Thursday, May 27, 2010

Censorship: The Autobiography of R. Eliyahu David Rabinowitz, ADeReT

Censorship: The Autobiography of R. Eliyahu David Rabinowitz, ADeReT

There are a handful of rabbinic autobiographies, R. Yehuda Areyeh of Modena, Hayyei Yehudah, R. Yaakov Emden, Megillat Sefer, and a few others.[1]  One of the more recent rabbinic autobiographies is that of R. Eliyahu David Rabinowitz, otherwise known as Aderet.  This work, was first published in the journal, Ha-Peles edited by Aderet's nephew, Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz.  Only a portion of the autobiography appears in Ha-Peles. However, the editor did give us the title of this work for posterity.  Although Aderet did not title the work, in Ha-Peles it appears under the title, Seder Eliyahu, this title remains today.[1a] In reality, Seder Eliyahu is one part of three part work, the second part, Nefesh David, records various customs (and has been reprinted a few times), and the third part, regarding how to handle Aderet's body after his death, Achar Eliyahu or Acharei David, apparently was never written. 

Aderet's autobiography was first published in its entirety in 1983 by Mossad ha-Rav Kook.   The Mossad received the manuscript from Aderet's grandson.  As will become apparent, much of what was written, prior to 1983, regarding Aderet is lacking because  prior to its publication in 1983,  his autobiography was virtually unknown.  As an aside, the New Encyclopaedia Judaica reuses the article on Aderet from the original Encyclopaedia Judaica and is but one example of the shortcomings of the New Encyclopaedia, for more examples see Dr. Leiman's critique here, and Dr. Havlin's critique here, and Dr. Richler's critique here of the New Encyclopaedia Judaica. 

The 1983 edition, however, has been out-of-print for years, and this year, some of Aderet's desendents republished Seder Eliyahu (additionally, they also reprint Nefesh David in this volume).  The editors of this new edition thank Mossad ha-Rav Kook for allowing them to reprint this work.  But, in their introduction, they argue that Aderet "never intended to publish this work and allow others to read it, instead, it was meant for his family." Seder Eliyahu, Jerusalem, 2010, at 7 ("Jer. ed." or "New Edition").  Based upon this assertion, the editors of this edition justify "removing various passages that were never intended for outsiders to read."  Id. at 9.  They explain that whenever they removed text "three lines (- - -) serve to indicate missing text."  Id.  As we shall see they are inconsistent at best at using the three dash device and many instances of removal are not noted. 

Regarding the claim that Aderet never intended this book to be published. The original publication in 1983 includes the entire text with no omissions.  Recall that this text was obtained by Mossad ha-Rav Kook from Aderet's grandson, we have no indication that he objected to publishing the entire text.  Moreover, the first time the autobiography (partially) appeared in Ha-Peles much of the "offensive" material was included. Recall that Aderet's nephew was the editor of Ha-Peles  and he saw no need to censore anything. Finally, although there may be some indications that an autobiography was merely written for family members and not intended for broader publication, this device is common in autobiographies.  R. Emden also implies that he didn't intend his autobiography to be widely distributed, but as Dr. Schacter demonstrates, Emden wanted others to read it.[2]  Indeed, according to Schacter, R. Emden's autobiography can be classified as "that of 'autobiography as polemic.'"  As Emden writes of his purpose, "[i]n order that the sun of my righteousness should shine forth . . . [and because] many of [my enemies] libelous writings will certainly remain extant in the world for some time.  Therefore, necessity has compelled me to clarify my case before God and man. . . . Behold [this autobiography] will serve as a vindication for me, for my children and my descendants."[3] Thus, "there is equally no question that the overriding primary impetus behind Megillat sefer was a desire on the part of Emden to clear his name and vindicate himself in his controversy with Eybeschutz," and "[t]here is no doubt that it is the Emden-Eybeschutz controversy that serves as the 'center of gravity' for" Megillat Sefer.[4]  Of course, for R. Emden to be publicly vindicated, presumably the public would need to be aware of the work.[5]

With Emden's motives in mind, it is important to distinguish Aderet's work.  While Aderet includes descriptions of others in his work, and, at times, some of these descriptions are far from flattering, it does not appear that Aderet was looking for vindication or had a polemic motive in mind.  While Aderet did not get along with his constituents in Ponovitch, that dispute was mainly surrounding Aderet's salary and how the community treated him.  Aderet wasn't involved in any global disputes like the Emden-Eybeschutz controversy and thus Aderet wasn't required to vindicate himself.  Moreover, Aderet ultimately came out on top, becoming Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazim in Jerusalem.  Thus, he was well-respected and had no reason to resurrect his image - his image was already good.

Perhaps a better understanding of some of the material as it relates to others in Seder Eliyahu may be better understood by looking at Marcus Mosley's comments[6] and quote from Rousseau: 
Autobiography operates upon an entirely different set of criteria. For the autobiographer, the significance of the other is determined solely by the role that he or she plays in the formation of the self, regardless of social standing. Thus Rousseau, in the "Neuchatel" variant of the preamble to the Confeinddow: "The relationships I have had with several people compel me to speak as freely of them as of myself. I can only succeed in making myself known by making them known also." Many of the more decisive encounters with the other in the shaping of the autobiographer's self occur in the years of childhood and adolescence. Parents, teachers, schoolmates, and domestic staff may thus achieve a prominence in the autobiography that would, in the memoir, be reserved for generals and prime ministers, renowned men of letters, and so on. This is not to say that the formative encounters with the other in an autobiography are restricted to the historically obscure. But when the great do drift in and out of the pages of an autobiography, it is often not on account of the qualities that granted them this status that they are recalled.
Thus, Aderet's comments about others, most notably regarding R. Yitzhak Elchonon Spector, may be understood as merely providing insight into Aderet's own life rather than commenting on R. Spector, for example.

The new edition of Seder Eliyahu, however, leaves out much of Aderet's comments about others, depriving the reader of fully understanding the Aderet as well as distorting history.  We will provide all the examples of where the new edition has altered or removed material from the 1983 edition. 

Biography of Aderet

The basic outlines of Aderet's biography are not in dispute.  Here are the highlights.  Aderet was born, with his twin, on the first day of Shavout in 1843.  His father was a rabbi and Aderet's family were descendant from famous rabbinic figures from both his father's and mother's side.  When he was five, his mother died and his father remarried.  At twelve, Aderet began writing his first sefer, and began wearing tefflin for his entire twelth year.  At thirteen, he had his bar mitzvah and, contrary to the custom, was allowed to read the haftorah for the first day of Shavout. This haftorah is typically reserved for the rabbi or a talmid hakham due to the content of the haftorah.  But, Aderet's father argued that it was appropriate for his son to read the haftorah.  Soon after his bar mitzvah he completed his first work with his twin brother, Shevet Achim.  At fifteen he became engaged to girl, and soon after was appointed rabbi of Ragali.  The engagement didn't end well. His fiancee's mother died and the step-mother was lax in her observance and the marriage was called off.  But, in due course, Aderet was engaged again to the daughter of a prominent family in Ponovitch.  This time, Aderet went through with the wedding.  He remained in Ponovitch, supported by his in-laws, and studied in a small bet midrash.  In 1875, Aderet was selected to be the rabbi of Ponovitch.  In 1893, the town of Mir approached Aderet to become its rabbi.  Aderet accepted.  Ponovitch, however, wanted its rabbi to remain, but, after receiving advice from various rabbis, eventually, Aderet left and went to Mir.  In 1901 he was invited and accepted to become Chief Rabbi of the Ashkenazim in Jerusalem.  On the 3rd of Adar I, 1905, Aderet died in Jerusalem.

Aderet is known as having a phenomenal memory.  He was also a prolific author, but much of his writings remained in manuscript.  In the last decade or so, many of his books have been published, a bibliography of which will appear soon. 

The above provides a basic outline of Aderet's biography, but a close examination of his autobiography provides additional detail.    

Autobiography of Aderet

There are a few important gaps in Aderet's biography that can be filled only by utilizing his autobiography.  For example, Aderet's father's second wife.  If one reads some of the biographies, she is mentioned only in passing.  But, Aderet explains she was no minor figure.  To the contrary, it appears that Aderet's step-mother and his father had a horrible marriage.  Indeed, Aderet couldn't stand her and he was especially bothered the way she treated his father.  After Aderet's father died, Aderet immediately left town as he couldn't bear remaining with her.  He turned down his father's position as rabbi of Vilkomer because that would mean he would have to live in the same city as his step-mother.  Aderet recalls bitterly how he sped home once and therefore missed out on meeting various rabbis only to find out that his step-mother hadn't told anyone he was coming and no one was there when Aderet returned causing him to miss meeting the rabbis and not seeing family.

Some biographies make it appear that Aderet had a great relationship with the people of Ponovitch.  These biographies point to the fact that when Mir approached him, Ponovitch tried its hardest to keep Aderet. But, in his autobiography Aderet explains how horrible the people of Ponovich were to him.  They paid him almost nothing and even that little amount wasn't always timely.  He was so poor that he didn't have his own bed and had to sleep on a few chairs.  Although Aderet had some of his children die and others were sick, for the most part, the people of Ponovitch made his life even more difficult.  The town didn't help when he had sick children.  One particularly shocking incident was one of the Ponovitch community members became gabbi.  Aderet didn't like waiting between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv because waiting only meant that people ended up talking and not acting as one should in Shul.  The gabbi, however, wanted to talk and wanted a break.  Thus, when Aderet asked the hazzan to immediately begin ma'ariv, the gabbi told the hazzan "it's not time yet."  This type of maltreatment by the Ponovitch community members was not uncommon.  Therefore, when Mir came knocking, and, although Mir was a significantly smaller community, Aderet wanted to get out of Ponovitch and accepted Mir's offer.

As Aderet was almost always looking to leave Ponovitch, he competed for a job in Riga.  And, although he was the most qualified candidate, the position was given to someone else. Aderet lost out on the position because R. Yitzhak Elchonon Spector backed Aderet's rival.  Aderet was extremely upset at R. Yitzhak Elchonon and even sent a very nasty letter to R. Yitzhak Elchonon.  R. Yitzhak Elchonon's reaction was that "the letter was so disrespectful that but for Aderet's reputation as a talmid hakham, he [R. Yitzhak Elchonon] would see to it that Aderet couldn't even get a job a beadle in a bet midrash."  Aderet was so embittered by this episode he remarks that he never forgave R. Yitzhak Elchonon. This was not the only time Aderet had a falling out with R. Yitzhak Elchonon.  At a rabbinic conference, led by R. Yitzhak Elchonon, there was a miscommunication which R. Yitzhak Elchonon took personally.  As such, R. Yitzhak Elchonon refused to entertain anything else during the conference and the conference was totally unsuccessful. Aderet was appalled that R. Yitzhak Elchonon's personal feelings didn't allow the conference to produce anything of value. 

Aside from making Aderet's life miserable, the treatment of the town of Ponovitch also forced Aderet to allow his son-in-law, R. Abraham Isaac Kook, to leave and take up his own rabbinic position.  Although Ponovitch had promised Aderet a higher salary, the town never came through and thus Aderet couldn't support his daughter and son-in-law.  In his autobiography, he describes how heartbroken he was when his son-in-law and daughter left. 

Comparison of the New Edition and 1983 Edition of Aderet's Autobiography

As noted above, the editors of the New Edition provide that they have removed material from Seder Eliyahu, and that they have noted any time anything is removed.  This is false.  Although it is true that the editors have removed material but they have not always noted when they did so.  At times removed material is noted by "- - - " in the text, many times there is no indication that anything is missing.  Moreover, the editors are inconsistent when they alter the text.  That is, in correcting typos or when removing abbreviation, sometimes they note they are altering the text and other times they do not.  Of course, this omission is less serious than wholesale removal of text, but consistency is still important.  For example, in the 1983 edition many persons are only referred to in abbreviated form, while in the New Edition their full name is used; thus the original reads "my uncle רפ"ק" while in the New Edition it reads "my uncle Rabbi Pinchus Cantor."  The editors don't note that they have inserted his full name; however, whenever the text uses an abbreviation to refer to R. Shmuel Mohilever - "הגרש"מ" in the New Edition they provide his full name but do so in brackets indicating an insertion into the text. Compare 1983 ed. pp. 84 &  92 & Jer. ed. at 71 & 76. It is unclear why they decided to consistently indicate this insertion and not others.

Turning the censored materials. These materials can roughly be divided into three categories.  (1) materials that mention Zionism or are related to Zionism; (2)  in this category we include what is best described as negative comments about women and marriage; and (3) personal attacks or observations about other Rabbis.  We must note that many of these omissions have been cataloged here as well.

First Category - Zionism

Items from this category include material that appears in the footnotes to the 1983 edition as well as items in the text itself.  The New Edition resuses almost all the footnotes that appear in the 1983 edition but leave out information when that information relates to Zionism.  Thus:

1983 ed. (p. 17 n.5) provides a footnote when the text mentions R. Moshe Telsher "for more information see Sefer Zikhron le-[Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook] 1945"  Jer. Ed. (p. 15) doesn't include this note at all. 
1983 ed.  (p. 28 n.14) contains a citation to Maimon's Sa'arei ha-Meah, Jer. ed. (p. 26 n. 17) removes citation no notation anything is missing.
1983 ed. (p. 29 n.16) explains that R. Mordechai Gimpel Yaffo "was one who espoused emigration to Israel and himself emigrated in 1888", Jer. ed. (p. 23 n.19) removes this text without notation.
1983 ed. (p. 59 n.46) regarding R. Mordechai Elisberg, the note explains "one of the leaders of the Hovvei Tzion movement," Jer. ed. (p. 57 n.55), removes this text, no notation.
1983 ed. (p. 72 n.57) regarding R. Shmuel Mohliver "was the head and founder of the Hovvei Tzion movement," Jer. ed. (p. 69 n.68) removes this text, no notation.
1983 ed. (p. 102 n.78) explaining that the author of Chavush Pe'ar "is R. Kook," Jer. ed. (p. 96) the note is missing.

We should noted that the editors of the Jerusalem edition didn't excise every Zionistic mention.  Instead, they retain the sentence "the Hovvei Tzion chapter in Bialystok requested that I [Aderet] give a derasha."  Jer. ed. at 81.  Similarly, Aderet describes how heart broken he was when his son-in-law and daughter had to leave because Aderet couldn't support them and how happy Aderet was when he met up with his son-in-law later that year and spent time together.  In the text, however, Aderet doesn't identify by name his son-in-law.  The New Edition retains the footnote from the 1983 edition which identifies the son-in-law as "The Gaon R. Abraham Isaac Kook ZT"L."  Jer. ed. at 60 n.57.

Second Category - comments about women

The vast majority of these changes relate to women, and specifically, when there was martial discord or divorce.  There are essentially two women whose mention is censored, Adert's step-mother and Aderet's nephew's first wife.  As mentioned above, Aderet had serious issues with his step-mother and he is very vocal about those problems in his autobiography.  Additionally, Aderet's nephew's first marriage didn't work out.  The first wife was the daughter of R Eliezer the chief rabbi of Anchin but she was uninterested in leading a religious life and thus this marraige ended in divorce.  Whenever mention of either of these two women occurs in Seder Eliyahu the Jerusalem edition leaves them out.  Thus, there is no mention in the Jerusalem edition that Aderet didn't get along with his step-mother and that the nephew's first wife wasn't religious. Rather than explain what is missing each time, as the excised portions are generally similar, we have indicated where a passage relating to Aderet's feelings about his step-mother is missing and where the excised passage relates to the non-religious first wife of Aderet's nephew.  We will, however, indicate where there is missing text and the editors of the new edition fail to note that they have removed text.

1983 ed. (18-19) lacking in Jer. ed. (16) noted with - - -
1983 ed. (23) lacking in Jer. ed. (21) no notation
1983 ed. (35) lacking in Jer. ed. (33) noted with - - -
1983 ed. (37) lacking in Jer. ed. (35) noted with - - -
1983 ed. (46) lacking in Jer. ed. (44) noted with - - -
Non-religious wife
1983 ed. (64) lacking in Jer. ed. (60) no notation
1983 ed. (71) lacking in Jer. ed. (68) noted with - - -

There is one final example that arguably fits in this category although it relates to neither of the above mentioned women.  Instead, this instance relates to Aderet spening time in Vienna and meet R. Shlomo Netar.  As part of their conversation R. Netar related some of his problems to Aderet.  One related to his wife who is described - in the 1983 ed. (42)- as "the really horrible woman, may God save us, who is the granddaughter of R. Simcha Bunim Peshischa (or so I [Aderet] recall)." This quote is lacking in the Jer. ed. but is noted with - - -.

We should note that much of the material regarding Aderet's step-mother appears, in toto, in a separate biography of Aderet that is appended to the beginning of Hiddushei ha-Gaon ha-Aderet, Machon Kitvei Yad ha-Aderet be-Artzot ha-Brit, Israel, 2003.  This is somewhat ironic in that this biography is very careful what it mentions, or doesn't mention.  Specifically, although Aderet's son-in-law (and, ultimately, after the untimely death of Aderet's daughter and remarrying Aderet's niece, became Aderet's nephew), R. Abraham Isaac Kook, wrote a fine biography of Aderet, Adar ha-Yakar, and Kook's biography is used in the biography appearing in Hiddushei, R. Kook's name is never mentioned.  That is, the mention of R. Kook was controversial (this may be related to the fact that the publisher of this volume is a member of the Satamar sect).[7]  But, regarding Aderet's step-mother, all that material appears in the biography in HiddusheiSee Hiddushei, at pp. 4, 6, 8 and 10 almost all of which are taken, almost verbatim, from the autobiography. Thus, even without access to the autobiography, any reader can find the relevant passages. 

Third Category - personal observations or attacks on other rabbis

Some of these negative assesments relate to R. Yitzhak Elchonon although comments about other rabbis are also censored. 

1983 ed. (60-61) discussing Aderet's failed bid to become Riga's chief rabbi, and, specifically, how R. Yitzhak Elchonon sunk Aderet's bid.  Additionally, Aderet notes that he sent R. Yitzhak Elchonon a very nasty letter explaining how disappointed Aderet was with R. Yitzhak Elchonon's involvement and decision to pick someone else.  Jer. ed. (68) the entire story is missing and there is no notation anything was removed.  
1983 ed. (62) Aderet expresses his displeasure with some Ponovitch residents regarding salary negotiations and essentially calls them animals.  Jer. ed. (69) lacking the name calling, no notation anything is missing.
1983 ed. (78) Aderet records the comments of a beadle who questioned R. Yitzhak Elchonon's authority.  Jer. ed. lacking but noted with - - - .
1983 ed. (79) Aderet meets someone who is wearing two pairs of teffilin neither of which are in their proper place.  Aderet goes on to explain while this person passed himself off as a miracle worker, in reality he was a fraud.  Aderet says the person "is the author of the book Kav Chen."  This must be incorrect.  The author of Kav Chen, R. Noach mi-Koruv, died in 1855, but Aderet says this meeting took place in 1890. What is more likely is that Aderet was referring to the publisher of Kav Chen, R. Noach's grandson, R. Hayyim Moshe Ze'ev.  In all events, rather than attempting to correct or ascertain who Aderet is referring to, the Jer. ed. (75) "solves" the problem by removing the passage "the author of the book Kav Chen" and replace it with - - -. 
1983 ed. (83) Aderet mentions "Leib Grabman" who involved the secular authorities in a communal dispute.  Jer. ed. removes "Leib Grabman" and replaced with - - -.  
1983 ed. (87-88) Aderet discusses a rabbinic conference he attended.  In attendence was also R. Yitzhak Elchonon who became personally insulted after a miscommunication.  As such, R. Yitzhak Elchonon refused to allow passage of any of the many "good ideas" the conference attendees offered.  To add insult to injury, in the Jewish press, R. Yitzhak Elchonon blamed the poor result on everyone else.  Jer. ed. (84) removes the entire story and replaced it with - - -.  
1983 ed. (91) Aderet describes some rather insulting behavior directed at him by members of the Ponovitch community, including the gabbi ignoring Aderet.  Jer. ed. (85) leaves out these stories and replaces them with - - -.
1983 ed. (93) after the Aderet leaves Ponovitch a very prominent member of the Ponovitch community died suddenly and "some people said his death was because he failed to show Aderet proper respect and to pay Aderet on time.  As such Aderet is said to have cursed the dead man and his family."  Jer. ed. (86) removed and replaced with - - -.  
1983 ed. (98) discusses a plan, by persons unconnected to Aderet, to trick R. Yitzhak Elchonon that was ultimately unsucessful. Jer. ed. (91) removed and replaced with - - - .
1983 ed. (99) Aderet details how various rabbis/roshei Yeshiva of Mir weren't completely honest with Aderet.  Aderet refers to these persons by name.  Jer. ed. (92) removed entirely and replaced with - - -.
1983 ed. (103-04) Aderet details attempts at thwarting him from becoming a teacher at Yeshivat Mir.  Jer. ed. (97) removed and replaced with - - -.  Inetrestingly, much of the background and history of this incident is found in Pinchus Lipschutz's - the editor of Ya'ated Ne'eman - book Peneni Chen, Monsey, 2000, p. 17 (thanks to a Seforim Blog reader for this citation).  

Additional Comments Regarding Aderet's Autobiography

Aside from the issues raised above, it should be noted that Aderet's biography is full of facinating information both about him and his contemporaries as well as of general interest to students of Jewish history, custom, and law. While we intend to devote an entire post to the full contents of Seder Eliyahu we wanted to provide a few particularly interesting passages from Seder Eliyahu.  All of the following examples appear in both editions of Seder Eliyahu.  As mentioned above, Aderet, when he was in Vienna, met R. Shlomo Netar, who was also bookseller and who studied in the Yeshiva of Hatam Sofer.  R. Netar related that he was in class with Hatam Sofer's son, R. Shimon Sofer (eventual author of Michtav Sofer), was in the same class.  R. Shimon Sofer "was often hit with sticks [by the teacher] and this was at the request of R. Shimon's father," Hatam Sofer.  1983 ed. at 42; Jer. ed. at 40.

A few halacha/custom related items.  Aderet records that when he travelled by ship, once the gangplank was lifted and the ship was underway he recited tefillat ha-derekh.  Someone on board the ship questioned this practice arguing that since the ship hadn't left the city limits, one cannot recite teffilat ha-derekh.  Aderet, however, responded by distinguishing between normal overland transport and ships (and presumably airplanes).  Aderet explained that when going overland there is a fear that one may decide to return home thus one needs to wait until leaving the city limits, the point of no return.  But, once one is onboard a ship and the gangplank is removed one can't leave and therefore one can immediately recite teffilat ha-derekh. 1983 ed. at 42; Jer. ed. at 40.

Another time, Aderet also advocated for a novel halachic position.  In this case, Aderet wanted to personally perform the circumcision of his son. But, the circumcision fell on Saturday, and, as Aderet hadn't ever performed a circumcision previously, the rule is that one cannot perform their first circumcision on Saturday.  Aderet, however, argued that the prohibition on performing one's first circumcision on Saturday applies if one is circumcising someone other than their own child. That is, as there is a unique obligation to circumcise one's child that trumps the prohibition against performing the first circumcision on Saturday.  Aderet marshalled various sources that supported his position and presented his argument to R. Yosef Zechariah Stern (an equally impressive contemporary) who rejected Aderet's argument.  Aderet concludes that he "decided to refrain from deciding law in way that runs counter to Shulchan Orach and thus would appear strange to the public."  1983 ed. 52; Jer. ed. at 51.  

On one Saturday, there was a communal rift which resulted in the secular authorities confiscating the shul's sefer torah.  Thus, the shul didn't complete the weekly mandatory reading.  Although Aderet ended up hearing the reading in another shul, Aderet argued that the shul whose sefer torah was confiscated was required the next week to make up the reading it missed.  He argued this position to R. Aaron Halberstam, son of R. Hayyim Halberstam, the Sanzer Rav.  R. Aaron disagreed.  He explained that the torah reading obligation is communal in nature and so long as a community shul recited the proper reading, those in the community that missed it need not repeat it.  Aderet, however, argued that while one needs a minyan and thus is communal in nature, there is an individual obligation to read the weekly portion and if one shul didn't hear the weekly portion then they need to recite it the next week.  [Hida in his diary/travelouge seems to support Aderet's postion, see Ma'agel Tov ha-Shalem when he too missed the torah reading].  1983 ed. at 80; Jer. ed. at 77.

One final story relating to custom.  Aderet spends some time on why he picked particular names for his children. One name, however, is particularly noteworthy.  Aderet named one of his sons Mordechai Yonah.  Aderet explains that he picked Yonah because "of [his] mother's name" Tova which is the Yiddish equivalent of Yonah.  This practice indicates that Aderet wasn't bothered giving a boy a woman's name or that naming for someone does not necessarly means using the same form as the original name.  1983 ed. at 51; Jer. ed. at 50.

Post Script Regarding Aderet's Works & Works About Aderet

Besides for not using the Aderet's autobiography at all or enough. It is worth pointing out that in the past recent years there has been a virtual explosion of the Aderet's works which, until now, have remained in manuscript.  The Aderet authored over one hundred works although most still remain in manuscript and are scatered all over the world in various collections.

A few notable works of Aderet that have recently been published.  Mechon Ahavat Shalom has printed eight volumes of Aderet's works, and, in addition, have published many shorter pieces  in their journal Mekabziel. Worth noting is the recent lengthy correspondence which Machon Ahavat Shalom printed between the Aderet and Yakov Reifman. Mechon Yerushalayim has printed three volumes of the Aderet's comments on Humash aside from the many pieces they have printed in their journal Moriah. Additionally, there are some other volumes that have been printed from manuscripts. One worth mentioning is the Over Orach which was printed by Mechon Me'or the editor of this work proudly told me how he took out many pieces from this manuscript before printing it for the public as he felt it was not "kovod" for the Aderet. Now this censorship isn't mentioned anywhere in the work.  Besides for the significance of the Torah found in these works which will be the subject of its own post including a in depth bibliography and description of the works. There is also much important material about Aderet's life that can be gleaned from these recently published works. 

Below is a (non-comprehensive) list of articles discussing Aderet's biography, although some are better than others:

Ehad be-Doro, vol. 1, 191-202
Seder Parsheyot le-Aderet, vol. 1, Machon Yerushalyim, Jerusalem, 2004, 329-99 (includes bibliography)
Shlomo Albert, Aderet Eliyahu, Jerusalem, 2003
Hiddushei ha-Gaon ha-Aderet, Machon Kitvei Yad ha-Aderet be-Artzot ha-Brit, Israel, 2003, Katzman 1-42.
Moshe Tzinovitz, Ishim u-Kehilot, Tel Aviv, 1990 128-30
Moshe Tzinovitz, Mir, Tolodot Yeshivat Mir, Tel Aviv, 1981, 175-83
Rabbotenu she-beGoleh, Jerusalem, 1996, vol. 1, 121-28
Asher Yetzaveh, Mechon Ahavat Shalom, Jerusalem, 2004, vol. 1, pp. 395-425 (Nefesh David is reprinted in this work, however, the editors fail to mention that they copied it from the 1983 ed.). 
[1]  See Jacob J. Schacter, "History & Memory of Self:  The Autobiography of Rabbi Jacob Emden," in Jewish History & Jewish Memory, Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, eds. E. Carlebach, J. Efron, D. Myers, Brandeis University Press, 1998, 429 and nn. 6-8 discussing these autobiographies and providing additional examples. Emden's autobiography, the Kahana edition is available online at here, and here with Gershom Scholem's notes. Scholem penned his own autobiography (although it only covers a small portion of his life), Gershom Scholem, From Berlin to Jerusalem, tr. Harry Zohn, New York, 1980. Elliot Horowitz discusses Scholem's autobiography in Horowitz's article, "Confessions of a Jewish Autobiography Reader," in JQR (n.s.), 95 (1), Winter 2005, pp. 74-80 & Saverio Campanini, "A Case for Sainte-Beuve, Some Remarks on Gershom Scholem's Autobiography," in Creation & Re-Creation in Jewish Thought, eds. R. Elior & P. Schafer, Paul Mohr Verlag, 2005, pp. 363-400.  More recently, Scholem's diaries have also been published, Lamentations of Youth:  The Diaries of Gershom Scholem 1913-1919, ed. & tr. A.D. Skinner, Cambridge, Mass, 2007, a review appears here.   
Returning to Emden's autobiography aside from the Kahana edition linked to above, there is another edition published by Abraham Bick-Shauli in Jerusalem in 1979, however, Schacter has serious reservations about this edition.  Schacter's assesment of Bick-Shauli's edition is that it "is absolutely and totally worthless."  Schacter, id. at 446 n.13.  Of late, someone attempted to question the authenticity of Emden's autobiography, Schacter's comments are equally appropriate regarding this work as well.
Regarding Modena's autobiography, see also Ariel Rathaus, "Leon Modena's Autobiography & His Realistic Poetics," in Italia, ed. Robert Bonfil, Conference Supplement Series, 1, Magnes Press, Jerusalem, 2003, 131-42. Of course, regarding Modena one should always consult Howard Ernest Adelman, Success & Failure in the Seventeenth Century Ghetto of Venice:  The Life of Leon Modena, 1571-1643, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Brandeis Univ., 1985, and this post by Yitzhak and this follow-up post on Ishim ve-Shitos. Modena's autobiography is available in excellent editions in both Hebrew and English (part of which is online at Google books here), The Autobiography of a Seventeenth-Century Venetian Rabbi: Leon Modena's Life of Judah, ed. Mark R. Cohen, Princeton Univ. Press, 1998 (English) & Sefer Hayyi Yehuda, ed. Daniel Carpi, Tel Aviv Univ., Tel Aviv, 1985. 
Additionally, regarding Jewish autobiography generally this discussion here, and see  M. Stanislawski, Autobiographical Jews, Essays in Jewish Self- Fashioning, Univ. Washington Press, 2004.  Thanks to both Menachem Butler and Eliezer Brodt for providing many of these sources.
[1a] The Ha-Peles piece has a very nice footnote where Aderet's sister's erudition is described.  "She knew Hebrew and the Talmudic language. During the winter, on Friday nights, she would sit by the fire and study the responsa literature of the rishonim, such as the responsa of Rashi, Rambam, Rosh and similar titles that don't contain pilpul. She was fluent in many responsa.  She also studied the Sefer Hassidim daily."  She was so well-versed in Sefer Hassidim that her father, when he was unsure of a citation in Sefer Hassidim would ask her. Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz also records that after Aderet published an article in Yagdil Torah she read it and asked an insightful question, which Aderet subsequently published, in her name, in Yagdil TorahSee ha-Peles, 720 n.2.
[2]  See id. at 438 and nn. 58-59 (Schacter offers citations to other similar works who employ this device).
[3] Id. at 431 quoting Megillat Sefer, Kahana ed. ("with slight corrections from the manuscript") pp. 54-55. 
[4] Id. at 433.  
[5] Assuming that Schacter is correct regarding Emden's motives, the lingering question is why wasn't Megillat Sefer published during Emden's lifetime or soon after? Emden had his own press and was not shy about publishing his own works that defended his position, no matter how controversial those works were.  Why didn't Emden do the same with his autobiography?  Unfortunately, Schacter doesn't address this question, perhaps in his forthcoming translation of Megillat Sefer, he will provide more background regarding the publication of Megillat Sefer.
[6] Marcus Mosley, "Jewish Autobiography:  The Elusive Subject," in JQR (n.s.), 95, 1 (Winter 2005), 25.   
[7] The author of this biography, however, is not Satmar.  The author of the biography portion is R. Eliezer Katzman who is perhaps the only person who has demonstrated the similarities between various positions of R. Abraham Isaac Kook and the Satmar Rebbi.  See Eliezer Katzman,  in Ketonet Yosef, ed. D. Gotlieb et. al. New York, 2002.   


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