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Bidding Information
Lot #    17613
Auction End Date    3/13/2007 2:23:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Devar Shalom
Title (Hebrew)    דבר שלום
Author    [Only Ed.] R. Gedaliah Silverstone
City    St. Louis
Publisher    Moinester Publishing Co.
Publication Date    1923
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. 31, [1] pp., 195:144 mm., wide margins, light age staining. A very good copy bound in the original wrapprs, rubbed.
Paragraph 1    Includes one essay in English entitled Palestine by Dr. Harry Silverstone.
   R. Gedaliah b. Isiah Meir Silverstone, Chief Rabbi of Washington D.C., published this volume of sermons for holidays, life cycle events (including a eulogy) and other occasions as he was preparing for his immigration to the Land of Israel. It includes references to local situations. For a "speech delivered at the banquet given in honor of Mrs. Charles Goldsmith for the noble work she rendered for the Jewish Community in Washington," see pp. 9-10. On a non-traditional synagogue and for a sermon he delivered in a synagogue whose president was agitating for mixed seating, see pp. 15-6,22-4. For a list of Silverstone's children, see p. 3. Appended is a Zionist sermon in English by his son, Harry (Aaron) (pp. 29-31).

R. Silverstone was born in 5631 [1871] in Jasionowka, Poland, where his maternal grandfather was the rabbi. At the age of two, he moved to Sakot, Kovno Province, where his father served as a rabbi. R. Silverstone studied in the yeshivot in Ruzhany and Telz until 1891, when his father moved his family to Liverpool. R. Silverstone was appointed the rabbi of the Orthodox Congregation of Belfast in 5661 [1901]. He visited America in 5665 [1905] to sell his books. The following year he decided to settle there because he could not support his large family in England and he was appointed rabbi of the Combined Congregations of Washington, D.C. R. Silverstone, a popular rabbi, was on good terms with his congregants. As opposed to other American rabbis of the period, his publishing endeavors were supported by the community at large and he issued pamphlets of sermons on an almost annual basis. He had little difficulty in attracting benefactors to defray the publishing costs. R. Dov Ber Manischewitz of Cincinnati and Noah [Nathan?] Musher were among his patrons and he repeatedly reported that his works were eagerly sought after by preachers. He generally published only sermons because he knew that most American Jews would not read his more scholarly works and because "many rabbis and sages from other states [or countries?] write to me that my approach to aggadah is the only one that can be used to influence the masses and lure them to their Father in heaven" (Mesamhai Lev, St. Louis 1925, pp. 5-6). A vocal opponent of non-Orthodox synagogues, seminaries and rabbis, his sermons contain many polemical statements. R. Silverstone was a vice president of the Agudath Harabbonim, a director of the Hebrew Sanitarium of Denver and the Hebrew Home for the Aged of Washington, D.C., and a member of B'nai B'rith. He also founded the first talmud torah in Washington, D.C. and many of his sermons refer to the poor state of Jewish education. An active Zionist, R. Silverstone attended the Sixth Zionist Congress (1903) as a delegate from Belfast. He later sent two of his sons to study in Jerusalem and, after visiting the Land of Israel ca. 1921, he announced that he would soon be immigrating there (Darke be-Kodesh, St. Louis 1922, pp. 4, 6). Though he was unable to carry out his plans right away (Doresh Tov, St. Louis 1923, p. 5), he did visit again within a year, this time together with R. Zevi Hirsch Masliansky. He finally settled in Jaffa by Elul of 1923 and he was invited to preach a number of times at the Neveh Tzedek synagogue. A few months later, however, he was compelled to return to Washington because his wife became ill. Attempts to settle in Safed in 1936 and in Jerusalem in 5698 [1938]-5699 [1939] failed as well and he returned to America each time. He returned once more a few years later, this time remaining until his death in 1944. R. Silverstone was a grandson of R. Elijah Abramsky; a nephew of R. Hayyim Zevi Hirsch Braude; the father of R. Dr. Harry Silverstone; a cousin of R. Zelig Reuben Bengis; and an in-law of R. Gershom Ravinson of Cleveland.

Paragraph 2    דרושים נחמדים למוסר השכל ולהחזקת התורה וגם דרוש אחד (בלשון אנגלי) מבני... דר' אהרן (Harry) סילווערסטאן, מאתי גדלי' בהרב... ישעי' מאיר ז"ל סילווערסטאן, החופ"ק וואשינגטאן הבירה.
   CD-EPI 0302865; Goldman 864
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
America-South America:    Checked
Homiletics:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew, English
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica