Friday, July 04, 2014

The end of חושן משפט in Germany


Mussar from Reform over חוקת הגוים

Excerpt from the American Israelite, from 1857:

In the polemics over Reform, the representatives of Reform took endless delight in pointing out innovations accepted by the Orthodox in one place, but not in others. 

Bonus points because "Rhinehessia" is a pretty cool name.

Rav Gifter's youthful 'ambition' and more

Hirshel Tzig posts this fantastic find, Rabbi Mordechai Gifter's yearbook photo in the 1933 edition of the Elchanite.

The rather interesting inside joke says that his ambition is to the "Chief Rabbi of the Hitler regime."

In the class Who's Who, he's listed as the "Class socialist," which apparently sheds light on his 1933 politics.

Here's a very interesting account by R. Gifter's son about his father's transition to MTA from a Baltimore public high school, and success once there, link:
“My father told me that he knew only one blatt of Gemorah when he went to New York to be tested for admission,” Reb Binyamin Gifter related. “However, he progressed so quickly that he was soon attending the shiurim of HaRav Moshe HaLevi Soloveitchik.” 
The YU yearbooks on are fascinating. For example, here we see that Rabbi Robert Gordis' nickname in high school was "Bob the Gob" (Elchanite 1923):

The same volume used the frontispiece for the Vilna Shas printed by the Romm company for its title page:

These volumes can be pored over for many, many interesting historical and sociological finds, and are well worth perusing. Here's one last item, an excerpt from the 1925 Elchanite, Dr. Pinchas Churgin, Principal of the Teacher's Institute of the Yeshivah (later president of Bar Ilan) gives a Hebraist angle to the value of yeshivas in the modern revival of the Hebrew language:


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