from whom he received one of his semichas:

25) The great rabbi and critical scholar, the Chief Rabbi of Arad. He was very erudite, and author of learned works. I call Heaven and Earth as witness, that I was in his house in 1843 to receive ordination from him, and practically did not leave his side for three weeks. He was involved in Torah study (particularly Shulchan Aruch Yorah De'ah and Even Ha-ezer) night and day. I saw that he was exceedingly meticulous in observance. Even though he was very aged, he walked the distance to the synagogue morning and evening. This great rabbi raised the flag of Israel, enhancing her reputation among the nations. He was called by God to the Heavenly abode on the Sabbath, 9 Elul 1844. "Let the lying lips be dumb, which speak arrogantly against the righteous, with pride and contempt." (Psalm 31:19)
Hm. Probably not what one would expect.

Here's an opportunity to post the portraits of Chorin and his Rebbetzin:

These two portraits come from Grace Cohen Grossman's Romance & Ritual: Celebrating the Jewish Wedding.

Since we see how his wife covered her hair (actually in all likelihood, there's no hair under that) it's worth mentioning an anecdote I posted about earlier, at the beginning of this post. I honestly have no idea how to square all these circles.

Here's another portrait of Chorin, from the 1848 Magyar Zsidó Naptár:


  1. Pictures really can tell a thousand words. Thanks for posting portraits of historical figures so frequently.

    It's also pretty amazing how little the shape of the turban worn by Hungarian Jewish women has changed. She could probably buy a headpiece just like that one in Williamsburg today.

  2. "Every painter paints himself"



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