ITS PRESIDENT DECLARES: 'IT'S A DREAM COME TRUE'
FINCHLEY CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE CONSECRATES A NEW SEFER TORAH Finchley Central Synagogue has a new Sefer Torah which it can truly call its own. Inspired by their Rav, Rabbi Zvi Telsner, the necessary funds for its purchase were raised over a period of three months entirely by the community and by former members who still wish to retain their link with the Synagogue. The Rev Moshe Rosenthal, a young Sopher from Ashdod, now residing in Stamford Hill, was commissioned to obtain the
the streets of Finchley to the Synagogue. Mr. Ungar said it was a dream come true, Outside the Shul, the other Seforim were
HAMAOR JO U R N A L OF THE F E D E R A T IO N OF SY N A G O G U ES
O U R CENTENARY
Federation of Synagogues which celebrated its centenary last year, commemorated this milestone at a special Service at the East Lon don Central Synagogue, Nelson Street, London E1, on Sunday, October 25th and by a dinner at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, on Sunday, November 1. The Anglo-Jewish community marked our centenary with many messages of congratulation and good will and the attendance at both the Service and the dinner indicated the warmth and regard with which the Federation is held in the community. A full report of these events appears on pages 4 and 5.
Finchley Central Synagogue's President, Mr. W. Ungar, adding one of the final letters to the Scroll, watched by the Sopher.
Rabbi Telsner and Chazan Segal with the new Sefer Torah parchment and write the Sefer Torah within a year; a task which he carried out not only in time but in such beautiful KSAV that evoked the admiration of the whole Kehillah. In January this year, these efforts culmi nated on a weekday evening, when all donors had the opportunity to write a letter under the guidance of the Sopher. Eightythree men, including Mr. Morris Lederman, the President of the Federation of Synagogues, assembled to fulfil this great Mitzvah. On the following Sunday, 17th January (27th Teveth) the final letters were com pleted at the home of the Schul's President, Mr. Willy (Shlomo) Ungar. It was from here that the community's former Rav, Dayan P. Braceiner, carried the Sefer under the Chupah into the street. Accompanied by Rabbi Telsner, Dayan M. Fisher, a number of Rabbanim and over 400 men, women and children as well as a police escort, the Sefer Torah was carried one mile through
being held by the Elders of the community in two rows, and they welcomed the new arrival. Everyone packed into the Shul to hear Rabbi Telsner speak and to join in the Consecration Service conducted by Rev. P. Segal. Rabbi Telsner said that the ceremony per sonified the last two Mitzvoth in the Torah, the Mitzvah of HAKHEL (GATHERING) since this was an effort made by all, plus the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah Both during the procession and during the service, a choir from the Hasmonean Preparatory School sung and a Lubavitch instrumental group accompanied the sing ing. There were Hakofoth, dancing and singing and food and drink which even out did the merriest of Simchas Torah celebra tions. In the evening, 180 people attended a Seudas Mitzvah at the Michael Sobell Centre in Golders Green where the guest speaker was Rabbi Y. Lichtenstein from Jerusalem.
Dayan M. Fisher and Dayan P. Braceiner during the procession
Congra tula tions
The Editorial Board o f Hamaor extends sincere congratulations to:The Chief Rabbi, Lord Jakobovits, on his elevation to the Peerage; Dayan and Mrs. S. Herman on the engagement of their daughter; Dayan and Mrs. G. Lopian on the engage ment of their son; Rabbi and Mrs. M. Frydman on the marriage of their son; Mr. and Mrs. M. Lederman on the engagement of their grandson; Dr. and Mrs. I. Segal on the marriage of their granddaughter; Mr. and Mrs. R. Cooper on their Golden Wedding anniversayr; Mr. and Mrs. |. M. Gaus on their Golden Wedding anniversary; Mr. and Mrs. B. Morris on their Golden Wedding anniversary; Mr. J. M. Gaus on his 80th Birthday Mr. jack Davies on his 80th Birthday;
ow time flies when I recall that only in last Rosh Hashanah issue I had occasion to draw your attention to the forthcoming Centenary celebrations o f the Federation o f Synagogues. To those of you who, in the passage of time and with the blessing of the Almighty, will follow me in serxing the federation of Synagogues, may I express the ferxent nish that the next century xxill /** an era of peace, harmony and tranquility for us and the whole o f lenry worldxxide.
Communal Differences M y thoughts at this moment, dxxell on the prolonged and disturbing difference's which have caused so much ill fcvling and disruption xxithin Anglo-Jewry. I cannot help hut think that xxith the hitter and hor rendous sufferings o f the past, xxe haxe nett yet learned the lesson of unity xsithin our xery own people. If xse are, as xse claim, the ( hosen People’, now is the time for all ot us tet unite and xsctrk together xsith the sole purpetse of strengthening ctur religi ous life, Kashruth and ) iddishkeit in this country. Now, as nexer before, there is an urgent need for Orthodox religious and lax leaders tet set aside their different es one e and fttr all, and pool their efforts to at hiexe xshat is most desired - pc.K e, harmony and gcudxs ill for the present and sue c eeding genera tions o f Anglo-Jexxry, and to /** an example for world Jewry. We, the lay leaders o f the federation of Synagogues, are and haxe alxsays tteen ready to c o-operate and play an ac fixe rede in maintaining and strengthening religious life here and ensuring that our young people rc\ eixe lexxish education and enc ouragement, so that they may in time he of serxice to their communities where ver they may be established. As u r shall all he c ebbrating the feast of Pe'sac h tet c ommemorate the t xedus of our anc estors front Egypt after four c entruies ctf exile, let us remember that Most'S in his unenviable task as their leader had to c ontend xxith disunity caused by factions whet dared tet objec t to his leadership during their long sojourn in the it ildernt'ss.
The present state of Orthodox AngJoJewry with its inner conflict, to its own detriment, is sue h that unless exery effort is made to take immediate steps to reach the desired unity, it e it ill haxe c reated our oxt n 'wilderness ’ o f indifference xxhich will serictusly affect our future Orthcdox genera tions. On the exe Pesach, I am sure you xxill join xxith me and the Honorary Officers, together xxith the entire community of the federation o f Synagogue's, in extending our heartiest congratulations to the Chief Rabbi, Lord Jakoboxits, whom Her Majesty the Queen graciously elexated to the Life Peerage xxith the rank of Baron lakobetxits of Regents Park in Greater London. This is indeed a xery great honour, one xxhich has delighted Anglo-Jew ry and Jewish people throughout the British Commonxxeallh. It is a red-letter day in the history erf our people. We all wish him and the Ladx Jakotrox its, good health, happiness and prosperity long ter /** shared xxith their c hildre'n and grande hildren. On the exe of cmr great Festival, I take this oportunity ot extending to each and ex er yone in our Community and klal IsroeJ. l>c‘st it ishe's tor a kosher and joy ful Pesac h.
LO N D O N TALMUD TORAH C O U N C IL PRIZEGIVING
Th? annual Pri/e Distribution of the Lon don Talmud Torah Council was held on Sun day, March h, in the Conference Hall of Morris Lederman House. Rabbi M. Frydman presided and wel comed the pri/e winners, parents, and guests, headmasters and teachers. He spoke of the efforts being made by the Council to raise the standards of Torah education in their Centres and expressed gratification at the response. A report on the progress of the various Hebrew Classes and the encouraging response to the pupils as shown by the excellent results in the examination, was given bv the Director of Education, Davan Dr. S. Herman. In the absence of the Guest of Honour. Mr. Arnold ). Cohen, through indisposition, Mr. Morris lederman. President of the Fed eration of Synagogues, spoke of the sup port of the kehilla for the London Talmud Torah Council and their delight at the cur rent success of the pupils. The* prize's were distributed bv Mrs. A. Cohen who, in a brief address, urged the children to be diligent in their studies so that they could go out into the world armed with adequate Jewish knowledge to meet future problems.
O hel Shem Synagogue Members
of the Ohel Shem Synagogue, Millesden. which was founder! in 1945, decided at a meet ing last May that because of the drop in attendance's at Svangogue services and the closure several years previ ously of the Hillel House Sc hool accommodated in the building, to transfer all service's and other activities of the Congregation to the Willesden and Brondesburv IUnited) Synagogue in Brondesbur\ Park. It had originally been hoped that the Ohel Shem Congregation would hold separate service's in its new home but unfortunately, the number of congregants had continue'd to di'cline and a sufficient number could not Ik * mustered to ensure a >
regular independent minyan. It was c*vc*ntual!y decided, therefore, that they would pray together with the Willesden & Brondesbury Congrega tion. Apart from a brief experimental period during last year’s \amim Noraim. the first official joint service was held on Shabbath Terumah (Eebruarv 20) when a special kiddush markt'd the occasion. Mr. Simon krit/. the Senior War den of the* M ille*seie*n \ Brondc*sburv Synagogue paid tribute to the Pre'sident of the' Eenleration of Synagogue's and his colleague's who, he said, had demonstrated the goodwill that existed between the two com munities and had set an example for future communal co-operation.
In 1836 there was published in Altona, a volume bearing the strange title of Nineteen Letters of Ben Uziel. This anonymous work was from the pen of the young Rabbi of Olden burg, the Hamburg-born Samson Raphael Hirsch, later of Frankfurt fame, the centenary of whose passing falls this year. The Letters were translated into English in 1899 by the American jewish scholar Bernard Drachman. I first read them at the age of 20, being drawn to do so partly because I had found a copy in the Synagogue library in Harrogate where my parents then lived, and partly out of curiosity to know why anyone should write nine teen letters for publication as distinct from say a round twenty or the more traditional eighteen or thirteen.
T H O U G H T S O F A SA G E One was also interested to get to grips in his own words, albeit trans lated, with the thoughts of a sage whose influence one had heard about but by which influence one had not, as far as one knew, been affected. In fact, there are in this book eigh teen letters from "Naphtali Ben Uziel" (who is Hirsch) in reply to his youthful friend, "Benjamin". The latter's letter to his mentor is the first in the book and sets out most tellingly the doubts and anxieties of the new generation. Neither the older Anglo-Judaism nor the lore and outlook of the East ern European immigration had much time for Hirsch. Judaism seemed too radical for the former, and his ideas and style too strangely Westernised for the latter. Having read the book as patiently as I could, one particular feature struck me above all else. The skilled translator may not have got rid of the long sentences or the author's some times involved thought structure. The Letters may all too clearly have belonged to a somewhat remote age. Some of his ingenuity in expounding rationales for the mitzvoth may have had a highly-subjective air. It all seemed an acquired taste. But my
interest in the author was deeply aroused. The special feature which struck me was that on every page, one sensed that he was searching for answers to momentous and continuingly familiar questions. The ultimate simplicity of Hirsch's faith did not detract from one's appreciation that he had set about the task of protecting Jewishness. His seminal concern was that this was under threat. How was intellectuallyrespectable Jewishness to be secured against assault? What theses of Judaism were essential for distinctive continuity? What are the purposes of such continuity? In an age of rising scepticism and fashionable sec ularism, how is the Western well-let tered Jew to face these questions with self-confidence and self-respect? Such were the challenges, to encounter which Hirsch aspired to equip his readers. It is nowadays debated whether, in this and his later writings and in the course of his long and creative career, he advocated his famous combina tion of Torah and Derech Eretz as a measure for his times or as a general prescription for Judaism. There is dis cussion on how far the Yeshiva world requires or is influenced by his approach. There is argument about the acceptability of some Hirschian concepts to a Jewish world which has experienced the Holocaust and the creation of Jewish statehood. As events turned out, Hirsch was the progenitor of a significant body of non-Zionist and anti-Zionist opinion. Some of his daringly inventive etymol ogy remains controversial. Beyond all this, there is in Hirsch, a robust grappling with the age in which he lived. He made a con scious, systematic and highly-conscientious effort to come to terms with it without loss of identity or good grace. There was in him, an undauntable emphasis upon the centrality of serious Jewish education. Notable among those who have conveyed his legacy to the English-speaking world were his grandson, Isaac Levy, the London dentist who translated Hirsch's commentary on the
writings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, whose 100th Yahrzeit occurs this year, exercised considerable influence on contemporary Orthodox Jewish life and thought. Communities throughout the world were, and still are, modelled on the famous separatist Adass Yisroel Kehilla in Frankfurt-on-Maine, which he served and fashioned from 1851. In some respects, the aspirations of the young Federation of Synagogues paralleled those of Rav Hirsch and his Kehilla - for although the Federation's original founders stemmed in the main from Eastern Europe, where the religious outlook and mores differed markedly from Frankfurt Judaism - the first Rabbis of the Federation, notably Dr. Mayer Lerner (who was married to Rav Hirsch's granddaughter) and Rabbi Dr. Meier Zwi Jung, were both imbued with the Hirsc hian ideal of Torah im Derech Eretz and adapted his methods in their efforts to strengthen undiluted Torah Judaism in a liberal environment. Chumash, and Dayan Grunfeld whose retirement from the London Beth Din was followed by a series of translations by him (with introduc tions and notes) of Hirsch's major writings. In our day, when English is the lan guage of the bulk of the Jewish people, such presentations of Hirsch are of great practical value. We con tinue to have much to learn from his insights and analogies. Above all, we who face the self-same problems (though now writ large) cannot afford to dispense with the records of his sustained campaign to brave the new world. In introducing his translation of the Letters, Drachman wrote that if it should cause his readers "to pon der a little upon the meaning o f Judaism and its message to the world, my rew ard will be as great as I have dared to hope". There is much to ponder.
• Israel Finestein is President of the Hillel Foundation, a Queen's Coun sel, and a former Crown Court Judge. He is a member of the Council of the United Synagogue.
FRYDM AN PRO PERTIES LTD extend sin ce re greetings
to ’t x - w
for a happy and Kosher Pesach
Celebrating our Centenary T w o major events took place shortly after Succoth 5748, to m foundation of the Federation of Synagogues on 18 October 1887. On Sunday, 25th October 1987, the East London Central Synagogue in Nelson Street, Whitechapel, was the venue for a Service of Thanksgiving attended by the President and I tonorary Officers of the Fed eration, representatives of Federation Synagogues as well as the Honorary Offic ers of every major Orthodox community including the United Synagogue, the Spanish iN. Portuguese Jewish Congregation and the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Con gregations. Many other distinguished con gregants were also present.
Inspiring Address The Service was movingly conduc ted by the Rev. Pesach Segal, the Cha/an of Hen don Adass Visroel Synagogue, accom panied by a choir. In an inspiring address, the Emeritus Kav Kashi, Dayan Mu hael Fisher, paid tribute to the first Lord Swaythling, Samuel Montagu, who, Dayan Fisher said, had devoted him self to the* formidable* task of moulding out of their sc altered 'shtihlac h' ‘a central Synagogal body to cater lor the religious, <iiltcii.il and soc lal needs of those thousands of immigrants who wanted to recreate in then newly-found free land, the traditional religious heimishe' atmosphere* and c lunate they so clearly loved and cherished and were determined to preserve.* ten t h o s e refugees from the pogroms and persecutions of f/arisl Russia and Eastern Europe, Lord Swaylhling had proved to l>e a divine messenger who had ‘nursed, nur tured and cradled I n s creation which had giown into ,i tore e lor good in Anglo-|ewry under i t s own flag and its own identity Dayan Fisher spoke also of the 117 Rahhomni who had served the federation and its congregations over the past century, of whom lorty-nine were, thank C.-d either still serving the Federation Kehilla or had retired or left to serve other communities in this country and abroad Among the Rail* bonim of gieat fame and distinction who had passed away were* sue h as Rabbi Kook the late ( hiel Rabbi ot Israel, Oavanim Abramsky, Rapoport, Swift, Steinlierg (Tukovitsky, Rudnick Chaikin and Dr Kraus/, Rabbi ( ymerman and Rabin S/pet* man, the beloved Kav ot Nelson Street Synagogue for almost 40 years. All those* Rabbis had been dedicated to the task of te.u lung and preac hing a pure and unadult erated (udaism to packed congregations and had thus kept the spirit ot lorah alive. They were grateful to sue h spiritual leaders and mentors who had exercised tremend o u s influence on generations of Federation members. During the past four decades, changes had occurred in the life* of the Federation under new leadership, whu h was deter mined to <ontinue the work begun by lord Swaythling with even greater intensity and single-mindedness. In the* words of Isaiah in
A h,ipp> moment at the c elehratorv reception. From left: Mrs lederm a sjd o r and Mr lecierman.
that week's Haphlorah, they were resolved *to broaden the plac e of their tents, to siretc h forth the* c urtains of their habitations. to lc»ngthen their i ords and strengthen their stakc*sr Sue h aims were* not easily ac hieved. but it was thanks to the resolute* courage of the present leadership that, despite the obstac les and the uphill struggle, the Federation Kehilla had lieen provick*d with all the* needs and tac ilites to whic h an incJe|H*ndent c omnuinitv was entitled. Spec ial thanks wen* clue to the manhigim whose doors at 1lead Office were* always o|H*n lor emissaries from Fret/ Israel for h n h/akat ha lotah and innumerahk* worthy charitable causes. The* I relocation ol Synagogue's once* thought ol merely as a burial Soc My. had indec*d buried foundation stance to build shuls and sc boots. Yeshivol and hospitals It was thc*rc*lore partw ulady apt that i !h *( entenary Servke that clay had nuludecl Psalm 100. a Psalm of Ihanksgiy mg, for thanks y\rrr due to all those hi* had mentioned And to those* who posed Abraham s queslion shall one* who is a hunc!r«*d years old bear a child? the answer was that the Fed eration was very much alive, lull of vigour and strength as evidenced by its truillul activities over the last lew years. Dayan I isher VIid Ile noted a welcome change in the relationship between tile ( ftlhodox communities in the* Metropolis There were new leack*rs in positions of authority, some ol them the sons and grandsons of Federa tion founders, who telt warm sentiments tor the federation and admired the courage* of its leadership and who were hoping to breakdown the dividing walls and forge* closer co-operation Again in the words of the* Maphtorah they helped everyone h»s neighbour: everyone said to his brother. Be ot good courage*. I he Service inducted a recitation ol appropriate scriptural readings by the Dayanim of the Federation of Synagogues Beth Din. The Rosh Beth Din. Dayan / I Alony read the prayers for the Queen and the State of Israel. Dayan Dr, S Herman recited the following prayer in Hebrew and English, for the welfare* of the federation of 4
Synagogue's, especially composed for the
occasion: May He Who blessed our fathers. Abraham, Isaat and foeoh, bit's* Ibt» Spiritual Leaders the Honor ary ( hikers and Start. and a ll those w h o o ccu p \ them*ehe* m sincerity w ith tht' neetf* o l Iht *com m unity
and all those who have dt'xoted Ihemsehvs inward* tht* establish ment ami progress ot the Federation ot S\nagague> anti all those who *et up S n.ifcague* tor prayer and studs and tho*e who enter fhtw pray and ksirn. and a ll th e member* o i tht* keh illa.
Them their wives their son* anti tiiughter* anti all th.il i* theirs A in the Holy O n e . B lessed h e I k ' guard them a n ti deliver iht'm from .ill distress a n d sorrow and from a ll hurt am i *h kin's*. .m d *4'*h I blessing and su ccess ut*on a ll tht' work o i their h in d * a n d lengthen their t in * and years in goodness jn d m pk\i*+intnt'*s togt'tht* with all
Israel, anti k*t u* vii 4/nen.
Mr |.L ( > m v m u n propose-* the toast to the guests at the dinner.
FESTIVE R EC EP T IO N AN D BAN Q U ET O n November 1, in the magnificent set ting of the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly over 400 distinguished guests, representative of every major institution in the Anglo Jewish community were welcomed by the Presi dent of the Federation of Synagogues, Mr. Morris Lederman, together with Mrs. Lederman, to a celebration festive reception and banquet. Following loyal toasts to the Queen and the State of Israel by Mr. Maurice Caplin and Rabbi Meyer Frydman, Treasurer and Vice-President respectively of the Federa tion, greetings from the Jewish State were extended by his Excellency the Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Yehuda Avner, who warmly praised the Federation Kehilla for its staunch support for the Zionist ideal and its practical help to the Yishuv in Eretz Israel from the beginning of its establishment. The Ambas sador observed that the Federation had been created in the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee when Tzar Alexander III was Emperor of Russia. It was the Federation which had befriended the refugees from the country who were largely ignored by the British public at the time. In his toast to the Federation of Synagogues, the Guest Speaker, Dr. Lionel Kopelowitz, President of the Board of Deputies, said that the Federation's early success was due to its ability to represent the rights of the Jewish immigrants. He urged the Federation and the United Synagogue to embark upon a joint endeavour in London's outlying areas where the support of centrally-based com munities was needed. Such co-operation
man said he looked forward to an era of gre ater co-operation with other like-minded Kehillot so that, once again, their Synagogues would be filled not only on Shabbat mornings but throughout the week for prayer and Torah study. A toast to the guests was proposed by Mr. J. L. Cymerman, Vice-President of the Fed eration, to which Mr. Sidney Frosh, Presi dent of the United Synagogue, responded and congratulated the Federation on reach ing an important milestone in the history of any organisation. He too, looked forward to closer co-operation in the interests of still greater achievement in the years ahead. Chazan S. Samet of Ilford Federation Synagogue, recited Grace before and after meals. A small exhibition of photographs of Fed eration Synagogues and other memorabilia was mounted in the reception area by cour tesy of the Museum of the Jewish East End.
would strengthen their hopes for the future. In his response, Mr. Lederman, after wel coming the guests, gave thanks to HaShem for enabling him to be President at this Centenary Celebration after 40 years' ser vice as an Honorary Officer and President of the Federation. He referred to the difficul ties faced by their Kehilla during its first 100 years and detailed the Federation's achieve ments and the broad Kehilla network which they now enjoyed. This he said, included the guidance of their Beth Din; an educational organisation, the London Talmud Torah Council; the Lon don Kashrus Board; a regularly published journal 'Hamaor;' their Ezras Yisroel fund; and the annual Kol Nidre Appeal, whose proceeds were marked for specific projects in Israel. He mentioned in particular, the Dialysis Unit at Laniado Hospital and their new commitment to the Mother & Baby Convalescent Home in Jerusalem. Mr Leder-
mim. M il
Mr Maurice Caplin proposing the toast to the State of Israel at the dinner.
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01-472 4426/7 EXTENSION 24 UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF THE RABBINICAL BOARD OF THE LONDON SHECHITA AUTHORITY
Rabotis and Zayiras in Sepher lyyov JO B N EV ER E X IS T ED : TH E B O O K IS A PARABLE'
(b a b a
b a sr a is a
by Ellis Hillman,
sJcpher lyyov this its fair share o f Krees dnc/ Csivs (see Hamaor, Pesach 1747). It has also a number o f spec i.il letters whir li require explanation Thus in Chapter 7 verse 1, we find a diminutive gimme! in the word goosh in the phrase 'My both is infested with worms, *ind scabs cover my skin'. The word goosli ( t lod) ha* to bo seen in the context of the sentence and chapter. I loro wo hcive a realistic desc option of lob's illness. According to some commentators, the illness was elephantiasis, others black leprosy, or the* 'Oriental Disease' - still others, a psychiatric disorder. The letter gimmel is named after the* net k of the c amel whic h is pic (orally rep resented in the Assyrian alphabet. The undulating c urves of the hump of the c amel are expressed in the gimmel of the word goosh. Perhaps the author of Sepher lyyov is giving a graphic desc option of the disease from whic h |ob was suflering i.e. a clod of alar (dust or earth), in the shape ot an undulating hump whic h had contrac led or shrivelled hent e the minist ule gimmel in goosh Whether this is an a< lual dest option ot the undulating worms crawling under lob's shrivelled skin, as is the case with the <ondition ot elephantiasis, or a desc option o| some other illness, must (wrlorce lx* a matter tor c onjec lure.
IA K I IH I RO D I R< )M MY B A ( K In ( hapler 9 ol the same Sepher, we find an enlarged tel in the sentence let (Hashemi remove the rod [shiv to) from my back (verse 14). The simplistic explanation, that it has some connection with the fact that it is the ninth c hapter. does not hold as the present c hapler divisions were not intro<iu< I'd into the Tenac h until tlu* |5th c entury ( I I he c ommrntaiies remain silent in gen eral about this anomaly Only the Mini has shav suggests it is connected with the enlarged let comment mg Koheleth 7 - and associates lyyov with the saying a good name is better than good oil' (Tov shem mis hememn tov I. I he tef c ould relt*r to the nine blows whit h lyyov rec eived from Ha-Satan (the Adversary) who was given permission to do his worst to Ha-Shem s righteous ser van! but spare his life’ dob I to These blows were (i) the four disasters retailed to him by a succession of messengers (whom I have suggested could have been Tevach, Gac ham, lac hash and M aachah later in this artic lei (ii) the boils which were visited upon him by Satan; (iii) bis wife turning against him just when he needed comfort and support and (iv) his three friends Olipha/ the lemanite Bildad the Shuhite
and /ofar the Naamathite - who doubted his righteousness. This adds up to nine in all. A variant of this explanation is that all the nine* blows were from persons - (i) the tour messengers (4); (ii) the Satan (S); (iii) Job's wife (6) and (iv) lob's three friends (9). Another possible explanation links the enlarged tet with the* word Shevet tribe*. If wc* acc ept the* tradition that lyyov was the son of Dinah (according to one Midrash), she would lx* counted as the* ninth tribe, if the two sons of Bilhah arc* ignored. The* tribe of Dinah was not likely to 'accept' the* lineage of Rac hoi's concubine* Bilhah, even if she accepted Rachels children |o*eph and Benjamin. It we ac cept the other tradi tion that lyyov is Yovav. the son of Zerach. of the* family of Esau - here again it would seem that Yovav would lx* the son of the* ninth mix* of Esau. Zerach. paralleling as it were. Yaakov s children lx*ginnmg with Reuben ~ and ending with Benjamin
THI INSOLENT I OF ELIH U In chapter 12 we have Elihu son <>t Herat hel tlx* Bu/ite foaming at the mouth Ixx ausc* |ob had made himsell more righte ous than I la-Shem. and angry with his three tnends - flipha/ Bildad and Zofar bee ausc they had found no answer to Job and had let Ha-Shem appear in tlx* wrong (Job \2:2 4)
we reach verse 8 we read: 'You have your say and I heard vou; I have listened to the sound of your words. I am clean Uach ani) without transgressing; I am innocent tChaf Anochi), neither is there iniquity in me (verse 9). Here, he is 'quoting' lob. but a careful checking on lobs previous state ments reveal that |ob had made no such statement! Chat anochi with the small chet is to draw attention to the defectiveness or the word, sentence and meaning - for lob had never claimed he was 'clean' or 'inno cent Furthermore, the small chet is the equivalent of eight halve* or fractions, the eight phrase's which Elihu used addressing
lyyov. Perhaps, more significantly. Chat \nochi instead of the* expression ( hat Am is used. One cannot but notice that Snochi = 81 and with a small chef could add up to 80.8 it we regard c /**f as a dec imel of 8 It would seem that the author is trying to establish a gematrial equivalent between \mnhi and Chat The meaning then becomes more potent. Elihu is not only put ting words into Job s mouth whic h he never uttered, but was even ac cusing Job of think ing h im se ll pure and innocent like* Anochi (one of the* names of Ha-Shem). Again, it is interesting to note that the* word Chat appears only once and uniquelv in the Tenac h. and stgnifx antly in this semidiminished form
I him is re|H>rtixl as angry no less than
THE IDENTITY O F IYYO\ S MESSENGERS
three times with his friends, which explains |x*rhaps tlx* shalslx*lel alxm* va'im (*l am afraid*) We are told 'So Elihu, son of Herat hel, began to s|x*ak . I am young tTsa'irl in years and you (fix* three frk*nds) are old. that is why I held back from and shrank from displavmg my knowledge* in Iron! ol yout* dob 12 6) In t hapler 11, I lilui addresses lob direc lly and even insolently 'Come now |ob. listen to my words and attend carefully to everything I say' (Ibid 11 I). By tlx* time
I ollowing ) (a-Satan s (tlx* Adversary) plea to Ha-Shem to prove that lyyov was not a truly righteous man as he had been given a privileged position (see lob 1:9) - HaMx*m gave Ha-Satan permission’ to do his worst only spare his life* (Job 1:12). lyyov then sutlers a senes of tour calamities. First, lx* is told Its a messenger that tlx* Sabeans tSheva) had mack* a raid on his household and >fam his servants with tlx* edge ot tlx* sword (verses 14 IS). Secondly, lyy ov is told
M R . \ N D M R S . \l. I I I>» K M \ \ II \ l \N I II I I) ( . VKIM NS , N.NV 4
wish their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, mecliatanttn anil relatives, members o f the Beth P in , H onorary Officers and ( oim cil o f the federation o f Synagogues,
and Klal Yisroel a Happy and Kosher l\sach
Rabotis and Zayiras in Sepher lyyov that a fire from heaven had burned up his sheep and servants (verse 16). Thirdly, lyyov is told that yet another disaster had befallen him, that the Chaldeans had taken his camels and slain his servants (verse 17). And fourthly, lyyov was informed that a great wind from across the wilderness had come and smote the four corners of the house and his children killed i.e. had been crushed (verses 18-19). When we compare the sequence of these events to the passages in Bereshit which we are told (Midrash Rabba 57) refer to lyyov 'After this, Abraham was told 'Milcah has borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz his first born, then his brother Buz, and Kemuel the father of Aram, et seq (Genesis 2 2 : 2 0 , 21 ) .
We find a few sentences later, the enigma tic and apparently purposeless sentence: 'His (i.e. Nachor's) concubine, whose name was Re'umah also bore him sons: Tevach, Gacham, Tachash and Ma'achah (Genesis 22:24). None of the principal commen tators make any reference to the sentence, except perhaps a glancing one. Yet in the Midrash we are told that Rabbi Isaac said that all these names signify oppression. Tevach comes from Tabchon ('slaughter them'), Gacham comes from Gam chon ('burn them'), Tachash from Tachshon ('Silence them'), and Ma'achah from Ma'achon ('crush them'). Another explanation is also given that the four sons of Re'umah were named because Terach implies that Ha-Shem slew him; Gacham, that Ha-Shem burned him out of the world; Tachash, that Ha-Shem silenced him; and Ma'achah, that Ha-Shem cursed him. What is remarkable about these explana tions is that they fit perfectly into the sequ ence of events described in this grand open ing chapter of lyyov, for is not the first mes senger who brings the terrible tidings about the slaying of his servants at Terach, and sig nificantly the family of Job was having a feast at the time when the calamity occur red; the second messenger, Gacham, who brought the news of the burning from the fire from heaven - a form of lightning? Of Job's sheep and servants, the third mes senger, Tachash, who brings the bad news, the sad news, of the last of Job's camels and the 'servants' who were slain, and thus silenced and covered (the shrouds covering their corpses); and the fourth messenger, Ma'achah, who brought the tragic tiding of the whirlwind which smote or crushed the four corners of the house and killed all his children.
YESHURUN PUPILS EXCEL AT LONDON TALMUD TORAH COUNCIL EXAMINATIONS O n Sunday, December 13, the large Hall adjacent to the Yeshurun Synagogue, Edgware, filled to capacity with parents and relatives of pupils at this reputed Torah Centre in the N.W. London area for the Annual Speech Day and Prize Distribution. The Guest of Honour was Rabbi R. Kahan of the neighbouring Adass Synagogue, and Rebbetzen Kahan distributed the prizes.
MOSHEL' Rabbi Kahan kept pupils and parents enthralled with a beautiful 'm oshol' explain ing why we celebrate Chanukah over eight days when the oil was required to last for seven days only. The Headmaster, Rabbi Y. Greenbaum, reported on the examination successes, saying that his pupils had excel led at the June examinations of the London Talmud Torah Council. He also spoke about other educational activities which had taken place during the year, and stressed that the Yeshurun Cheder placed equal emphasis on educational progress and success, as on liv ing Judaism, offering pupils the opportunity to enjoy and experience the colourful spec trum of our Yomim-Tovim throughout the year. He expressed thanks to Mr. N. Carton for his devotion and organising ability. The Headmaster also pointed out that on the question of 'bringing peace into the world', his signing of some 60 Award Labels might have more positive results by helping to spread Torah knowledge in the world, than the much-publicised affixing of the sig nature - about the same time —at the White House in Washington! "Whilst they are planning to abolish intermediate missiles with doubtful success," he declared, "we propose the strengthening of our inter mediate-level syllabus studies at the Cheder. Our short-range defence system is our Pre paratory Examination, and instead of the
long-range missiles, we have our Advanced-level examinations, the studies for which will B .E .H . have a long-range effect on the pupils engaged in this vital task, for the time when they will continue their Jewish studies during their formative years and after!" Towards the end of this memorable morn ing, Mr. R. Gibbons and Mr. M. Miller of the Parents' Association, surprised the audience with the presentation to the Headmaster and his devoted staff of a newly-purchased photocopy machine which will be used for educational purposes at the Centre.
Pre-Chanukah Display Also present were Dayan G . Lopian, the Rav of the Yeshurun Kehillaji and Mr. M. Gordon, Chairman for the past four years. Mr. D. Frost, the Co-Chairman, presided over the proceedings, and Class One, under the direction of Mrs. S. Brackman, enchanted the audience with their short but impressive pre-Chanukah display. Apologies were received from Dayan Dr. S. Herman who was to have represented the London Talmud Torah Council at this event, for his sudden inability to attend, but he sent his best wishes.
'T H A N K Y O U ' X h an ks are long overdue to Mr. Lou Morrison and Connie Shack for pro viding free refreshments every year for the Examination candidates of the London Talmud Torah Council who usually sit the examinations in the dining hall of the Kosher Lunc heon Club. There is no doubt that with the incentive of crisps and orange juice before their eyes, the hardworking candidates work twice as well!
GROSVENOR ROOMS TH REE LUXURIO US BANQUETING SU ITES A V A ILA B LE with catering by Johnnie Michaels for 50-400 guests
S u p e r v i s i o n b y t h e L o n d o n K a s h r u s B o a r d a n d B e t h D i n of t h e F e d e r a t i o n o f S y n a g o g u e s
Postscript It is extraordinary that the writer of these lines happened to be reading the first chapter of the Book of Job and 'establish ing' the connection between the genealogy of Re'umah and the succession of disasters that befell lyyov - on the night of Simchat Torah 5748, the night of the October 1987 Hurricane!
WALM LANE, LONDON NW2 01-451 0066
FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES 5748-1988
Laniado Hospital Dialysis Unit The battles in Lebanon have critically affected Israel's health and med ical services. Doctors, surgeons, nurses and auxiliaries are at the front; back home they must cope with the extra casualties. At Laniado Hospital resources are stretched to the limit, but sick and wounded continue to be treated —irrespective of religion or race. We in Britain must play our part. Financial help can lessen the burden.
recent visitor In the laniado Hospital was Mi. Max Wooll, President of Aliavat Shalom Federation Synagogue*. Neasden I le writes: As our community is aware, it was decided Iasi August at a representative gathering ot Constituent and Affiliated con gregations of the Federation of Synagogues, that the proceeds of the 1l)81 Kol Nidrei Appeal should he earmarked to provide the I aniado t lospital in Kiryat San/, a suburb of Netanya, with .1 much-needed Dialysis Unit. V is it o r s W e ir t im e Our Synagogue collected !(>(»() towards the Appeal during the year prior to our visit to the hospital We subsequently received a thank-you letter Irom the Director ui the hospital, uniting anybody travelling to Israel to visit it
During May. my wile and I were on holt(lay in Israel and meeting two prominent couples from our community. Mr and Mrs Plascow and Mr and Mrs. Abrahams so we then dec ided to at t epl this invitation, The Laniado Hospital is situated in north Netanya, a ten-minute ride from the city centre of Her/I Street and Independence Square \\v were received there by the Director. Rabbi M S Fisemann. a most charming and helpful man who could not do enough tor us After showing us the Hospital, he took us to the unit where there was a plaque indicat ing that the facilities had been donated by ,hr federation of Synago* London There were three dialysis mac bines in use and we chatted to the patients undergoing treatment. We were also shown newborn children in the maternity unit, two oi w hom were in incubators, The hospital is actually situated in kiryat San/, which is a very Orthodox area We
saw how in the kite hen. ihe table lops were reversible so that one side could lx* used for meal and tlx* other lor milk There were also spot ial gadgets lor use* on Shabbat so that patients do not have to ring a lx*ll or switch on a light to atlrac I tlx* nurses' attention. All in all. it was a most interesting visit and we had the satisfaction oi seeing how the money we had donated was spent. Ii was very well spent indeed? Rabbi tisemann told u> be was always happv to meet visitors from the Federation
Kehilla We left tlx* hospital with tlx* feeling we had been able to help in a small way anti that we would try to do still better on the next occasion. •
Remember - Every Penny Donated ------— — goes to Israel
PESACH CROSSW ORD
Clues across 1. 3.
We have these on Seder night G-d took us out with an outstretched
This is the sort of water we have on Seder night The name of a wilderness, also what you should not do These are bitter on Seder night.
Clues down 1. 2. 4. 7. 8.
BIBLE STORIES IN RHYME
He brought us out of Egypt We must not have this on Pesach The Hebrew word for this is "ISH ff "Belongs to" The Hebrew word for this is "O"
Answers on Page 24
The years passed on swiftly Till Isaac was old. He called Esau to him And thus he was told:
"Bless me my father", Sais Esau at last Not knowing that Jacob Had only just passed.
"Hunt me some meat To make me feel strong, I must give you the blessing, I've not very long".
"I cannot" said Isaac "I've given it already" On hearing these words Esau felt quite unsteady!
The years passed by No children they had So Isaac and Rivka Became very sad.
Esau dashed off, Saying with glee "The blessing's not for Jacob It's only for me".
"My brother, the cheat! He has wronged me again. Not for the first time He's caused me such pain".
They prayed to the L-rd As hard as they could, And out of it all At last came some good.
Meanwhile Rebecca On hearing all this, Said to herself "Now something's amiss.
At long last, his father Blessed him also as well, But Esau, his anger Could never quite quell.
And Rivka with joy Two children did bear. They were the answer To tears and to prayer.
Jacob is holy And holds the birthright. The blessing should be his, For this I must fight".
He knew that his blessing Was not as good as his brother's Though to his father, the favourite Jacob, his mother's.
The oldest called Esau Jacob the other From earliest days Rivalled brother to brother.
Isaac was blind And so could not see So Rivka decided To plan what could be.
He went away angry Determined one day to kill, His very own brother No matter what will.
As Jacob grew older He liked sitting and learning, While Esau to hunting And fighting was turning.
She disguised her son Jacob To seem like his brother, He took meat into Isaac As Esau, no other.
So Jacob decided He'd have to leave home. On his mother's advice For a while he would roam.
Jacob was loved most By Rivka his mother While Isaac preferred Esau the brother.
"Your voice sounds like Jacob Said Isaac surprised, And Jacob stood trembling In garments disguised. 44You feel hairy like Esau
Jacob & Esau
One day, after hunting Esau came back O f eating and drinking He sorely did lack.
Said Isaac amazed. Not knowing the answer He felt rather dazed.
He saw Jacob cooking And said I must try To eat of that food O r else I will die.
He gave him the blessings O f all that he could. As Jacob was holy He knew it was good.
"Have it" said Jacob "Take a good bite. But first you must sell me The Holy birthright".
He left very quickly Then Esau came back Saying: "Here my good father I've brought what you lack
The bargain was made And Esau then hated The birthright of prayers Which for Jacob was fated.
As these words were spoken Isaac trembled with fear He guessed what had happened As Esau drew near.
* * * * * *
S ee how many words you can make
using the letters of the word PESACH (e.g. PEACH, CHEAP etc.). Send them in to the Director of Education, London Talmud Torah Council\ 9-11 Greatorex Street, LonÂ don E1, with your name, age and address and there will be a prize for the entry with the most words.
Samarian Journey by S.W. ST U A R T
H i^ h up in the hills, haIf-way bet ween Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and roughly in the centre of the territory of Samaria, stands the religious settle ment o f Neve Tzuf. It owes its origin to a handful o f pioneer volunteers who, one night in 1978, took over the disused British police fort at I Jalamish, whic h overlooks the Sama rian I tills. I Juddled together in this former police ( ompound v\ ith only the most primitive of facilities, II families began the task o f building a new set tlement. Each occupied only one room, flu* work was arduous and the neighbours' were inhospitable But their determination to succeed over( ame their many hardships. Today those pioneers ran proudlv see the results of their labours The thriving and expanding township has a population ot over 110 familit'* there is some local industry, but many c omrnute into lei M ix or lorusalem to work, returning eaih i‘\ening to a pretty little town ot varit'd architecture colourful gardens and with breath taking views over the surrounding c ountrysule
Bride of place in the township is take'n by the new Bet Haknessel, tin* lust to be purpose-built in Samaria sine e the* Six I Xiy War ot 19h7. I had been m c ontac t professionally w ith onc%ot the pioneering volunteers tor some' time and subsequently we In r ame friends. Visiting him in 1981 I saw the makeshift juemises which were' u sed as a Bel I laknessit and the hole in the' ground where it was hoped that tin* new Synagogue
would stand. / saw; too, that the com munity urgently needed a Sefer Torah. On my return to London. / enquired from our President. Mr Morris Lederman, whetlnv it would l e /nissihle to let this struggling kehilla have one ot tin* Sifrei Torah which the* Federation ot Synagogues had in sale*-kenning from a now dis used l ondon Synagogue To his great cre'dit. tin* Presidents immediate reply to me was 'Belter i! should lx* iiM*d in Israel than Ik * unused here*. So it was that I was able to take to Neve T/ul a Seter Torah and to pre sent it to tin' sutlers on behalf ot tin' Federation The journey to Isr.H'l was particularly easy I know o f no better way to f kiss through the* usual rigor ous baggage' c het k o f FI AI than to carry a Sefer Torah! Meanwhile\ tlnre had been a setbac k to the plans of tin* settlement The foundations ot then new Bet I tak ■ m'ssi't had been laid, but then money had run out and them sexmed to be no wav that li e building u m ld he' finished Fortunatelv after a delay of tim e years a benefactor was tound and the' /ilans finally came to fruition I In' divination ot the' Bet Itaknessi't and ot the Silrei Torah look plait* on lag Ba'Omet 1987, in the pre sence ot Can ernment Ministers members ot the Krtesset and other prominent Rabbis and public figures
INI M A(»NIH( I N I Nt\\ ( I M K l
I was particularly proud and thrilled to represent the Federation of Sv nagogues at the ceremony: Lag Ba'omer dawned bright and sunny and the* bus journey to the set tlement was uneventful, despite the circuitous route through the territories which wtre experiencing a period of some* unrest. After the addition ot some Iasi fetters, the' Sifret Torah were carm'd in proe«*ssion through the* *e'ttlennnl streets prve eded by score's ot singing and dancing youth and accompanied by the' joyous congre gation Overhead hen ered an -\rmv he'litopte'r and soldiers kc'pt a watch ful i'vt' from vantage* points. The• pro cession wound ih wav to the nt'w building and the' Sifrev Torah were* kmI rex minify in the' h,ind*omt' rie'w Aron Hakodesh Then follow exf readings cit Mishnayot Tetilfet and finally a Se'udat Mitsvah at whuh rrutny greetings wive e*pn*ssed and congratulation* to the' kt'hilla on its fine new building which not onh includes a be'autitul Syikigogue dex orated by feadmg Isr.R'Ii artists and mating bOO people. but also house's a Bet Hamexlrt'sh a kindergarten and the* community c enlre* ol tin• settlement I fett the* teremonv after the* celebrations I thought how approp riate it was tor the* Federation ot SytMgogues to be' a&$€* iait'd xyith the' birth ot a o n i Be't Flaknesset in Israel in its ( emtenarv >tw, The' Seier Torah, which once lay m an East Enel nagogue and now has an hon oured plae e in a thrn ing settlement m the' Samarian hills still be'ars the»mantfe donated by the* La dle's Guild ot the Lomfen shut littfe did thosc* Ladle's think that then generosity or ye'slervear would continue' *e> tar away from the'ir London home's
• lhi* author i% lilt* Vice*President ol Ilford Federation Synagogue and an Hon. Officer of the Federation of Synagogues and foint Treasurer of it> Burial Soviets. He mm lives in Jerusalem has ini* gone on aliya in l‘»l ..
Why Should I Listen to the Rabbis of Old? s
ome years ago, I heard a pre-Rosh Hashana talk given by the Rabbi L. Gurwicz ztl (the Gateshead Rosh Yeshiva), in which he related what he had heard in the name of Reb Chaim Volozhin ztl. Reb Chaim said that the one phrase in the liturgy that filled him with terror on the High Holydays was I'hogeh de'os baDin - "To him who activates minds in judgement." He then explained why he would always break down crying when he reached this point in the Service. He said as follows: Our Tefillin and M ezuzos are the same as those of our ancestors, and in the practical performance of the Almighty's Commandments we may not be less observant — but can we say the same about the thoughts that go through our minds? Are they the same, or does our attitude to HaShem and His laws bear little or no resemblance to our illustrious forebears?
THE THOUGHTS IN OUR MINDS If this question was valid well over 100 years ago when Jews were so much more devout and pious, how relevant must it be today - particularly when we consider our attitude towards the Oral Law and other fun damentals of Jewish belief. How often do we hear a devout and con scientious Jew make a remark that indicates his cynicism or scepticism towards the Tal mud or Rabbinic Law! For even a so-called "frum" Jew might regard Talmudic Law as being simply a Rabbinic interpretation of the Written Law. This is not so. Let us try and understand what role the Sages play - do they have the authority to interpret the Bible and then teach that interpretation to other Jews, or do they merely explain the law according to the teaching that they received from their men tors? One of my colleagues told me of a man who had obtained permission to trade in the market each Sunday in the provision made for Jews who have religious objections to working on a Saturday. One Saturday morn ing, the police noticed that he was trading on Saturday and on Sunday. When the trader was questioned, he thought he could talk his way out of trouble. Fie told the policeman: "I have received special dispen sation from the Beth Din to work on Satur day". This anecdote makes us wonder how anybody could be so arrogant as to pretend that he had a Rabbinical dispensation to vio late the Holy Sabbath! On innumerable occasions, I have heard stories - which I do not believe - from people who claim that their father or grandfather was told by the Rabbi: "It doesn't matter if you work on Shabbos - if you need to earn a living, you can't be expected to close the shop on Saturday". The error in these claims is that the Rabbi is not like the Pope. He does not have the right to change the Law in that way. Let us see why Rabbis do not have the
by Rabbi Y. Marmorstein authority to alter laws to accord with the times or modern circumstances. What should one reply when somebody asks: "How can it be wrong to carry a Tallis to ShuI on Shabbos morning? It isn't work!" answer this in the following way. 1 work every Shabbos, although I claim to observe the laws of the Torah. The Torah does not tell us that it is forbidden to work on Shab bos - it says you may not perform a Melachah on that day. This is a Hebrew word that has no exact English equivalent. It
is a technical term which can be clearly explained in this way. At the time that the Almighty dictated each word of the Chumash to Moses on Mount Sinai, He did not simply instruct him which words to write down and their spelling, He also told Moses that this term refers to any one of 39 different activities that are forbidden on Shabbos. They are all of equal status and when committed wilfully they carried the death penalty (see Exodus 31,14). This has nothing to do with Rabbinic interpretation
SOME PESACH RULES 1
M aotChittim cron rnya
It is customary to distribute money or gifts of food to the needy before Pesach, so that all our brethren should be able to celebrate the Festival and the Seder Service. Passover Products
Only such Matzot, wines, foodstuffs and all other Pesach commodities should be purchased as bear the Passover Hechsher of a recognised Rabbinate. A mere label “Kosher l’Pesach” is not a Hechsher. 3
M'chirat Chametz pDTI flTOQ
It is obligatory to dispose of all leaven in one’s possession before Pesach and not later than one hour after the Hafsakah (see para. 6). Chametz which is not destroyed must be sold to a non-Jew. The sale is usually arranged through a Rav. 4.
Bedikat Chametz fCn njTTa
The search for Chametz in the home should be made after dark on the evening before Erev Pesach, evening of Tuesday, 22nd April. The full procedure and the blessing are printed at the beginning of the Haggadah. 5.
Fast o f the Firstborn □***1133 IVjyn
All firstborn, and fathers of firstborn sons under 13, are obliged to fast on Erev Pesach, April 23rd. However, in most synagogues a Siyum is arranged after the Morning Service, and those participating are thenceforth permitted to eat. 6
No Chametz may be eaten after the Hafsakah, this year 9.57 a.m. on Wednesday 23rd April. 7.
B iu r Chametz f&n TJJ’3
All Chametz must be destroyed or sold to a non-Jew and Kol Chamirah recited (see para. 6) by 11.28 a.m. 8.
Kashering o f Utensils nVyan
Utensils should be “kashered” before 10.00 a.m. New utensils require T’vilah. 9.
Eruv Tavshilin P^’Enn 3TIS
As the second day of Yomtov falls on Friday, an Eruv Tavshilin should be made on Erev Yomtov, Wednesday 23rd April. The laws relating to Pesach are many; the above is only a brief out line. I f there is any question or doubt , especially with regard to the kashering o f utensils, a Rabbis advice should be sought.
Why Should I Listen to the Rabbis of Old? of the Biblical text. These activities were chosen and defined by G-d, the Author of the Torah. They were not chosen by the Sages. My job as a Rabbi does involve working on Shabbos, but the work does not have to involve any of those 39 forbidden acts, therefore I may work on Shabbos and you can too, provided that your work does not involve any of those proscribed activities. If somebody carries his Tallis to Shul or ( arries his front-door key in his poc ket on Shabbos he is not "working" but he is doing a MeLichtih and has therefore viol ated one of the Ten Commandments! We eat h have a brain and possess some intellectual ability. This is (3-d given and it would be wrong to suppress this facility by discouraging independent thought. If that is the case, why should we obey the laws that the Sages have taught us? let us first dis pense with a common misconcepotion about the nature of our religion. We do not revere Judaism lx*r ause it is old anti has withstood the test of time. If we wanted to be old-fashioned we might as well worship gods made of wood and stone. As we say in the Passover Magadah: ’Originally our ant estors were idol-worshippers"! That idolatry is an old-fashioned faith Our l>eliet is mut h more modern and up-to-date When discussing the absurd breakneck speed of prayer in most Shulx, some con gregants respond by telling me: * This is the
way it always was" and it is now traditional to race through the words of our Divine worship. That argument is ridiculous and is no reason for us to perpetuate something which is clearly disrespectful and hardly likely to inspire anybody participating in communal prayer.
NO VALID HUMAN INTERPRETATION We revere tradition only if we can be that the source of the Law is reliable. If that source lay in the mind of another human being there would be no reason to argue that Jewish Law must remain unchanged. But we can show that the Torah was given at Sinai by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. We are able to prove that I te did not pro vide the Jews with a cryptic book that was open to unlimited interpretation without an ( )ral Tea< hing that adds a detailed clarifica tion of each and every part of that l>ook Logic tells us that this must be so. It would, for instance. lx* quite meaningless and foolish to say to Moses: Tell the Jews to make frontlets between their eves* What arc* frontlets? And what on earth should we do on Yom kippur when we are told to attTic t ourselves on the tenth of the month ? Should we spend Yom kippur stic king pins into our fingers? \ o f there is no doubt, nor is there a valid human interpreta tion of the* Torah G-d taught M o m *s every Law and these explanations, which were subsequently handed down from teacher to IHipll I.ilmudic debate t enlred on i lauty mg the* details of that tradition which, having
been transmitted orally, were no longer uniform. Since the Torah was always practiced and studied, its traditions could not be acciden tally or deliberately altered. Our conviction that it is worth keeping is not because the Torah is old but because Its Author created the Universe. We do. nevertheless, take heed of the Sages even if they make it clear that they introduced a particular Law (e g. observing an extra day of Yomtov in the Diaspora), because G-d told us to listen to them.(Deuteronomy 17). If not for this instruction, we would ignore laws invented by man unless we «ic cept them for their effi cacy and value. Once these concepts are proven and appreciated, we can hope that not onlv will our Torah observance continue to follow the paths of our ancestors, hut in addition we w ill begin to understand v* ny the times must tit the Torah, and the Toran does not need to tit the times. _ _ _ The sear 1988 is the quint en ten ars of the b o th of Rabbi Joseph Karo (1488-1575). Rabbi K aros m onum ental w ork, the S h u k h a n Aruch ( The P repared Table ) to gether w ith its superco m m en tariev rem ains the prim e source to this d a \ for H alach k guidance and decision in ritual, personal relationships and com m units adm ini stration for Rabbis. schoJars and iasm en alike. Based on earlier codifications b> Ra\ Y it/chak Alfasi. M aim om des ( ‘ Stish neh T o r jh ‘)f and Rabbi laco b ben Asher f A r h j ah Turim 'i, it e n c a p su lates the O ral law of lew ish tradition, tran sm it ted from generation to generation since Moses, as it applies to the lew ish nation and to each indi vidual lew Indav (See h r i c t 4 i o U i ) . Rabbi M arm orstein s article, printed above, explains the p re-em inence of the O ral law ( fofJth b ‘\ ! >in lewish
Xhe annual Chevra Kadisha Service of the Federation of Synagogues Burial Society, was held in the Great Garden Street Synagogue, on Thursday 7 Adar (February 25). The congregation included the Rosh Beth Din and Dayanim, Rabbonim and Ministers and the President and Flonorary Officers of the Federation of Synagogues, as well as members of the Chevra Kadisha and their families and representatives of Federation Synagogues. The address was given by Rabbi Yehuda Marmorstein, Rav of the Ilford Federation Synagogue, who opened by quoting from an Address delivered by his ancestor, Rabbi Avrohom Shay, on a similar occasion 139 years ago. Why was it, asked Rav Shay, that Ya'akov when instructing his sons about his burial, referred to the sacred task as chessed v'emess - loving kindness and truth. The existence of humanity in this mortal world, he explained, depends on chessed; it could not continue if the Middas HaDin - the attribute of Justice - held sway; but after the rectification of Adam's sin, at the time of the revival of the dead, Man will return to the lofty heights of truth, to his state before the expulsion from Paradise. The chessed performed for the dead is confir mation of our belief in the revival of the dead and the ultimate victory of truth. This was Ya'akov's meaning. Rabbi Marmorstein referred to the paradox that the solemn day of the Chevra Kadisha - when some Chevros fasted and visited the graves of those
they had buried during the year - was fol lowed immediately by a festive Seudah, and even more so that it was held during the joyful month of Adar. The Talmud coun selled one tempted by his evil inclination to try to overcome the temptation by studying Torah. If this did not work, he should try reciting the Shema. If that failed he should remind himself that he would die one day. Why, it can be asked, if the last men tioned resort was considered the most effective, should one bother with the first two? The answer was that thoughts of death did not necessarily prevent sin or lead to repentance. On the contrary, some re-act by extra indulgence (eat, drink, for tomorrow we die!). It is only when pre ceded by Torah learning and the humble acceptance of G-d's dominance that the Yetzer Hora can be confronted by thoughts of mortality. We must combine the solemn awareness that a time of accounting will inevitably come, with heartfelt gratitude that we have been given the opportunity to perform G-d's Commandments and to realise that through them we acquire eter nal life. SEUDAH Mr. Morris Lederman, President of the Federation of Synagogues, presided at the Seudah which followed the Service and spoke of the recent celebration by the Fed eration Kehilla of its Centenary and its struggle for recognition as an independent kehilla which still faced them at the begin ning of their second centenary. Dayan Z.J. Alony, Rosh Beth Din, stres sed the aspect of holiness in the functions of the Chevra Kadisha and related it to the need for holiness in daily Jewish life through the observance of kashrus. He declared that the London Kashrus Board of the Federation of Synagogues, supervised kashrus to the very highest standards. Dayan P. Braceiner referred to the dan gers of reformist attitudes to the future of Judaism, and Rabbi M. Frydman, Vice-Pres
ident of the Federation, stressed the role of the Federation of Synagogues in the maintenance of Orthodoxy in the Anglo Jewish community. Mr. L. Gayer, Gabbai of the Chevra Kadisha and Treasurer of the Burial Society, paid warm tribute to the members of the Chevra Kadisha for their devotion and con scientiousness and mentioned that they also spent time in the study of Torah. Mr. J. L. Cymerman, Vice-President, expressed thanks to the guests and Mr. Bruno Marmorstein responded. The Chairman thanked Rabbi Marmor stein for his inspiring sermon, and his col leagues, the Honorary Officers, and staff of the Federation, for their hardworking co operation. Rev. I. M. Braier conducted the bensching.
MR. J. SHAFRAN Mr. Michael Goldman writes: "Mr. J. Shafran, who died shortly after Rosh Hashanah 1987, after a lengthy and debilitating illness, was the Secretary of the Ohel Shem Synagogue and latterly of the Emet V'Shalom (Maida Vale) Beth Hamedrash. In his full-time capacity, Mr. Shafran was a Senior Administrator for the Stoke Newington Borough Council and brought to his Synagogue post a high level of administrative ability and efficiency. He was unfailingly pleasant and courteous to all, and was much beloved by his congrega tion. He continued secretarial work despite his gradually worsening illness, and showed great courage and perseverance in endeavouring to keep his work up to date. He was greatly admired by all who knew him. An Obituary relating to Dr. Alan Morgan is on page 21.
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A JEWISH HERR DOCTOR' IN BERLIN, 1938 set out again for Leipzig to see the responsi ble official. He was understanding and friendly but he could only advise me first to get the necessary authorisation from the Saxony Ministry of Health in Dresden. I went there the same afternoon. Again the officials were quite sympathetic but after consulting a number of large tomes, they could not make sense of the rulings whether lews could or could not be granted a docto rate. However, they finally agreed to let me have a document stating that if the Leipzig University were to do so, they would have no objections. Armed with this document I arrived back one hour later. 'This was not quite what I would have hoped for', said the well-disposed Leipzig official, but he then decided to risk his neck and admitted me to the necessary oral examination. This proved a formality. There were 20 of us. The examining professor inquiring about my future plans wished me luck; and the only difficulty turned out to be a 'Heil Hitler' salute given by all participants after a final rousing speech. I was saved from embarassment by standing at the extreme right of the candidates next to the door, quite unable to move my right arm. I disappeared from the hall as quickly as I could, but I had the cer tificate! Encouraged by Prof. Bonhoeffer's friendly attitude I asked him whether he could have my thesis published in a psychiatric or neurological journal? He was, in fact, editor of various leading journals, but he felt that no German magazine at the time could dare to publish an article by a Jew. He advised me to condense my lengthy outpouring into a much shorter version and to send it to a (Jewish) friend who had, a few years earlier, transferred his publishing business from Ber lin to Basel; Bonhoeffer himself would write to recommend the publication of my paper. The paper appeared in fact in the Karger Verlag's new publication 'Confinia 'Neurologica' early in 1938. It took almost 50 years before I could manage to refer to my thesis and the sub sequent paper in recent letters to the Lancet and the British Medical Journal.
KA RL B O N H O E F F E R - A R IG H T E O U S G E N T IL E In 1937 I did not understand Bonhoeffer's kind and friendly attitude, taking obvious risks for a man in his position on behalf of a Jew. Lhe matter became clear only years after the War. Bonhoeffer was a passionate anti-Nazi. Because of their attitudes and ac tivities, two of his sons (Inc luding the fam ous theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer) and two sons-in-law, were murdered by the Nazis a few days before the end of the War. Ten years ago I happened to meet a grand son ot Prof. Bonhoeffer. At sc hool in the late 1930's we were taught one thing' he* told me, 'but at home, my grandfather taught us the exact opposite!'. It turned out ater that Bonhoeffer had helped many of
his former Jewish colleagues. However, when a few months after the War had ended, he sent a paper to a leading medical journal in Britain dealing critically with the theme of 'Leader's personality and mass psychosis', the paper was returned to him because no papers by a German would be published'!
K R A N K E N H A U S E D ER J U D IS C H E N G E M E IN D E 1937/38 After finishing the thesis I started work as a Medizinalpraktikant, a medical dog's body, at the Berliner Judische Krankenhaus. It still was a great hospital with a famous past but embattled at present and facing unsurmountable difficulties with great cour age and ingenuity. The medical standard was very high, not surprising, seeing that the leading positions were occupied by men who not long ago were directors of the university clinics. Because of the political climate, however, the atmosphere was often depressing with most of doctors and nurses continually racking their brains to find ways and means to emigrate. Some suc ceeded, such as the Surgeon Prof. Rosenstein, the gynaecologist Dr. Joseph and the paediatrician Prof. Schiff. However, the most famous doctor at the Jewish hospital, Prof. Herman Strauss, who since 1910, had
directed the 'Internal Diseases' Department, like so many leaders of German Jewry, refused to emigrate and ended up in Theresienstadt concentration camp. When in April 1938, Strrauss celebrated his 70th birthday, the doctors at the hospital pub lished a 'Festschrift'. Working at the gynaecological department at the time together with a senior colleague I contri buted a paper describing a recent operation by our boss, Dr. Joseph. We were keen to see this paper also published in a medical magazine but Dr. Joseph told us to wait 'till after his emigration. Because of this, the world at large unfortunately never had occa sion to benefit from the fruits of our labour. Work was interesting but hard at the hos pital and working hours long. In particular, in the obstetric-gynaecological department one was often called upon to do extra work even if officially it was one's day off. Abor tions in this difficult period were plentiful, but the obstetric department was also busy delivering children. Many years later, in this country, I received a phone call asking me whether I remembered having assisted in the delivery of a baby in the Berlin Hospital in 1938. Fortunately, as this was probably my first delivery, I did recall it. It turned out that the mother, a 16-year-old Jewish girl from Silesia had been raped by a Jewish boy who badly wanted to marry her. Later she had become a nurse at the hospital. She was deported to Belsen in 1944. There, she nearly died but was saved by a non-Jewish
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English soldier whom she subsequently mar ried. They came to live in London and she took her son (who then was 7 years' old) with her. He later fell in love with a London Jewish girl and wanted to marry her. The Beth Din wanted evidence that he was the son of a Jewish mother and for once my memory was of some help.
PAINFUL EXPERIENCE Naturally, there were also painful experi ences. O ccasionally, prisoners of the G es tapo were admitted and kept under G es tapo observation. And there was the o cca sion when a three-year-old girl was admit ted with early signs of broncho-pneumonia. O n adm ission, she did not seem seriously ill but she deteriorated rapidly and although many senior doctors worked hard to save her life she was dead within 24 hours of admission. Antibiotics were not yet availa ble as it was still a few years before the dis covery of Penicillin. It is impossible for today's generation to appreciate the therapeutic revolution brought about by the advent of antibiotics. Penicillin was the first and a refugee from Berlin, Ernst Chain, made a vital contribution to its discovery. Incidentally, in the late 1930's, another group of drugs, the Sulphonamides, were found to be highly effective against bacterial infections (the famous M and B w hich saved Churchill in North Africa was a member of the Sulphonamide group of drugs. The first Sulphonam ide, 'Prontosil', was found to be so effective as to arouse great hopes for the eradication of many dangerous illnesses, including the venereal disease gonorrhoea, which was then very widespread. No previously-available drug had had much effect
on G onorrhoea, whereas the more severe Syphilis often (though not always) responded to the drug Salvarsan (disco vered in 1911 in Berlin by the Jewish Nobel prize-winner Ehrlich). O ne of the famous Judische Krankenhaus doctors, the der matologist Prof. Buschke, during a demonstration to Berlin's Jewish doctors, was able to 'console' us: 'Gentlem en, you don't need to w orry that Prontosil will ever eliminate G onorrhoea, just as Salvarsan has failed to eliminate Syphilis'! Com paring training in Germ an and English medical schools, I believe that G er man medical students formerly finished with more theoretical knowledge, but that stu dents in this country gained much more practical experience. But the presence of so
many gifted and outstanding senior doctors at the Berlin Judische Krankenhaus gave us junior doctors a chance to learn a great deal in spite of the sinister clouds gathering on the horizon. My practical year at the hospi tal w hich began in Novem ber 1937, cam e to its end in Novem ber 1938 - the month of Kristallnacht, when all over G erm any the Synagogues went up in flames.
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BOOK REVIEW FEDERATION O F SYN A G O G U ES 1887-1987 by Dr. Geoffrey Alderman ome organisations in Britain and abroad publish "Official Stories", trying to present the great achievements of the bodies con cerned. The book under review is a different kind of study. The author shows scholarly objectivity describing both the positive and negative elements in the long history of the Federation of Synagogues - one of the major Anglo-jewish institutions. Dr. Geoffrey Alderman, who is Reader in Politics at Royal Flolloway and Bedford New College, University of London, does not confine himself to generalities. He describes the historic background which led to the establishment of the Federation and the various factors which influenced its development during 100 years. The Organisation was established by the immigrants from Eastern Europe - victims of Tsarist persecution - who remained true to their Orthodox beliefs and the ideas of social justice; they opposed the policy of assimilation propagated by the prosperous long-established Jewish families who were deeply concerned about the "separatist ten dencies" of the newcomers. In a way, the various conflicts between the United Synagogue - established in 1870 - and the new Federation, had the character of a class-struggle between the Jewish middle
classes and the immigrants in Whitechapel. The author quotes the "Jewish Chronicle on September 28th, 1888 as follows: " If poor lew s will persist in appropriating whole streets to
From Samuel Montagu to Morris Lederman
themselves in the same district: if they will conscientiously perse vere in the seemingly harmless practice o f congregating in a body at prom inent points in a great public throughfare like W hitechapel or Commercial Road, drawing to their peculiarities o f dress, o f language and o f manner, the attention which they might otherwise escape, can there be any wonder that the vulgar prejudices o f which they are the object should be kept alive and strengthened?" Many ot the official Anglo-jewish leaders kept aloof from the new immigrants, but a number had tried to help. One of them was Samuel Montagu, a wealthy man who became, in 1885, M.P. for Whitechapel
and, later, a Baronet (1894). He ended his life as Lord Swaythling - a title he acquired in 1907.
SU PPO R T FO R Z IO N ISM The Federation of Synagogues has always been a practical body anxious to meet the requirements of its members. But Dr. Aiderman shows quite clearly that the institution never confined itself to pragmatism-neglect ing ideological issues. Outstanding has been the devotion of the organisation to the Zionist cause - even at a time when the offi cial leaders of Anglo-Jewry advocated antiZionist policy. In February 1894. the Federation acquired the services of the famous Maggid (Preacher) Chaim Zundel Maccoby (18581916) who was a staunch supporter of the Chovevei Zion ("Lovers of Zion") Move ment with which Samuel Montagu himself had a certain sympathy. Both, later, turned against Dr. Herzl's ideas. In spite of this, the Federation has a historic record of support for political Zionism, the J.N.F., the Keren Hayesod and the struggle for a Jewish State. Since 1948 - the last 40 years - its links with Israel have been very close. In Britain, the organisation played an important part in helping the establishment of Zionist Day schools. It is today an integral part of the
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Book Review W h e n in 'Io w an l/ v t iy n o b British Zionist Movement and is represented at meetings of the Zionist Congresses and the "Actions' Committee". The Federation of Synagogues has also played an active part in the Board of Deputies and the establishment of the W .J.C . British Section (in 1936). In spite and, perhaps, because of its effi cient m achinery and deep devotion to the ideas of Orthodox Judaism, it has remained "the voice of the people". It is characteristic that its Head Office remains in W hitechapel. It is also one of the very few Anglo-Jewish bodies where the Yiddish lan guage is treated with love and great respect.
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A FASCINATING PICTURE The book under review gives a fascinat ing picture of the Federation's leading figures. It depicts their great achievement but also relates the failures of Louis Samuel Montagu, the organisation's second Presi dent, and of the dynamic M .H . Davies, the Mayor of Stepney, whose splendid public activities had a tragic end. Dr. Alderman is right in devoting many pages of his study to the activities of Morris Lederman — the current President, who has led the Federation during the post-war period. He is a member of the Board of Deputies' Executive and a well-known figure at Zionist Conferences in Jerusalem. The "Lederman House" in the East End of London is one of the few important Jewish centres in present-day W hitechapel. O f considerable interest are the book's illustrations and the Bibliography section. It ends with the following significant words:
'The contracting and ageing mem bership of the Federation must continue to be of the utmost con cern. The author would like to suggest, however, that out of this weakness a source of strength may be discerned. There is within the younger generation of Anglo Jewry a new spirit of commitment to Orthodoxy and, at the same time, a view of past generations which is rightly critical of, for example, the high status accorded to wealth and the prevalence of self-perpetuating oligarchies. Now, the Federation can offer a ready-made communal structure which most certainly is not part of the Anglo-Jewish establishment. This offer should be made gener ously, unashamedly and without delay../ W hile some of these views may be co n troversial, Dr. Alderman wrote a splendid book. It will be w idely used by students of British Jewry.
U n d e r Hoe supervisioto o f THE LONDON KASHRUS BOARD & THE BETH DIN OF THE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES ( , "TTe O W iY■ supervised m ild ly IK +K< 2. are a
Tel. 01-2470039 OBITUARY
DR. ALAN MORGAN Mr. Sam Synett writes: Dr. Alan Morgan, who died last November, was a leading and highly-respected member of the Ilford Community. He was born in Warsaw and was five years' old when his family came to London. He was educated at the Latymer School and at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School where he obtained the degrees of M.D. and M.R.C.P., specialising in cardiol ogy. But his caring attitude to the practice of medicine induced him to go into general practice.
Devoted to Torah He was brought up in an Orthodox and Torah-learning home and in his youth attended the Yeshivah Etz Chaim where he continued his religious and Talmudic studies to which he devoted himself throughout his life. On taking up residence in Ilford in 1958, he became a member of the Federation of Synagogues. Despite a large and busy prac tice, his sense of communal responsibility led to his immediate involvement in the affairs of the Synagogue. He served succes sively on its Board of Management, as Chairman of the Education Committee and
as Chairman of the Board of Management and on relinquishing this office was elected on Hon. Vice-President of the Synagogue. When the new Synagogue was built, he was mainly responsible for ensuring that adequate classroom accomodation was provided. He had a penetrating mind enabl ing him to get to the root of a problem, and his contribution to deliberations, often interspersed with an appropriate quotation from the Talmud, was always invaluable. In the community, his wisdom and com passion were widely recognised and his advice was often sought and readily given. Alan Morgan had great qualities of heart and mind which endeared him to all who knew him. He will be greatly missed by his friends and colleagues; the Ilford commun ity and in particular by the Kehilla of the Ilford Federation Synagogue. He leaves a void which will be hard to fill, but his exam ple and influence remain.
He is survived by his wife, Eva, two sons, David and Martin and daughter Ruth, to whom our profound sympathies are extended.
W n w n w ’v w w
COVENTRY ROAD - Reflections over 60 years he 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Ilford Jewish community is an apposite time to record its history. At the turn of the century there does not appear to have been a recognisable Jewish presence in Ilford and it is probable that Jews began to go eastward out of London, only after the First World War. In the main, they settled around the Broadway and the shopping area around the station and their religious needs were met by travelling to the Synagogues in East Ham, Manor Park and Barking. The development of new housing in the Valentines Park Estate to the north of Valen tines Park, brought a migration of commut ers to the area and by 1927, three men bound by a common desire to start a local Shul and a common trade - they were cabinet makers - decided to hold services locally. Messrs. Weinstein, Lebetkin and Swersky met at the house of the latter at 316 Perth Road, holding Sabbath services fairly regularly and soon attracted some 50 families. They then started a small Hebrew school at Cranbrook College for which they received some help from the Jewish Religi ous Education Board. High Holy Day ser vices were held in the Cranbrook Hall.
H O U SE PU RCH A SED This situation could not last for long and the members of the Ilford and Valentines Park community, as they became known, looked around for some suitable premises whic h could be converted into a Synagogue in which a cheder could be housed. Negotiations for a house at 5 The Drive failed and eventually a house at 16 Coventry Road was pure based. There was not a great deal of money available and the Federation of Synagogues, to which many of the mem bers were affiliated, was approached for help. I his was immediately forthcoming. I his loan, together with a mortgage taken out by the founders, resulted in the purch ase and adaptation of the house in 1928, and in 1929 the new Ilford and Valentines Park Synagogue was opened for services, together with a I lebrew school. The appointed Minister, the Rev. C,. R. Bloch, also acted as I leadmaster and Secretary. Because of the loan, the Synagogue became affiliated to the Federation of Synagogues Burial Society, but it was largely autonomous in the running of Shul affairs. It appears from the records that the Manage ment had great ditlic ulties with regard to the finances, payment ol employees and servic ing loans through contributions, and had to be helped out either by individual members making donations on an ac/ hoc basis or by organising concerts at various theatres. Indeed muc h ol the time at Board Meetings was taken up by disc ussion of finance, although it seems that no decision was ever made regarding an increase in contribu tions. I here was also frequent bickering amongst the officers and regular resigna tions (subsequently withdrawn!), because of
the seating in the officers' box which was built to hold four. There were five elected officers, President, Vice-President, two War dens and a Treasurer, and difficulties arose when all of these gentlemen attended at the same time! By 1933, a secretary and two teachers had been appointed, increasing the finan cial strain, and it was not unusual for them to forego their salaries on occasion. The Ladies Guild, which had been formed some time previously presented the Synagogue with a Sefer Torah and vestments. Jewish awareness at this time was heightened by the coming to power of Adolf Hitler and news ot antisemitic measures began to trickle out of Germany. Coventry Road members were prominent in attending demonstrations and holding meetings dur ing this period and seeking action in these matters. Because of their East End origins ancJ there having been a special ward for Jews in the London Hospital, an attempt was made to open a Jewish ward at King George Hospital, but as with so many schemes at this time, the initial enthusiasm waned when it came to fund-raising. It must be remembered, however, that these were the days following the Depression and membership had increased to only 73, even though there were some 200 Jewish families living in and around Ilford. Some of the younger members of the community felt the need for a centre where they could meet and they formed a social club which met at 16 Coventry Road. It was officially opened by Lady Reading in 1935. At the same time, a Young Israel group was founded, also based on the premises. Ideas, though, can only be brought to practicality by hard work, devotion to the particular cause and a definite direction being taken; in other words management and money were both required. Unfortu
nately, neither were adequately available and the project gradually petered out. Around this time, one of the previous Presidents, exasperated with the stagnant position regarding growth of the Synagogue, approached the United Synagogue and suggested opening a new Synagogue in Ilford. This was greatly
by DR. I.M. SEGAL, Life Vice- President, Ilford Federation Synagogue
opposed by the members and in view of the very small numbers involved, the U.S. did not follow up the suggestion. Nevertheless, Mr. Oppenheim founded the Cranbrook Park Synagogue, which met in a house in Gaysham Avenue, but which also met with antagonism. Indeed it is possible that the new seedling Shul would have died of inani tion but for the fact that an officer of the Ilford and Valentines Park Synagogue felt affronted by the manner in which the fun eral of a member was carried out and began a campaign for disaffiliation from the Feder ation Burial Society. A letter was sent to the 200 known Jewish families in Ilford seeking their opinion about the founding of a United Synagogue in the area. Only 55% of these people replied and only 22 other replies were received. Although a small majority were in favour, no action was taken because of the small num bers involved. The campaign was continued and by the beginning of 1936, the United Synagogue agreed to the suggestion and the Federation was asked to arrange for the Shul’s disaffiliation from the Burial Society.
The Members of
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By April 1936 the loan to the Federation was repaid and those members wishing to remain within the Burial Society arranged to meet elsewhere for prayer. Services were then held in the home of Mr. A. Rudolf at 36 Argyle Road, pending negotiations regard ing the ownership of 16 Coventry Road. Lengthy discussions took place until eventu ally it was agreed that the ownership was vested in the three original trustees, who decided to hand the property over to the United Synagogue. The Synagogue now joined with the Cranbrook Park Synagogue and was renamed the Ilford District Synagogue, while the new Synagogue, w hich, for the time being was holding ser vices in Argyle Road, was now called the Ilford and Valentines Park Federation Synagogue, a name which it retained until 1962, when it became the Ilford Federation Synagogue. It had some 60 members, 39 from the previous Synagogue and 21 new ones. Because of this politicking there was a good deal of apathy and dissatisfaction among the younger people and the social club slowly died from lack of interest.
C H ED ER O PEN ED Reverand Bloch who had been employed by Ilford District Synagogue had his Ministry terminated in October 1936 but the Federa tion opened a Cheder which attracted 28 pupils. Housing the children presented a problem and so the Synagogue rented 53 Coventry Road, which now became the temporary Synagogue and classes. Because many of the members of the newly-formed Ilford District Synagogue were living around the Gants Hill area, they decided to purchase a building in Beehive Lane and 16 Coventry Road became vacant for a short w hile, while arrangements were made for a loan from the Federation for its re-purchase and the Federation Synagogue re-opened for services in 1938. High Holy Day services had been held for the previous two years in the Kensington Hall, which belonged to the Witnesses and then in a hall attached to St. Andrews Church in The Drive. After necessary repairs and decorations were com pleted, the one and only Brit Milah to take place in the Shul occurred, the wife of Sid Kaye having been confined in the Devonia Nursing Home at 18 Coventry Road. Meantime, the country was gradually drifting into war and there was an equally gradual shift of jew s from the East End, so that by 1941 there were about 100 members and a cheder of two classes w hich met twice-weekly under the headmastership of Rev. G . R. Young. The services were ably led by judah Goldstein whose delightful voice is still remembered by some of the older members and by Lewis C ain, a most capable and efficient Baal Koreh and w ho, I am pleased to report, is still living in retire ment in Westcliff. Much of what occurred during the war years is not known in detail, other than by individual recollection as the records were destroyed by fire, but it was recorded that there was a Ladies Guild in 1942; that visit ing Am erican soldiers were present during the High Holy Day services at w hich a Mr. I
Nodel acted as an officiant. What is certain is that it became difficult to collect Shul dues. O ne very ingenious method was to get the local butcher, Max Gam se, to collect contributions when the ladies came along to purchase their w eekly meat ration! 1945 saw the end of the war and many of the East End jews who were bombed out there and moved to Ilford, decided to stay. At the same time, many young men were released from the Forces and there was an upsurge in Shul membership so that the pre mises were no longer large enough to accommodate members for the High Holy Day services. Discussions began to take place regarding rebuilding or the purchase of larger premises, but because of the lack of financial planning, no money was availa ble for this purpose. There was a feeling of desperation that the Synagogue and classes might fail, but fortunately a few enthusiastic younger men began to take an interest in Shul affairs. Bernard G reen, w ho was a schoolmaster, was appointed Headmaster of the Cheder, and together with a few keen young men, organised an Education C om mittee whose job it was to raise funds for the classes. The introduction of new amenities reflected itself in an increase of membership and now it became imperative to take some action. A marquee was hired and attached to the French w indow s at the rear of the Synagogue, providing space for some 50 additional seats. It was not, however, very convenient nor comfortable and there are still several of the older members who recall sitting on folding chairs with wet grass underfoot. But such was the spirit that pre vailed, that the discomfort led only to a greater determination to improve matters.
GREAT C H A N G ES Between 1947 and 1951 great changes were taking place within the management of the Shul and under the leadership of Sam Synett, who is still Life President, a Building Fund was started. Rev. Goldstein became the full-time Chazan and the membership roll increased from 180 to 1948 to 216 in 1951, when it was decided to purchase and erect an extension to the Shul w hich was capable of seating an additional 100 w o r shippers on the High H oly Days and pro vided two extra classrooms for the Cheder. This was at the time of the Silver jubilee of the Congregation in 1952, when the number of children on the roll was approaching 140! Success bred success. Coventry Road always had the reputation of being "The Friendly Shul" and careful attention to housekeeping meant that the books were
always able to remain in the black, and so further improvements were sought. W hile Rev. Goldstein performed some of the pas toral duties of a Minister, the Shul had not had a spiritual leader since the departure of Rev. Bloch in 1936. Rev. Isac Nodel who was the Assistant Minister to the West End Great Synagogue in Dean Street, Soho, was well-known to many of the Ilford com m un ity and a "call'' was issued to him in 1956 which was accepted. I am very happy to note that he remains in good health and still serves the Synagogue as Emeritus Minister. The Congregation was now becoming the victim of its own ambition and success, and with the membership now in excess of 300, it was once again beginning to burst at the seams and rebuilding became of supreme importance. No. 14 Coventry Road was on the market, but the price was beyond our means, while any effort made to raise money was nullified because of inflated house prices.
REV N O D EL BECOM ES M INISTER At this point, Rev. Goldstein moved to Westcliff and Rev. Nodel undertook the task of Minister, Chazan and Headmaster. Fortunately, changes had also taken place at Head O ffice. There was now a group of forward-looking men in charge who were anxious to alter the former image of the Fed eration as just a Burial Society, to becoming an important Kehilla in Anglo Jewry. They closed non-viable Synagogues and used the proceeds to erect new Synagogues in the newly-emerging areas. The Federation advanced money for the purchase of 14 Coventry Road, w hich was to be dem olished, together with No. 16, and a new purpose-built Synagogue erected on the site. This meant that the Ilford and Valentines Park Synagogue, w hich was affiliated to the Burial Society, ceased to exist and was now to be known as the Ilford Federation Synagogue, a Constituent Synagogue of the Federation of Synagogues. After much negotiation, the property was bought, plans were drawn up and dem oli tion began towards the end of 1960. The last Barm itzvah held in the "old Shul" was that of M axim Segal, w ho is currently the C hair man of the Synagogue. Arrangements for the continuation of services were made through the kindness of Sid Dolties, who lent his home in 101 Coventry Road for morning and Friday evening services. Shabbat and Yomim Tovim services took place in a hall w hich was put at our disposal by the
THE PRESIDENT AND HONORARY OFFICERS OF THE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES EXTEND BEST WISHES TO THE EMERITUS RAVRASHI, DAYANIM, MEMBERS, STAFF, FRIENDS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND TO KLAL YISROEL FOR
A Happy and Kosher Pesach
Minister of the Baptist Church in Wellesley Road and the classes met at Christchurch School. By the time that the foundation stone was laid by Sam Synett, membership had increased to 400.
FIR ST M A IN S E R V IC E I he first main service were held for the Yomim Noraim even though the floor was still rough concrete covered with coconut matting and the congregation were seated on folding chairs. We were honoured on this occasion by a visit from the then Chief Rabbi, Dr. Israel Brodie (later Sir Israel Brodie). Next came the upper walls and the roof and then began a race against time. The Barmitzvah of Julian Synett, the son of the Pres ident, was due to take place in January 1963 and it was the wish of everyone concerned that it should take place in the new Shul. The floor was hardly sc reeded; large fans were brought in to dry it out; parquet was laid and the whole process was completed about an hour before Shabbat. The new Synagogue was officially opened on 9th February, 1964 by Dr. I. M. Segal and in his address, the late Rabbi Cymerman expressed the hope that it would have ever-open doors - not solely lor Shabbat and special services but every day, so that it would serve the community in many ways. It is with great pride now, that not only are there regular Minyanim the Hebrew Sc hool is flourishing, but a large number of organisations meet on the premises - a fullillment of Rabbi Cymerman's hopes. Meanwhile membership continued to grow and the burden carried by Rev. Nodel increased. It was, decided therefore, to appoint a C hazan to conduct the services. The Synagogue had been fortunate in hav ing had the help of some of the finest Chazanim in the land, including Rev. Stan ley Brickman, who eventually went to South Africa, the Rev. Geoffrey Shisler, who is now at Kenton Synagogue, the Rev. Len Sober, who moved to Westcliff and the Rev. Brian Segal who is now at Palmers Green Synagogue. In our current Diamond Jubilee Year, we are fortunate in having the services of the Rev. Simon Samet. In 1977, the Shul celebrated its 50th Anniversary amidst much rejoicing and a week during which most of the congrega tions using the Shul pul on some entertain ment. There was further cause for celebra tion as it was at that time that wc* passecJ the 700 membership mark. Still the growth con tinues and wc* arc* currently blessed with a membership of 9 10-950 families, many of whom are ot second and even third-genera tions. In 1984, Rev. Nodel retired and was appointed Emeritus Minister. In 1981 a tall had been made to Rabbi Yehuda Marmorslein, who at that time was Minister of a community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He accepted and has intro duced a new spirit ot observance and learn ing, not only in the Synagogue. For his influ ence has extended throughout the whole Ilford Community. It will have been evident to the reader
that few names have been mentioned in this history - not out of disrespect or disregard to the numerous men and women who have put in so much time, energy and money to achieve what was done. Rather it is that they are so numerous that there must be the danger of leaving out someone. I hope that they will take pride in the know ledge that their's was a task well done. Their reward and memorial lies within the four walls of 16 Coventry Road. The fact that people meet in prayer and study, their chil dren and grandchildren come to be taught, the elderly come for company and comfort with the Friendship Club and JACS; the blind, the single people and youth organisa tions meet in the building which they erected. What a tribute - but please, not a Matzevah!
evening with many of the "old members" coming along to discuss the 'Old Days'. The next landmark will be our 75th birth day and the coming 15 years will add to the "16 Coventry Road" story.
JU N IO R CO RN ER Answers to Pesach Crossword
N EX T L A N D M A R K
The Diamond lubilee Celebrations fol lowed the pattern laid down ten years previ ously - an Al Jolson Night, followed by a Brains Trust, then a talk on the Jews of the East End - a special Shabbat Service, a M lava Malka and finally a service of Thanksgiving and Rededication. In early December, a Dinner and Dance
1. 2. 5. 6. 9.
1. 2. 4. 7. 8.
Moror Arm Salt Sin Flerbs
Mosheh Oats Man Its Or
NOTICE TO TH E PU B LIC THE P U B LIC IS IN FO R M ED THAT P A SSO V ER FO O D S MAY BE O BTA IN ED FROM TH E U N D E R L IS T E D S U P P L IE R S , W HO ARE S U P E R V IS E D BY THE BETH DIN O F TH E FED ER A TIO N OF S Y N A G O G U E S AND HOLD THE LICEN CE OF THE LONDON KA SH R U S BOARD. T R ID EN T FO O D PR O D U C TS Unit 6, M illm ead Industrial Centre, M illm ead Road, Tottenham , London N17 9QU
Tel. No. 01-808 3316
'GOODIES' 188-190 Kenton Road, Kenton, M iddlesex
Tel. No. 01-907 0159
'S T E V E 'S ^ D E L IC A T E S S E N 228 Station Road, Edgw are, M iddlesex
Tel. No. 01-958 7340
ELIKO FO O D D IS T R IB U T O R S LTD (C H EE S E ) Unit D, A sh ley Works, A sh ley Road, London N17 9LJ
Tel. No. 01-801 4311
P L E A S E NOTE: Apart from fresh foods prepared on the supplier s own prem ises, all Pesach goods m ust bear the H echsher of a recognised Rabbinic authority.
THE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES DERASHOT IN HALACHAH AND AGGADAH WILL BE DELIVERED ON SHABBOT HAGADOL, MARCH 26, AS FOLLOWS: Dayan G. Lopian
Rabbi Y. Marmorstein
ILFORD FEDERATION SYNAGOGUE
Fenhurst Gardens, Edgware
Coventry Road. Ilford
Dayan I. Gukovitski
Rabbi A. Greenberg
WEST HACKNEY SYNAGOGUE
Upper Clapton Road, E5
Amhurst Road, E8
Rabbi M. Flax
Rabbi A.F. Herling
EAST LONDON CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE
Woodstock Avenue, NW11
Nelson Street, El
Rev. L. Mockton
Dayan C.D. Kaplin SHOMREI HADATH SYNAGOGUE
WALTHAM FOREST HEBREW CONGREGATION
527 Finchley Road, NW3
Boundary Road, E17
Rabbi B. Blau
Rev. L. Gayer
STAMFORD HILL BETH HAMEDRASH
FIELDGATE STREET GREAT SYNAGOGUE
Lampard Grove, N16
Fieldgate Street, El
Rabbi Z. Telsner
Rev. H. Daviest
FINCHLEY CENTRAL SYNAGOGUE
CLAPTON FEDERATION SYNAGOGUE
Redbourne Avenue, N3
47 Lea Bridge Road. E5
Rev. M. Gingold WOOLWICH & DISTRICT SYNAGOGUE
Anglesea Road, SE27
THIS LOBBY HAS BEEN DONATED BY h
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The Editorial Board of Hamaor extends sincere condolences to:-
r r a n
THE COMBINED KOL NIDREI APPEAL OF THE FEDERATION OF SYNAGOGUES, LONDON THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT MR. MOSHE LEDERMAN, TVl
abbi N. Rosenfeld, Director of Bayit Lepletot, Girls Town, Jerusalem, sent this picture of the plaque that has been made up for the endowment of a lobby in the new Mother and Baby C o n valescent Home by the Federation of Synagogues' combined Kol Nidrei Appeal. "We are hoping that you or some of the members of the Feder ation will have the opportunity to come to Israel and visit us too, so that they can see the entire project... projects that can con tinue because of the support that we get from such understand ing friends as yourselves. "In the merit of your continued charitable work, may you be blessed with good health and success in all your good endeavours. O u r best wishes to all of you."
Mr. S. S. Levin, on the loss of his wife Dr. G . Alderman, on the loss of his father and his brother Mrs. M. Alderman, on the loss of her mother Mrs. H. Balkin, on the loss of her father Mrs. Ray Jager, on the loss of her mother The family of the late Mr. ). Shafran (former Secretary of Ohel Shem Synagogue), The family of the late Dr. A. A. Morgan; The family of the late Mr. B. Kushner (for merly President Montague Road Beth Hamedrash); The family of the late Mr. S. Mendel (Warden, Notting Hill Synagogue); The family of the late Mr. J. Templehof (Warden, East London Central Synagogue).
Is There a Mitzvah to Write a Sefer Torah? The Torah commands us in Sefer Devarim (ch. 31 v. 19) "write for yourselves this song". The Gemara Sanhedrin (21 b) explains that even if a person has left a Sefer Torah to his son, the son is still obliged to write his own Sefer Torah since the Torah commands "write for yourselves". The Gemara Menachoth further exp lains: If someone buys a Sefer Torah he has fulfilled the Mitzvah at its lowest level, however, if one corrects a Sefer Torah, one has fulfilled the Mitzvah at an average level. Furthermore, if one either personally writes or hires a scribe to write the Sefer Torah, then it is as if one has received the Torah from Mt. Sinai. Both the Rambam and the Sefer HaChinuch explain this Mitzvah as above. In Shulchan Oruch (Yorah Deah, Siman 270) the Halacha is also explained as above, however the Mechaber (author), adds that today it is a Mitzvah to write Chumashim Mishnayoth, gemaras etc... Let us analyse this. Is the Mechaber tel ling us that there is no Mitzvah to write a Sefer Torah today? The source of this statement is from the Rosh. Exactly what the Rosh means is dis puted between the Beis Yosef and the Perisha (these are both famous commen tators on the Tur). The Perisha explains that the Rosh is say ing there is no Mitzvah today to write a Sefer Torah. Only many years ago when people actually learnt from Sifre Torah was one obliged to write one. However, since we do not learn from them now, we are instead, obliged to write or have printed Mishnayoth and the like.
The Beis Yosef explains that the Rosh is merely adding that as well as the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah there is also a Mitzvah to print Mishnayoth etc .. He con tinues that this must be so because we can-
by Daniel Levy not simply disregard an explicit command of the Torah. The Sha agas Arieh rejects the words of the Perisha simply because the reason for this Mitzvah is not necessarily in order to learn from the Sefer Torah; the proof being from the Gemara mentioned above, stating that if one inherits a Sefer Torah, one is still obliged to write another. It the reason for this commandment is in order to learn from the Sefer Torah, well, this person has just inherited one, why should he have to write another? Thus the Sha'agas Arieh concludes that there is indeed no Mitzvah whatsoever to write one. He says the reason is because today our Sifre Torah are not accurate. We may thus conclude that there is a clear dispute as to whether or not there is a Mitzvah to write a Sefer Torah. Let us accept (for argument's sake), that there is a Mitzvah to write one. However we are taced with another problem. The Pisehe Teshuva says that if a number of people want to write a Sefer Torah in partnership, it is doubtful whether or not they have ful filled the Mitzvah, because as the Torah writes, "Write for yourselves."
m e m o rp Michael and Jane Caplin
Perhaps it must be totally by the indi vidual, or maybe the Torah does not specifi cally mean totally by the individual. Finally we are faced with one more prob lem. Let us accept that a Sefer Torah can be written in partnership. Even so, it is only the person who writes the last letter who fulfils the Mitzvah. This is so because the Gamara mentioned earlier said that if one corrects a letter, then one has fulfilled the Mitzvah. This is only so because when the person wrote the letter, he completed the Sefer Torah. It is therefore obvious that if someone writes half a Sefer Torah he has not fufilled the Mitzvah. Only the person who writes the last letter has fulfilled it. Consequently how can a Sefer Torah be written in partnership? In fact the solution is simple. The partner who writes the last letter writes it on behalf of all the partners.
May one purchase Sifre Torah and Sefarim with Tzedaka? In Shulchan Oruch (Yore Deah Siman 249) the Rema states in the name of the Maharil: "One may not perform a Mitzvah with ma'aser (tzedaka). For example, one mav not buy candles for a Shul but the money must be given to the needy." The Shach and the Taz quote the Maharam of Rottenbourg who writes: "Any Mitzyah which comes to your hand if you are unable to fulfil it i.e. you cannot afford it, then you may perform the Mitzvah with money from tzedaka." The Pische Teshuva explains that if a per son has already given three times to the poor then automatically in the future, the needy have rights to that money. Con sequently it may not be used to perform a Mitzvah. To solve this, one may make a con dition before one gives to the poor that if one so wishes at any given time, to use this money for another cause, one may do so. (The ( hasem Sofer also wrote this in a Teshuvah.) The Poskim add that if one does buy Sefarim from tzedaka money, if one has not other means, then one is obliged to write in the Sefer that it was bought from tzedaka. Furthermore, everyone is entitled to use these books bar none. Finally the Oruch HaShulchan (who seems to be the only one of this opinion), says the above mentioned is not so simple, because if one can buy books with tzedaka why can't one buy an ethrog for Succot or a talith or tefillin from tzedaka money? Thus the Oruch HaShulchan concludes that one should try and keep away from this leniency.
• Daniel Levy is studying at Gateshead Yeshivah. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Vidal Levy, of the Feder ation's staff.
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