Monday, May 20, 2013

Mrs. Julian Nathan's meeting with R. Chaim Leib Auerbach in 1922

This is excerpted from Mrs. Julian Nathan's two-part article "A Woman's Impressions of Palestine," which appeared in the American Hebrew on Dec. 15 and 22, 1922. This being 1922, unfortunately Mrs. Julian Nathan's own first name is not supplied. The Miss Landau to which she refers is Annie Edith Landau. She describes her meeting with Rabbi Chaim Leib Auerbach, R. Shlomo Zalman's father. Since she refers to her "father's book "Tub Taam," I assume she was R. Aharon Zvi Friedman's daughter, although I suppose there may be other works by that name and thus other possible candidates.

Note that she says that Rabbi Auerbach predicted that in 80 years the exile would be over. And read the rest.


  1. 80 is very close in relative terms, Bimhera Veyameinu. Alternatively, 9/11 could be considered the beginning of the end of the exile.

  2. A little googling and a hunch turned up some interesting information about Mr. and Mrs. Julian Nathan. Julian (1850-1936) was a son of Benjamin Nathan, an “Our Crowd” aristocrat whose 1870 murder remains one of New York’s great unsolved mysteries. Julian’s brother Washington Nathan was a prime suspect, but nothing was ever proved. (Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Nathan Cardozo was a relative and namesake.) Mrs. Julian Nathan’s name is given as Sarah Friedman Nathan, which indicates that she was indeed the daughter of R. Aaron Zvi Friedman, author of Tub Taam. This also makes her my grandfather’s aunt. I believe she was the one known to the family as “Aunt Sadie.” Family lore describes her as a grande dame who was snobbishly proud of her yichus by marriage and as not terribly frum. She reportedly once challenged my grandfather’s wearing of a yarmulke. The fact that she took such an interest in Palestine and actually met with R. Auerbach comes as a pleasant surprise to me.



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