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Bidding Information
Lot #    21920
Auction End Date    11/18/2008 11:14:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ohr Torah
Title (Hebrew)    אור תורה
Author    [Polemic] R. Shemariah Menasseh ha-Kohen Adler
City    London
Publisher    Noroditsky
Publication Date    1932
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [10], 22, [1], 4-95, [7] pp., 183:121 mm., usual light age staining, extra wide margins. A very good copy bound in the original cloth boards.
   On conversion by R. Shemariah Manasseh ha-Kohen Adler (1874-1959) was a brilliant Talmudic scholar and the author of numerous rabbinic works, most of which were polemical in content. Originally from Poland, he hailed from the distinguished Adler family whose members included Rabbi Nathan ha-Kohen Adler, mentor of the Hatam Sofer, and also Chief Rabbis Nathan and Hermann Adler of London. In 1915, after a short and unsuccessful stay in Germany, Adler moved to England with his family where he quickly became a part of the small but thriving ultra-Orthodox community that was concentrated in London's East End. During the period of the First World War Adler became acquainted with R. Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook, who was stuck in London as a result of being unable to return to Palestine. They became very close friends, and Adler wrote a commentary on R. Kook's sole London publication, the kabbalistic work Rosh Millin.

During this period R. Adler was briefly thrown into jail as an illegal immigrant, although he was convinced that his arrest had been orchestrated by the head of the Chief Rabbi's Beth Din, R. Samuel Isaac Hillman. Whether this was true or not, it was the catalyst for R. Adler's unrelenting campaign of vitriol against R. Hillman and the community establishment that was to last for decades. Over the years that followed R. Adler published book after book that scrutinized and criticized every aspect of Britain's Jewish communal life, and he was a strident critic of the rabbinic leadership and the level of observance even among those who considered themselves ultra-Orthodox. Often R. Adler would involve European luminaries with whom he was acquainted, and in particular he corresponded frequently and amicably with R. Joseph Rosin of Dvinsk - the 'Rogatchover' - whom he held in the highest esteem.

After World War Two, estranged from both the community and his family, R. Adler moved to a boarding house in Dorking, outside London. The proprietor, Rabbi Dr. Hayyim Kohn, was a bibliophile with an enormous library and there R. Adler immersed himself in learning and writing, producing numerous books that challenged hitherto accepted communal practices. During his latter years R. Adler became a hermit, rarely venturing from his room and often refusing to attend Sabbath services even if he was needed to make up a quorum. From Dorking R. Adler moved to Westcliff, and finally to Brighton, where he died in 1959. He is buried in Israel.

Paragraph 2    אשר טפחתי ... לבאר ולפרש כוונת תוה"ק בשני כתובים הבאים כאחד ... וכל עבד איש וגו' [שמות יב, מד] וכי יגור אתך גר וגו' [שם, שם, מח] ... וביארתי ופירשתי ... שמריה מנשה הכהן אדלר ...
   CD-EPI 0107376
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Listing Classification
20th Century:    Checked
England:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
Responsa:    Checked
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica