Monday, June 25, 2012

Fascinating Loewe collection artifacts

The Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies just launched a fascinating digital exhibit, on the Raphael Loewe Archives (link).

Raphael Loewe (1919-2011) was a fourth generation British Jewish scholar and historian; the line beginning with Louis Loewe, famed in our circles as Moses Montefiore's secretary (I wrote about him here, concerning questions about his piety).

The site has many interesting items, but one which stands out for me was the inclusion of Raphael's childish Hebrew exercises. For example:

It is quite nice to see something like these from a 4, or possibly even 3 year old, version of the author of excellent studies like 'The Spanish Supplement to Nieto's "'Esh Dath"' or "The Abendana Brothers and the Christian Hebraists of Seventeenth-Century England."

Or this postcard asking for colored candles for Chanukah:

The exhibit includes artifacts from all four generations of Loewe's, such as these portraits of Louis Loewe's parents-in-law, and one of him as a young man:

And one of him as distinguished 62 year old:

And here is a fascinating document pertaining to a time when the Oxford Jewish Congregration received two Torah scrolls from a congregation which had ceased to exist. This document, from 1931) is signed by Herbert Loewe (Tzvi Mordechai ben Yaakov Chaim Halevi eid).

Finally, here are some pages from James's (second generation; he went by "Lowe," not "Loewe") translation of Rashi on Genesis:

And there is much more.


  1. One family's packrat is posterity's archivist.

  2. I have Montefiore's and Loewe's "A Rabbinic Anthology". It's really good:

  3. Anonymous, and how.

  4. Send these scribbles to Dr Leiman. There are Sabbatean overtones all over them.

    What are 'Sabbatean overtones', anyhow? And how does one tell them from childhood scribbles?

  5. He was even taught at that age when to put a dagesh in his gimels and dalets. Perhaps he was taught to pronounce the dagesh.



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