Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cover page of Volume XVI, No. 1 of Jeshurun, 1883

This is the second incarnation of Jeshurun, the first edited by R' Hirsch, this one by his son Issac in Hannover; although this one often contained essays from R' Hirsch. It is a weekly while the earlier one was a monthly. For a picture of a page from the monthly Jeshurun, see the Klugman biography page 330.

It ran from 1883 - 1888. In 1888 it merged with the journal Israelit.

Full journal is here

Saturday, April 29, 2017

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, Vaykira 12: 4-5

"The day when the father performs milah, the first duty a man must perform for his son, should imbue the father with the sacred resolve to "raise his son to walk in moral strength before God, the God of the Law," and to serve his son, by his own conduct, as a model for such a way of life. Similarly, the fact that the woman's path to purity following the birth of a daughter is twice as long as after the birth of a son certainly should serve to impress the mother with all the solemnity and grandeur of her own task to become teacher, guide and model for the Jewish woman of the future. After all, the mothers' influence in the molding the moral standards of her daughter is twice as great as her influence on the moral development to her son. With sons, the main thrust of their training comes from the father, to whom they can look as a model for the own future male role. With daughters, on the other hand, the mother is not only their role model but also the molder of their character, so that after the birth of each daughter she will do well to prepare herself with redoubled intensity, both for her own sake and for the sake of her newborn daughter, in order that the both may ascend the lofty path or purity and morality to the heights of God's own idea of holiness." R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, Vaykira 12: 4-5, The Chumash, Judaica Press, Gertrude Hirschler translator.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Simmy Lerner Rav Hirsch broadcast - Parshas Tazriah

In this discussion, we discover some illuminating and truly groundbreaking concepts about how the Torah views some, nowadays, quite controversial issues. We see the truly amazing approach it has on Women, Brit Milah and our outlook on the physical world. E...

Normally I'm hesitant to hear anything about women's issues and Judaism unless it's from primary sources for fear of apologetics. But I think Simmy Lerner stayed close to Hirsch's presentation here. And Hirsch's presentation is fascinating.

I'll just remind everyone that Rav Hirsch portrayed men and women as being equal but different.
In the word איש and אשה lay the guarantee for the equality in rank and mutually complementing calling of Man and Woman. As long as man and woman were איש and אשה there was no need for man to be emancipated from woman nor woman from man, neither could make the other into a slave nor yet into a god or goddess. The first who altered this designation―as indeed our sages remark, in no other language are man and woman designated by words coming from the same root and so regarded from the same trend of thought―brought it about that one man would yoke his woman to the plough while the other would throw himself at her feet.

R’ Samson Raphael Hirsch, The Pentateuch (New York: Judaica Press), Genesis 11:7

Thursday, April 27, 2017

new on-line class on Tefila from Abe Katz

New on-line class on Tefila that will begin Tuesday evening May 2, 2017 at 9:00 PM, NYC time.

The topic: Tefila 101-Fundamentals of Tefila-Improving Our Involvement In Tefila. 

Focusing on three areas:

1. The Rules That Govern The Choice Of The Words And Structure Of The Tefilos;

2. Specific Words Within The Tefilos;

The Role Of The שליח ציבור.

If you interested in joining the class, please send an e-mail expressing your interest.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A man who is little known to them

"Jewish Philosophy of Religion and Samson Raphael Hirsch" is an article from The Jewish Quarterly Review, Volume 2 . Published 1890, 2 years after R' Hirsch's patirah. Contains the fascinating line, "All I propose to do is to try to turn the attention of the English Jewish public to a man who is little known to them, whose influence is nevertheless not without effect upon some of them, though they maybe unconscious of it."

The R' Samson Raphael Hirsch and R' Joseph Breuer publication societies put an end to the anonymity as which English speaking frum Jew doesn't know about R' Hirsch?


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

1940 Census of Rav Joseph Breuer and family

See lines 34-40. This is a pretty good find if I say so myself. This is an American census taken shortly after the family's arrival, about a year. Rav Breuer's children are young. Jacob Breuer is 21. I can't even say if they had a shul at 220 Bennett at this point. Certainly, the kehilla was in its infancy. Who knew what accomplishments lay ahead?

Click to enlarge

They arrived in 1939 on this ship: Normandie

Video of ship (Source: reader Appropriate vessel)

Built by Chantiers & Ateliers de Penhoet, St. Nazaire, France, 1935. 79,280 gross tons; 981 (bp) feet long; 118 feet wide. Steam Turbine engines, quadruple screw. Service speed 30 knots. 10,902 passengers Passenger ship. Enlarged in 1935. Large three funnels.

Ship History

Built for French Line, French flag, in 1935 and named Normandie. Havre-Southampton-New York service.

Seized by U.S. authorities, in 1941 and renamed Lafayette. Laid up in New York when caught fire. 
Caught fire, sank, refloated and scrapped in 1947.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Igros Moshe Orach Chaim 4:24

Behold it is known that all the people of Poland, Hungary, and Russia...are children of Ashkenaz even Chasidim. And until Chasidus spread they all prayed with nusach Ashkenaz. However, the Chasidic leaders lead them to pray in a different nusach with various changes...They changed the customs of their ancestors and our great rabbis of Germany and France. The reason for the change is not clear nor how they permitted a change from the established nusach....If one desires to change back and pray in nusach Ashkenaz, since it is the nusach of our ancestors and rabbis, he is permitted as he is returning to what once was.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Crusade Mourned in Cologne

"The Jewish community of Cologne, Germany, designated the 23rd of Nissan as a day of fasting and mourning to commemorate the Jews of Cologne massacred in 1147 during the Second Crusade."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jewish Press - The Influence of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in America (Part II) by Dr. Y. Levine

The Influence of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in America (Part II)

By Dr. Yitzchok Levine

"Editor’s Note: This column contains excerpts from Dr. Levine’s “Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch and America – an Historical View,” which appeared in The World of Hirschian Teachings, An Anthology on the Hirsch Chumash and the Hashkafa of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch (Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer Foundation, Feldheim, 2008, 199- 210).

"Last month we outlined how Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman (1861-1945), who was one of foremost spokesmen for Orthodoxy in America during his lifetime, was influenced by the writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. This month we discuss two other rabbinical personalities who were influenced by Rav Hirsch."

read more

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tefillin on Chol Moed

As you may know, it is the practice in Ashkenaz to wear tefillin on chol moed per the Rama, R' Akiva Eiger, the Mishneh Berurah and many others. R' Hamburger spoke about this at the recent Kenes in Bene Brok and noted that by far most Rishonim call for the wearing of tefillin. I'm checking if there's a recording available. I believe someone is putting a package together and is looking for sponsors for the graphics. Let me know if you can help:

Here is a writeup on Tefillin on Chol Moed and an audio shiur from Daniel Adler with a German Jewish perspective.  Includes a recording of a Q&A with R' Hamburger.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Rav Shmuel Bondi

In my recent Hakirah article "Austritt: A Tale of Two Cities" I refer to "the wine merchant Samuel Bondi" who was a supporter of Austritt in Mainz.

So who was this Samuel Bondi? It turns out there was much more to his life than the wine business. The “wine merchant Samuel Bondi” of Mainz was Rav Shmuel Bondi, Rav of the separatist Orthodox (Austritt) Kehilla and the author of “Torei Zahav”. This work included commentary on Shir Hashirim from his grandfather and rebbe, R Herz Scheuer, the 10th generation rav of Mainz, and his own commentary on Megillas Esther, followed by his own “Sha’los U’teshuvos”. He was considered among the leading Poskim in Germany in his time.

He was the father in law of R Marcus Lehmann. the famous rabbinical leader and author. When Bondi became elderly he retired from the rabbinate and turned his position over to R Lehmann. He had no pension and supported himself in the family wine business established by his father and run by his sons. As Rav of Mainz he created the Austritt community in the town.

It was his custom to have a “haus bochur” from the Pressburg Yeshiva at home to learn with his sons and to have a chavruso for himself. He would write to the Ksav Sofer to send him a bochur. The Ksav Sofer sent R Shlomo Breuer to be the haus bochur in 1873 and he learned with R Shmuel, as well as with his sons and grandsons, for 2 years. He arranged for R Shlomo Breuer to study at the nearby University of Heidelberg; Mainz was 40 miles from Frankfurt and both he and Marcus Lehmann were close to Rav Hirsch—Lehman proposed Shlomo Breuer as a shidduch for Hirsch’s daughter. R Shmuel Bondi’s son Markus was a metal merchant and moved to Vienna; he  married Bella Hirsch from Halberstadt whose sister married R Ezriel Hildesheimer (thus Hildesheimer was brother in law to Markus Bondi).

Another one of the many heroes of German Orthodoxy. As Rabbi Soloveitchik has pointed out, we Jews don't build moments for ourselves and there are many unsung heroes who quietly went about their work. We don't know their names in most cases. Here we have a least some of the story.

Source: “The History of Family Bondi” by George Aumann, 1966  

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kenes Kehilos Ashkenaz in Bene Brak - April 13

On Thursday, April 13, the second day of Chol Hamoed, BEIS HAKNESES OF GERMAN MINHAG in Bene Brak will hold a gathering that features a shiur by Rav Binyamin Hamburger and Ashkenaz chazanut. I went to the one last Succos and it was really enjoyable.

For those who don't know Rav Hamburger is a leading expert on German Jewish/Ashkneaz minhag. The shiur will be in Hebrew but Rav Hamburger, who will be available afterward, is fluent in English.


Mincho at 6:45 Maariv at 7:45 Shiur by Harav Hamburger between. Following Maariv the Kenes Kehilos Ashkenaz. 8:00-10:00


27 Ben Yacov St. Bnei Brak (This is a few hundred meters from the Coca Cola factory)

Monday, April 3, 2017