Lithuanian Pinkes & Brisk history #rabbinic


LR <lreich@...>
 

On a message posted on 2004.10.26, Jim Brook
<jim_brook1935@yahoo.com> wrote:

In the Jewish Encyclopaedia is mentioned about Rabbi Judah of
Tropau of Brest-Litovsk. It then states that his signature is in the
Lithuanian Pinkes under 1664".
[...]
And in an earlier posting has enquired about rabbis in Brest
Litovsk/ Brisk, using as a source material which appears on the
entry for the city in the Jewish Encyclopedia (JE below).

The main source (as acknowledged by its author) for the JE entry is
the Hebrew work on the town entitled "Ir Tehiloh." It was published
in Warsaw in 1886 and its main author was Aryeh Leib Feinstein. The
author was aware of his own inadequacies as a historian and had
sufficient modesty to circulate copies or proofs of his ms to
several more knowledgeable historians. The latters' learned
responses occupy a major section of the published work.

Nevertheless, this book remains a mess. The list of rabbis of Brest,
quoted in the JE is taken as a block >from Ir Tehiloh. Some of these
are well known with documented dates and lives. Others - including
the above mentioned R' Yehuda of Tropau - are unknown to this
poster. Many are not in historical order, and some (e.g. Rabbi
David Oppenheim) have only a tenuous connection with Brisk. (Wealthy
rabbis were and are occasionally awarded the rabbinic equivalent of
honorary degrees, namely the title of Rav or ABD in a town, where it
was understood there was no chance of acceptance. Mutual benefits
could be derived >from such titles).

One of the respondents mentioned above states that in earlier times
no rabbi was appointed in Brest for longer than three years!

The topic of "The Rabbis of Brisk" awaits its definitive author.

Leslie Reich

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