Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Crown rabbis #galicia


Suzan Wynne <srwynne@...>
 

Avrohom Krauss has raised some interesting questions about the nature of
the Russian Crown rabbi vs the Austrian Kehilla rabbis. While there may
have been ome similarities in the selection process of the Chief Rabbi
of the Galician Kehilla, the real power in Galicia lay in the local or
district Kehilla. It was the local Kehilla rabbi that affected the
daily lives of individuals and families. Matters of kashrut and other
religious issues were decided locally by the Rabbi, Bet Din and the
elders or scholars. Frankly, I would have to research more deeply to
establish the differences between Russia and Austria. Rather than
thinking in comparative terms. I think I would rather focus on learning
more about the Austro-Hungarian system.

As Avrohom suggests, some of the local Kehilla rabbis were, indeed, out
of step with the people in their districts. I noted in my remarks that
in one town, Rzeszow to be specific, a memoir I have read, described
how, for a time, a non-Chassidic rabbi became the official rabbi. He
was ignored. Each of the Chassidic groups simply proceeded as though he
weren't in office. He finally resigned and the Kehilla selected someone
more in tune with the majority of the community. If you read the yizkor
books for the general background that they usually contain, there is
invariably some material about the Kehilla and the local rabbis who were
well known. Buried in this kind of material is usually some
explanation of how things worked locally. On the other hand, the
records themselves would speak volumes about the organization of the
Kehillot. It would be interesting to hear >from anyone who has actually
read through some of the material in the Lviv Archives.

Suzan Wynne
Kensington, MD

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