Two Travellers and Two Canadian Jewish Wests.
It is unlikely that Rabbi Yeshaye Horowitz (1883-1977), who lived in Winnipeg between 1923 and 1953, ever had an audience with a government official, or knew the address of Winnipeg's local Canadian Club. Certainly neither of these distinctions appears in the sefer--a book on Jewish sacred themes--that he published several years after his arrival in Winnipeg. In the book, he provides some details on his move to North America, and recounts three separate trips he made to the Jewish settlements in twenty-two cities, towns, and farm settlements in Western Canada. The description of these trips emphasizes the religious institutions in the region. (3)
There are obvious differences between these two travellers. Hertz came through the region on a worldwide tour, while Horowitz, after moving to North America, travelled on several occasions from his home in Winnipeg to cities and towns in the Canadian West. Nevertheless, a detailed examination of these travellers and their texts offers insight into two phenomena. First, it builds on current research on rabbinic emissaries and points to lesser-known examples of communal figures who uprooted themselves in order to advocate or reinforce transnational Jewish identities. Second, it deepens our understanding of what has become known in North American historiography as the "many wests." (4) This literature has looked to undermine the hegemonic Anglo-Celtic Christian narrative of "how-the-West-was-won" by illustrating how many groups, with different aspirations, settled the West. However, this nuancing must go further. In this paper we give examples of the "many Wests" within one group.
Prior to discussing what is in the narratives, it should be noted what is not in them. The Canadian effort to "open up" the Prairies with Europeans not only ignored the First Nations and Metis who lived in these areas, but actively displaced them from their traditional ways of life. It prevented them from acquiring homesteads, and private property off the reserves, until 1951. (5) As historian David Koffman has argued in his work on Jewish traders with First Nations groups in North America, the Jews who were looking to emigrate from Europe became actors unwitting, but actors nonetheless--in the global economic trends and nation-building agenda that dispossessed First Nations. (6) Although there were some remarkable interwar Canadian Jewish literary appreciations of First Nations, most specifically of Tekahionwake (E. Pauline Johnson), these were the exceptions. (7) First Nations did not figure prominently in the Jewish imagination. Certainly, they did not appear in the two Jewish narratives examined in this essay.
On the Road
A close examination of the narratives by Hertz and Horowitz sheds some light on a subgroup of Jewish travellers--those who travelled for religious purposes. While it is certain that Hertz travelled in some comfort, his "pastoral tour" was nevertheless an arduous voyage. So why make it at all? Because he knew the ideals that he was attempting to promote--an acculturated Anglo-Jewish Orthodoxy--and the emotions he was trying to foster--such as loyalty and respect for the person and office of the chief rabbi--do not just appear in various settings. Like commodities, ideals and emotions are a result of interactions, either indirectly (by correspondence or newer technologies) or--as in the case of Hertz's tour--by personal contact. As we shall see, Horowitz saw the Jewish emigration from Europe as evidence of divine providence. While other rabbis may have counseled against travel to the impious America---and hence ignored the divine plan--Horowitz instead chose to join and encourage the migrants to the New World. His theological outlook also informed the descriptions of the Jews whom he encountered on his trips in the Canadian West, and his aspirations for them.
These are examples of two officials travelling for religious and communal purposes. Hertz's pastoral tour and Horowitz's travels in Western Canada are variants of a better known phenomenon: the wandering emissary for Jewish institutions in the Land of Israel, most notably the sbaliah de-rabbanan (or, in its acronym, sbadar). The study of these officials has attracted renewed scholarly interest. In the mid-twentieth century, the sbadar was the subject of a bulky volume, which had as its (Zionist) working assumption that diaspora Jewry was historically sustained by its ties to the Land of Israel, and the sbadaraim are one example of how that relationship continued through the ages. (8) Shortly after this book appeared, Jacob Katz challenged its uncritical working assumption, seeing a more dynamic relationship between diaspora and center that changed over time. (9) Recently, Matthias Lehmann turned his interest to the phenomenon of emissaries. He has shown how in the early modern period they were actors in a complex network that may have been about support for institutions in the Land of Israel, but in fact these emissaries were largely directed out of Istanbul and promoted a diasporic pan-Judaism. (10) Hertz and Horowitz, in their travels and texts, also created a web of relationships that attempted to bind the region to something much wider, whether an Anglo-Jewish diaspora or an extension of traditional Jewish life rooted in Eastern Europe.
David Malkiel has also studied the shadar and has argued that the relationship between the emissary and the local community should be understood as an exchange. Thus, in order to understand the phenomenon, we must discern what each side is giving and getting in return. (11) Methodologically, an examination of both sides of the exchange requires moving from the macro perspective of the overall concerns of the tour to a focused analysis of what happens at the communal level. In the case of Hertz and Horowitz, we will focus on what the rabbis were "offering" to the communities in terms of prestige, and what they hoping to "get in return" in terms of leadership of the Jewish community and renown. Because of the limited sources it is not simple to view the exchange from the vantage point of the community members. We can nevertheless offer some evidence and some inference on communal perspectives, especially in the reactions to Hertz's trip, which had a high profile and attracted attention in the press.
Two of "Many Wests"
The recent historical writing of the North American West has adopted the concept of "many Wests," and abandoned the heroic--and, concomitantly, exclusivist--narrative of pioneers of European descent clearing the land and "civilizing" the West. (12) In the last few decades, studies of the Canadian West have described and analyzed the forgotten or suppressed narratives of marginalized groups. One recent collection of essays includes studies of First Nations as farmers, women on farms, the interrelations of railways and racism in the lives of Chinese who made the Prairies their home, as well as essays on Metis and Ukrainian literature. (13) Building upon work done thirty years ago on the variety of visions of a "New Jerusalem" in the Canadian West, Frances Swryipa published in 2010 the almost lyrical Storied Landscapes: Ethno-religious Identity and the Canadian Prairies. (14)
These works often include essays or sections on Jewish hopes for the Canadian West. However, they have not gathered and analyzed the heterogeneous texts of a heterogeneous community. Thus far, the research into Jewish aspirations has focused on secular ideologies, especially the leftist politics of the farmer Michael Usiskin and the socialist Zionism that was so central to Canadian Jews, including Jews in Western Canada. (15) This essay proposes to deepen the study of these "many Wests" by examining Jewish aspirations based on two religious outlooks. The two travellers encouraged what already had taken root in the region and presented the religious ideals they deemed worthy of further emulation. Although the terms lack some nuance, we can call one the outlook of an Orthodox "accommodationist" with modernity, and the other of a "resister." (16) Although the occasional eruption did reveal the tensions between the two outlooks, the differences between them are largely implicit.
J.H. Hertz and His Pastoral Tour
J.H. Hertz's "pastoral tour" came after a long history of ties between Great Britain's Jews and other Jews of the English-speaking world. In their examinations of Jewries in the nineteenth century, both Arthur Kiron and Adam Mendelsohn have shown how the English-language Jewish press of Great Britain was read in the United States, and vice-versa. (17) Adam Mendelsohn has also demonstrated how rabbis trained in Great Britain found their way to North America and other Anglophone Jewish communities, and then engaged in multilateral discussions of Jewish life. (18) However, it should also be noted that there were ways that the "Englishness" of Anglo-Jewry would play out in Canada and not in the United States. Hertz's voyage was to the "overseas dominions." His transnational mission drew on the feeling of connection to the Crown, and to Empire, that would hardly resonate with Jews south of the Canadian border. (19)
Hertz wanted to deepen the religious sentiments of Jews within the Empire and encourage the bond with the chief rabbi in London. He approved of Chief Rabbi Solomon Hirschel's decision, in 1828, to send an emissary, Rabbi Aaron Levy, to Tasmania and New South Wales. According to Hertz, Levy's two-year stay left a deep impression on the Jews there. To Hertz's chagrin, however, the Jewish religious establishment had not followed up on that initiative. They should have shown, Hertz maintained, the same initiative as Christian denominations who kept alive the religious connections between metropolis and colonies: "Would they [the far-flung Jewish communities] not have gained immeasurably in religious vitality and power if there had been, as in other Churches, the stimulating personal contact with accredited representatives from the older centres of spiritual life?" (20)
Drawing on his experiences, Hertz thought that he could foster "religious vitality and power." Hertz's route to becoming chief rabbi was circuitous, but his commitment to modern forms of Orthodoxy was straightforward and consistent. (21) He was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1872, in the small village of Rebrin. The family moved to New York City in 1883 and four years later Hertz started his studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. One of his mentors was Sabato Morais, who was a vital North American link in the history of nineteenth century acculturated Anglo-Orthodoxy. (22) After a short tenure in an American pulpit, Hertz moved to South Africa. Believing that a modern rabbi must be involved in all aspects of life, he called for an end to the civil disabilities that the Boer administration placed on Catholics and Jews. His political views and activism got him expelled during the Anglo-Boer War. With British rule in 1901, he returned to Johannesburg and made his mark on the Jewish community of South Africa. He helped build the infrastructure for the community and religious education, while continuing to demonstrate, by example, that the modern Jew could garner respect in the non-Jewish world. Hertz, who had a PhD in philosophy from Columbia, (23) served as a professor of philosophy at the University of the Transvaal during some of his time in South Africa. Moreover, he was comfortable circulating among the elite of South African society and politics. (24)
Hertz remained in South Africa until 1911, when he returned to the United States to serve Congregation Orach Chayim in New York City. It was a congregation committed to modern Orthodoxy, with the first clause of its constitution stipulating that Orach Chayim had to follow the model of Samson Raphael Hirsch's Frankfurt congregation. (25) When the position of chief rabbi became vacant after the death of Hermann Adler, Hertz applied for the job. In February 1913, he was chosen. Hertz was the favored candidate, as he was able to offer what a recent study called a "progressive conservatism" that tried to steer the middle course between unbending traditionalism and Liberal Judaism. (26) Hertz claimed that Maimonides was the model for his Anglo-Jewish orthodoxy, although his chain of tradition linked more closely to the accommodationist Judaism of his mentors at the Jewish Theological Seminary, especially Sabato Morais and Solomon Schechter. (27)
Hertz believed that he could spread the ideals of Anglo-Jewish Orthodoxy by personal contact. He had done it in South Africa, and after World War I he planned to do it throughout the British world. He was also keen to establish his independence from the lay leadership, which had limited the power of the previous chief rabbis. And how better to do it than to show his popularity? The lay leaders of the English community, especially the prickly Robert Waley-Cohen, had hoped that the tour would be the occasion to highlight the sacrifice of Jewish soldiers "fallen in the Empire's war" and to create an institution of Jewish learning as "a Memorial which will preserve in the British Empire the memory of its Jewish dead." According to Hertz, however, the Jewish communities overseas were "lukewarm" to the idea of the memorial. Some of the prominent congregations wrote in advance to say that they would not be able to contribute. In contrast, the "news of the proposed pastoral tour was received with enthusiasm by practically every congregation throughout the Dominions," and it was "only the Chief Rabbinate with the prestige it enjoys both in the Jewish and the non-Jewish world, that opened up all doors to my companion and myself, and rendered possible the not inconsiderable support that was eventually secured for the War Memorial." (28)
The Tour Reaches Western Canada
For the chief rabbi, then, the encounters with the "far-flung" Jewish communities offered occasions to spread the ideals of Anglo-Jewish Orthodoxy and to enhance the prestige of the chief rabbi, not least in his dealings with the lay leaders of the Jewish community in Great Britain. But how did these encounters play themselves out away from the Jewish metropolis of London? Over the course of twenty-three days, between the time that he disembarked from the Niagara, in Victoria and his arrival in Winnipeg, Hertz visited Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg. Hertz's travels to Western Canada, and the responses they evoked, illustrate how the chief rabbi's mission and ideals could inspire some members of the community, and alienate others.
Sonia Rose of Victoria was in the former camp. She hosted the chief rabbi because she had one of the few kosher kitchens in Victoria. One way she prepared for his visit was by purchasing a guest book, and Hertz was the first signatory. (29) In an oral history fifty years after the event, Rose still spoke with enthusiasm about Hertz's visit. (30) As with many others in the community, Sonia Rose saw the respect that Hertz received from both the Jewish and the non-Jewish communities. Hertz spoke to crowds from the balcony of the synagogue. He also gave an address at the epitome of British genteel culture in Victoria, the Empress Hotel. The visit in Victoria already demonstrated Hertz's belief that Jews should and could interact with the elite of the non-Jewish world. In fact, the guest list read like a who's who of both communities, with Premier John Oliver attending, as well as the lieutenant governor (the royal representative in the province), the leader of the opposition, the mayor of Victoria and prominent clergymen. Hertz also had a private meeting with the premier at the legislature. (31) This hobnobbing with the elite continued throughout Hertz's swing through Western Canada. In the four provinces he visited he was received by all four lieutenant governors, three premiers and seven mayors.
Each encounter with an official and each enthusiastic reception burnished the reputation and authority of the chief rabbi. Some Canadian Jews, for their part, also saw the benefits that the chief rabbi brought to them in promoting an inclusive Canada. While historians have, until recently, emphasized that Canadians had weaned themselves from the "dreams of empire" during World War I, they now argue that the transition was much more gradual. (32) In the interwar period, Canadians developed a discourse to accommodate ethnic diversity within a reimagined pluralistic British Empire, eventually expressed as a mosaic within Empire, or unity in diversity. (33) Hertz both promoted this pluralism, and insisted that the Jews were worthy subjects. (34) In Victoria, Hertz praised the "British Commonwealth of Nations [as] the most perfect political combination the world has seen because it allowed its many different peoples to live their own way--it did not demand of its peoples that they should think alike and speak alike." (35) In the Vancouver branch of the exclusive Canadian Club, Hertz stressed the two themes of religious education and the special relationship between Jews and the British Empire. He extolled the tolerance of the Empire "where nationals and individuals alike were taught that they were but tools in the hands of the Almighty, for righteousness, justice and mercy for all." Hertz was eager to show that Jews enthusiastically embraced and appreciated British tolerance. Although he insisted that religious education was more powerful than "machine-gun methods," to create the "spiritual forces of the Empire," the chief rabbi pointed out that 50,000 Jews in the British Empire (out of a total of 450,0000) did fight, with over 1,100 winning honors for their bravery. This should come as no surprise, Hertz told his audiences, because Jews had a long history of local, provincial and national patriotism. He cited for the occasion Jeremiah's "Seek the Welfare of the City--for in its welfare shall be your peace" (Jeremiah 29:7). (36) Hertz thus provided an example of what historian Derek Penslar has called the conceptualization of Jewish sacrifice during the war as "active and universalist, reflecting [the Jews'] status as citizens as well as Jews." (37)
In Edmonton, the Jewish community saw the immediate positive impact of his visit. In summarizing the impact of Hertz's speech to the local Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonton correspondent to the nationwide Canadian Jewish Chronicle expressed with pride that, "[a]s evidence of [the talk's] worth local papers not only quoted the Rabbi but wrote lengthy editorials of approval." (38) While perhaps not very "lengthy," one editorial in the Edmonton Journal was certainly approving: "We must all be stronger Britishers after hearing him [i.e. Hertz] tell what British ideals and institutions meant to him." (39) Hertz had also successfully pressed home his argument about Jewish loyalty: "The inculcation of patriotism, he declared, was an essential of the Jewish faith. The record of the Jewish citizens of the Empire during the war is the best evidence of this." (40) While Hertz's inspirational calls for a strong Jewish community in a strong British Empire attracted much attention in the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds, Hertz also addressed--both explicitly and implicitly--preferences within the Jewish community which could lead to friction, especially on the topics of the clergy and Jewish education.
From the time that Hertz set foot in Canada until his arrival in Winnipeg, Hertz was accompanied by the English-trained minister, Herbert Samuel. He was the only clergyman in the West considered worthy of a mention in Hertz's summary of the trip:
[I]t is an alarming circumstance that in these western Canadian communities there is only one English-trained preacher-the Rev. Herbert Samuel. In all questions he is their spokesman, having charge of the anti-defamation work of the Jewish Order of B'nai Brith. He is, in addition, rendering excellent service to his own large community of Winnipeg, which numbers some 12,000 Jews.
The exclusive mention of Samuel and his central role in Western Canada as their "spokesman" excluded religious officials who had been fostering deep ties with the Jews throughout the region. Above all, it excluded Rabbi Israel Kahanovitch (1872-1945) who, for most observers, had a profound impact on Winnipeg and Western Canada. (41) Kahanovitch was born in Grodno, then under Russian rule, and attended some of the most renowned yeshivas, including the Knesset Israel in Slobodka. In 1899, the leading halakbic authority, Yechiel Mikhael Halevi Epstein, author of 'Arukh ha-Sbulchan, ordained him. From the time of his arrival in Winnipeg in 1906, Kahanovitch both managed to serve the Jews in Winnipeg, and to reach out regularly to the smaller communities across the prairies. The list of his activities beyond Winnipeg is long. He played a role in the creation of a Jewish school in Regina; the Jewish community of Melville Saskatchewan invited him to dedicate their synagogue in 1925; and he traveled to Estevan, Saskatchewan to raise funds for the Winnipeg orphanage. On one occasion, he tried to make peace between the mainstream Jewish community of Calgary, and the more radical elements who had set up a Peretz School. (42) But Hertz made no mention of the Eastern European rav ("Old World" rabbi), nor the other rabbis and religious officials who had welcomed Hertz to their communities. It was Herbert Samuel who was Hertz's very model of a modern Jewish religious official.
Born in Glasgow in 1882, Herbert J. Samuel, ne Sandheim, studied at Jews' College in London. The College was established in 1855 to train, in the words of Chief Rabbi Nathan Adler, "worthy ministers of religion." (43) Sandheim assumed the pulpit in Swansea, Wales in early 1907. (44) In 1914, Winnipeg's Shaarey Zedek, a newly-amalgamated congregation, looked for a religious official who would satisfy those alienated by both Reform Judaism and old-world Orthodoxy. They turned for guidance to Chief Rabbi Hertz, who recommended Sandheim as "an earnest Jew, a forceful preacher, a deep scholar, an efficient teacher and, in fact, everything that a Jewish minister ought to be." (45) Shaarey Zedek did hire Sandheim, and he served the congregation for eleven years. During World War I, Sandheim abandoned his German-sounding name (as did some Canadian cities). (46) As further proof of his loyalty to the Empire and its Jews, he announced that he was going to join the Jewish Brigade (established in early 1918) to fight under Allenby in the Middle East. Although it is not clear how the thirty-six year old Samuel actually served, he apparently did inspire other Jews from Winnipeg to join. (47)
Samuel had achieved locally what Hertz attempted to demonstrate on his tour: that a properly-trained religious official could represent Jews and Judaism favorably in the non-Jewish world. As Hertz pointed out, Samuel was a prominent figure in Winnipeg's large B'nai B'rith, the organization that took the lead in monitoring attitudes towards the Jews in the press and popular culture. (48) It is not likely, however, that this role was enough to impress the Jews originating in Eastern Europe. They grudgingly acknowledged as useful what Hertz thought was an important trait--the ability to represent the Jews in case of hostility. But it did not necessarily change the overall impression that these Eastern European Jews had of the Anglo-Jewish minister. (49)
Conflicts over Education
Hertz was interested, as he stated from the earliest planning for the pastoral tour, in promoting religious education. To that end, he did not just attend functions with prominent non-Jews. He also went to Jewish institutions, including seven Talmud Torah schools in Western Canada. From his observations in his report on the tour, it is clear that Hertz's educational agenda was quite specific. With regard to Jewish education in Western Canada, he began with praise, commending the "recent immigrants" for their commitment to Talmud Torah: "[t]hey believe, with the old Rabbis, that the duty of religious education outweighs in importance all other duties." He also praised the high salaries they were paying their teachers, which he calls "unparalleled in any older community." But then he qualified his remarks significantly: "[o]ur Canadian brethren, however, do not always obtain results commensurate with their praiseworthy efforts." (50)
Hertz did not wait until he returned home to issue his criticisms. When he spoke at the Winnipeg Talmud Torah, which was known in English as the "Winnipeg Hebrew Free School," he was clear that he was unhappy with the overall condition of Jewish life, including its schooling. (51) What was the problem? He did not see that the schools were preparing Jewish children for participation in Jewish communal life. For him that meant, first of all, instilling religious sentiment. Yes, Hertz acknowledged, they were deeply committed to teaching Hebrew, but for him that was not enough. Hebrew first had to be taught as the holy tongue, the texts should focus on prayer and Bible, and the teachers had an obligation to instill religious sentiment. He was not very interested in Hebrew as the central building block for secular nationalism. On other occasions, Hertz railed against "Hebrew speaking heathens" and challenged those who grant "primacy of place not to the Shema but to the Hatikvah." (52) But Hebrew as the basis for nationalism was the cornerstone of mainstream Jewish education in Winnipeg. The Jews of Winnipeg were fiercely proud of their Talmud Torah and its use of the method of Tvrit be'ivrit (teaching Hebrew by only using Hebrew). A year before Hertz's visit the teachers of the Talmud Torah organized a Hebrew Teachers' Society. One of the teachers explained the purpose of the society:
[I]t is the duty of teachers to take education in their hands and fight with all their might those who hinder the development of modern education ... teachers realize the renaissance of the Jewish nation, of the Jewish homeland and the revival of the Jewish national language and culture ... On the Jewish teachers has fallen the responsibility for the education of the younger generation. (53)
But Hertz did not share their enthusiasm. In response to Hertz's criticisms, Rabbi Kahanovitch defended the Jewish community of Winnipeg, claiming that in just fifteen years the Jews of Winnipeg had created institutions that would be the pride of many communities. (54) In an editorial in the Yiddish press, the school official Dr. Z. Radniansky (1887-1929) argued that Hertz's insistence on teaching Hebrew solely as a religious tongue was completely misguided on pedagogic, cultural and professional grounds. (55) Children, Radniansky insisted, needed texts appropriate for their age. Moreover, Jews were a people whose cultural outlook drew from more than the classical religious texts. And as an administrator he knew it would be inappropriate to demand religious teaching from a secular Jewish teacher. It was, for Radniansky, a flawed and misguided dichotomy to separate the national and religious dimensions of teaching Hebrew. (56) This dispute over education, and the idealization of a certain type of religious leader to the detriment of others, illustrate how Hertz tried to shape Jewish identity on his tour.
Images and Identities
In the summary of his tour to Canada, Hertz reinforced his message with images. He included photographs of the buildings of some of the prominent institutions for all Jews, such as Winnipeg's Talmud Torah and as the Winnipeg Jewish Orphanage. However, when it came to presenting religious officials, he was very selective. Hertz included an image of the man who was, arguably, the first influential Jewish religious figure in Canada, the Rev. Abraham de Sola, who had served in Montreal from 1847-1882. It was de Sola who brought acculturated Anglo-Orthodoxy to Canada, and who conveyed its lessons in sermons to his flock and in presentations to scientific societies such as the Natural History Society. (57) De Sola, like the other English-trained ministers, appears in the clerical garb that English Jewry took from the Church of England. This image is, iconographically, another link in a chain of representations of rabbis, and is clearly distinguishable from the depictions of the Eastern European rabbis. (58)
The most expressive photograph, however, appeared opposite the text describing the chief rabbi's arrival in Canada, and was a perfect way to frame the subsequent description in the mind of the reader. (59) The image shows Hertz being greeted when his ship, the Niagara, arrived in Victoria. Although there are five figures in the photo, only three are identified in the caption. The dapper Hertz is in the middle of the image. To one side we see the premier of the province of British Columbia, John Oliver. To the other side is none other than the Rev. Herbert Samuel, who had travelled to Victoria to greet the chief rabbi and who accompanied him across Western Canada. The image conveys the message that the chief rabbi and his ideal representative--the English-trained Samuel--should be counted among the elite in the Dominion of Canada and offer respectability to Canada's Jews. Moreover, the image invites these Canadian Jews to acknowledge the chief rabbi as the center of the invented diaspora-within-diaspora of Anglo-Jewish orthodoxy.
Horowitz's "Ma'arau Kanadab": Background
Horowitz grew up in a different Jewish world than Hertz. He was born in the community of Safed, famed since the sixteenth century for its Sephardic scholars and spiritual life, especially as the home of the "Ari," Isaac Luria. Horowitz prefaced his book Yavo Shiloh with a history of the community in general, but with specific emphasis on his own roots in the Ashkenazi community. (60) Horowitz accorded particular attention to the significance of the arrival of Rabbi Jacob David Willowski (1845-1913)--known by his acronym Ridbaz--in the early twentieth century. Among his other accomplishments, the Ridbaz built one of the two respected yeshivas in Safed. Willowski ordained rabbis there, and one of the first was Horowitz, in 1908/9. The Ridbaz was considered the mentor of the traditionalist rabbis who made up the Agudat harabbanim (Union of Orthodox Rabbis, est. 1902) in North America. It was the Ridbaz who insisted, during a trip to the United States, that no sermons should be given in English in his presence, because Yiddish was the language of Jewish religious sentiment and English sermons "contain no guidance ... simply make the Jewish people like the rest of the nations ... and open the gates leading our brethren to Reform Judaism." (61)
Horowitz's first schooling was in the Talmud and its commentaries. This education continued past his bar mitzvah. Horowitz, as he later told the story, was very content with his studies. However, his father Asher Yehezkel wanted to teach his son about Hasidism. Asher Yehezkel had a deep connection to Hasidism. He was descended from Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (1789-1866), also known as the Tsemach Tsedek, who was the third rebbe of Lubavitch Hasidism. Asher Yehezkel's reputation was not just due to his lineage: he also earned respect among the Hasidim, in part because of his travel from the Land of Israel to the diaspora communities in order to raise funds for his community. (62) According to one source, "Several tzaddikim wanted to ordain [Asher Yechezkel] as admor, but he wouldn't agree." (63) Asher's wife, Fayge, was descended from some of the closest disciples of the leaders of Lubavitch. Her paternal grandfather, Ephraim Yafe, was a student of both the second Lubavitcher rebbe as well as the Tsemach Tzedek. (64) Despite all this Hasidic yikbes, at first the young Horowitz wanted to be like the other yeshiva students, and was not interested in studying Hasidism. Over time, however, his interest was piqued and never waned. (65)
In Yavo Shiloh, Horowitz described a Safed of great spiritual wealth but whose population suffered physical hardships in the first decades of the twentieth century. Both famine and typhus struck the population during World War I. When the British took Jerusalem from the Turks, the latter suspected that the Jews had treacherously been involved in the British successes. It was only when the British entered Safed that the Jews felt some relief, not just because of the end of Turkish rule but also because American Jewish aid starting reaching Safed. Although Horowitz had been employed by both of the yeshivas in Safed, he decided that he would not be able to support his family if he remained in Safed. He headed to North America, arriving in New York in late March or April of 1922, and moving to Winnipeg about a year later. (66)
Horowitz left Safed for economic reasons, but Horowitz's circumstances in Winnipeg may not have improved much. According to one of his sons, Horowitz first came to Winnipeg at the invitation of some butchers, who promised him a generous salary if he would supervise their kashrut. When he arrived, Horowitz went to speak to Rabbi Kahanovitch, who had been in Winnipeg for over twenty years. Kahanovitch informed Horowitz that he was in charge of the kosher slaughter and that the butchers were trying to escape his authority. Hearing that, Horowitz supposedly decided to turn down any offers from the butchers. (67) However, this story might be glossing over some tensions, as Horowitz complained in Yavo Shiloh that the supervision of kashrut was in shambles because one of the rabbis, who was not named, was self-centered and haughty. (68) According to some advertisements and notices in the Yiddish press, it would seem that Horowitz and Rabbi Osher Zilberstein were indeed supervising at least some of the butchers in 1926. (69) In 1927, however, Horowitz announced that he was no longer supervising any ritual slaughterers or butchers and disassociated himself from an organization which he claimed was not working "for the sake of heaven" but for the "sake of business." (70) Whatever disparate parts of the story are true, without the revenues from supervising kashrut, Horowitz was deprived of a key source of income for an immigrant rabbi. Yet he still needed to feed his large household, consisting of himself, his wife, and their eleven children. The family survived with help from benefactors' donations, from the sale of lulavim and etrogim, by charging for the selling of chametz at Passover, and by the performance of other rabbinical functions. (71)
Despite hardships, Horowitz had remained deeply committed to his traditional scholarship. His first book, Yavo Shiloh (an allusion to the coming of the messiah, based on Genesis 49:10) appeared several years after his arrival in Winnipeg, although it was composed largely in the Land of Israel. It consists of several literary forms, including responsa dealing with halakbic matters specific to the Land of Israel, sermons and lectures he delivered before he left, often in defense of religious Zionism, and a series of homilies from his time both in New York and Winnipeg. In this work, as in his two other major books (one written while still in Winnipeg, the other after he had moved back to Israel), Horowitz drew from an impressive array of halakhic, aggadic, mystical and Hasidic sources. (72)
Emigration to the New World, Theologically Re-evaluated
Although Horowitz acknowledged the hardships in Safed that ultimately drove him to America, Horowitz understood the migration to America in terms that differed from many of his contemporaries. He expressed his views in a sermon on a day of fasting on 20 Sivan 5680 (June 5/6, 1920) proclaimed by the rabbis in Palestine in response to reports of persecutions during the civil war in the Ukraine after World War I. (73) In his talk, he condemned the traditional religious leaders for abandoning the Jews who had moved to America. Those leaders considered America impure and the emigration there "a plague and a horrible disaster." (74) Horowitz did not just republish his sermon in Yavo Sbilob, but added a note that he had composed as he was about to bring the book to press. In this note, he argued that after he had been in North America for four years he saw the folly of the abandonment of North America's Jews. Shouldn't the rabbis have recognized God's providential ways? It was God who guided Jews to North America. The traditional rabbis only recognized the importance of American Jewry in the Jewish diaspora after suffering persecution and impoverishment in both Europe and Palestine. Had they started thirty years earlier, Horowitz lamented, the rabbis could have made a much stronger impact on Jewish religious life. (75)
In making these remarks, Horowitz critiqued a generation of rabbis who had warned against Jewish emigration to America, as well as those who came to America but viewed it with disdain, who called it not a land of gold (goldene medine) but an impure and unkosher land (treyfene medine). (76) Among the harshest critics of Jewish life in America was one of Horowitz's teachers, the Ridbaz, who had once famously proclaimed that in America even the stones were treyf. (Ironically, Horowitz gave his talk in the yeshiva that the Ridbaz had set up in Safed.) Horowitz was not the only rabbi to take his colleagues to task for their abandonment of American Jewry, but he was certainly in the minority. (77) His perspective could also reflect a change of attitude after the Great War, which created an upheaval in world Jewry that is often forgotten because of the events of the subsequent war. Whatever the reason, Horowitz was inclined to see the migration to North America in a different light than many of his predecessors.
In praise of Ma'arav Kanadab
Like many other rabbis and other authors who wanted to publish, Horowitz travelled to raise the necessary funds. He included the names of his benefactors in the publication. He did mention that there were detractors to publishing these lists, who argued that charity delivered anonymously is more praiseworthy than public acknowledgement. However, Horowitz had his prooftexts, as did others: first, a responsum of the medieval halakhic authority Rabbi Solomon ben Abraham ibn Adret (Rashba, 123 5-1310) who insisted that the Torah recognizes the performers of mitzvot, and so should later Jewish generations; and second, in the interpretation of a Talmudic story from tractate Bava Bathra. (78)
There is one feature about these lists in Yavo Shiloh that is--for the historian, at least--wonderfully anomalous. Instead of just listing the names of the communal leaders and religious officials and others who had supported the publication, he wove their names into a seven-page narrative of Judaic life in the three Prairie Provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as in the community of Fort William, Ontario. (79) He provided data on Jewish life in twenty-two cities, towns and farm settlements that he visited on three separate trips. He informed the reader of the number of families in each community, whether the community had a synagogue and whether it was owned or rented. He listed where there was a mikvah, and recorded information on Jewish schools and teachers. He mentioned if a building was new, and if it the building had a pleasing appearance. He also recorded the names of the officials in many of the communities, carefully noting their exact rank, whether an ordained rabbi, or a shochet u-bodek (someone who is authorized to slaughter cattle, which requires a command of a serious body of law), or a shochet 'ofot, (someone who is authorized to slaughter just poultry, which requires a lesser degree of expertise). Very often these officials were instrumental in helping Horowitz raise the publication funds in their communities. Even the smaller communities had institutions that Horowitz praised. In Kamsack, Saskatchewan, which had only twenty Jewish families, there was a mikvah; in Winkler, Manitoba, an even smaller community with only twelve families, there was also one. It was apparently built on the initiative of one of its inhabitants. Some communities had traditional organizations that would probably not be known otherwise. In Edmonton, there was a confraternity for the study of the Mishnah, in addition to a large synagogue, a new Talmud Torah, and a mikvah.
Horowitz was most proud of his own community of Winnipeg, "the place where I pitched my tent" and which he calls the "metropolis" of Western Canada. He estimated the number of Jews at about 20,000, which may have been a slight exaggeration as the census for 1921 lists 14,449 and 17,236 in 1931. (80) He counted ten large and four smaller synagogues, and two mikva'ot. He was proud of the mikvah built according to the strictest standards that he had supervised. He noted some of the other institutions in the city, such as the Hebrew Orphanage, the medical clinic and a new Jewish Immigrant Aid Society office. He also took pride in the Talmud Torah, which had been expanding even before Horowitz's arrival. Unlike Hertz, Horowitz praised the Talmud Torah for "the religious and national education" and its modern method of teaching Hebrew. (81)
Although Horowitz provided prooftexts for the inclusion of the names of the supporters of the publication, he did not explicitly explain why he was giving details on the communities. (82) The answer lies in Horowitz's strong identification with Hasidism. In a sermon he delivered in Winnipeg on Rosh Hashanah, he reluctantly admitted that he was going to engage in words of rebuke because North America's Jews were not observing the Sabbath. Why was he reluctant? He stated that rebuke was not the way of his predecessors and teachers, the students of the founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov. (83) Horowitz would much rather have focused on the merit of individuals (zechut) and not on their shortcomings. This is consistent with the Hasidic emphasis on the attainability of holiness, as opposed to the Mitnagdim who had, as historian Allan Nadler has cogently argued, a more pessimistic outlook. (84) It explains, in part at least, the reason why Horowitz was generous in his praise for what the Jewish inhabitants of Western Canada had done, and did not focus on their shortcomings. It is an extension of his critique of the rabbis who had rejected emigration and the possibility of the development of traditional institutions.
In addition to encouraging traditional institutions, the travel to these towns also involved an exchange. Horowitz benefitted from the financial resources made available for his publication, and in that book he could thank the donors and use the opportunity to express his vision for the Canadian West. The Jewish inhabitants of those towns would feel less isolated by the personal contact with a significant religious official. They could also take pride in seeing their names associated with a publication and see their efforts appreciated. Horowitz even gave them a sequel. About a decade after the appearance of Yavo Shiloh, Horowitz published Sefer Pardes ha-arets, another work including responsa, as well as homilies on scriptures and holidays. According to Horowitz, the information that he included in Yavo Shiloh was well-received by those who were acknowledged, and was even mentioned favorably in the press. Horowitz complied with the request to make the information more accessible than the Hebrew of Yavo Shiloh, and thus included, in Yiddish, a similar section on towns and donors in Pardes ha-arets. (85)
Horowitz added one other special description and highlighted the life of one of his major benefactors, Isaac Meir Calof, in two introductions to Pardes ha-arets. In the Yiddish introduction Horowitz became a scribe for some autobiographical remarks by Calof, and in the brief English introduction Horowitz summarized his patron's life. Both Calof and Horowitz acknowledged that their relation was between a man of wealth and a man of great piety, and they saw their fates as intertwined in mutually beneficial ways. Horowitz referred explicitly to the biblical reference to Zevulun and Issachar (Deut. 33:18), which in postbiblical interpretation referred to the partnering of the merchant with the scholar. (86) This was, again, a way of recognizing a benefactor. It allowed Horowitz to demonstrate the possibility of a pious life even in this outpost of the diaspora of traditional Eastern European Jews. It is also an explicit example of the reciprocal significance of contact between the travelling rabbi and a community member.
With the "transnational turn" in historical studies, perhaps now more than ever we are inclined to see that the Jewish diaspora was never a passive network of connections and diasporic identities did not just appear. Instead, these identities are the result of travel and commerce, as well as global developments such as the expansion of empires. In this paper, we have examined in some detail how two travelling Jewish religious figures fostered diasporic identities. The distances they travelled reveal two figures at opposite ends of the spectrum. J.H. Hertz included the Canadian West while travelling around the world, while Horowitz worked at the regional level, occasionally travelling to Jewish communities in the Canadian West and returning to his home in Winnipeg.
Whatever the distances, however, each of them had a sense of mission, had "exchanges" with local communities, and promoted his own vision of a Canadian Jewish West. J.H. Hertz used his travel to spread the authority of the chief rabbi. With each successful speech and mention in the press, with each meeting with a prominent non-Jewish official, and with each occasion to extol the virtues of a minister such as Herbert Samuel, Hertz strengthened his position towards his critics in London and promoted the acculturated orthodoxy of Anglo-Jewry in the "overseas dominions." In offering their support to Hertz, local Jews could draw on the prestige that the members of pro-British non-Jewish society were bestowing on Hertz. They could, moreover, benefit from Hertz's promotion of his vision of a British Empire that drew strength from its religious diversity.
Yeshaye Horowitz may have travelled to North America for very different reasons than Hertz, but Horowitz also had a mission. To be sure, he headed to the New World to escape the difficult material circumstances of life in his native Safed. However, he also expressed the conviction that traditional rabbis should have recognized God's providence in the waves of Jews leaving Europe, and should have taken up the challenge of creating a Jewish life in North America. He gave his own answer to that challenge in his early description of Jewish life in western Canada, based on his life in Winnipeg and three trips to small Jewish settlements. Superficially, the transaction between this pious scholar and the communities he visited was the financial support he received for publishing his books, in return for honoring, in print, community members and communities. More significantly, Horowitz promoted a vision, and the institutions necessary for that vision. Consistent with his Hasidic outlook, he rebuked the rebukers who saw even the stones of America as treyf. Instead, Horowitz encouraged the optimism of Jews who were willing to use those rejected stones to lay the cornerstones for their traditional institutions.
After 1923, when the Canadian government changed its regulations on immigration, the number of new Jewish arrivals decreased dramatically. Increasingly, the Jewish community of Canada comprised Jews who were born in Canada and educated in English. Accordingly, congregations invited rabbis--some Canadian-born--to travel from their seminaries and pulpits in the United States in order to serve in synagogues north of the border. These changes occurred in the very regions visited by Hertz and Horowitz in the 1920s. But these later developments should not obscure the two Jewish Wests presented by the travellers and texts of an earlier generation.
(1.) For the best survey of Canadian Jewish history, see Gerald Tulchinsky, Canada's Jews: A People's Journey (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).
(2.) Hertz first presented his summary of the trip in a lecture before the Jewish Historical Society of England in June 1922. It was published in the Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England 10 (1921-1923): 149-192 and reprinted in 1924 in pamphlet form as The First Pastoral Tour to the Jewish Communities of the British Overseas Dominions by The Chief Rabbi (Dr. J.H. Hertz) (London: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press, 1924). All references are to the pamphlet.
(3.) He listed them according to his travels to the regions. I will list, by province, all the communities he visited in his three trips. In Saskatchewan, he visited Melville, Yorkton, Canora, Kamsach, Saskatoon, Estevan, Moose Jaw, Leader, Swift Current, Lipton (which shared its religious institutions with Dysart), and Regina. In Alberta, he paid visits to Vegreveille, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, and Calgary. In Manitoba, he gives information on Portage-la-Prairie, Brandon, Winkler, and Winnipeg. He also visited Fort William, Ontario and gives some details. In the northwest of Ontario, Fort William was much closer to Winnipeg than to the larger Jewish communities in southern Ontario, and was thus part of the Jewish hinterland of Winnipeg. Fort William merged with Port Arthur in 1970, and is now called Thunder Bay.
(4.) David M. Wrobel and Michael C. Steiner, eds., Many Wests: Place, Culture and Regional Identity (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1997).
(5.) Sarah Carter, "Erasing and Replacing: Property and Homestead Rights of First Nations Farmers of Manitoba and the Northwest, 1870S-1910S," in Place and Replace: Essays on Western Canada, eds. Adele Perry, Esyllt W. Jones, and Leah Morton (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2013), 25-26. The situation in British Columbia was somewhat different.
(6.) David Koffman, "Jews and the Geography of Contest in the American Frontier West," AJS Perspectives (Spring 2014): 34-35; more specifically regarding Canada, see David Koffman, "The Canadian Jewish--First Nations Encounter: Sketch for a Synthetic History," presented at Association for Canadian Jewish Studies Annual Conference, June 1, 2015.
(7.) Rebecca Margolis, "Jewish Immigrant Encounters with Canada's Native Peoples: Yiddish Writers on Tekahionwake," Journal of Canadian Studies 43, no. 3 (2009): 169-186.
(8.) Avraham Ya'ari, Sbelube erets Yisra'el: toldot ha-shelihut me-ha-arets la-golah, mehurban bayit sheni 'ad ha-me'ah ba-tesba 'esreh, (Jerusalem: Mosad ha-Rav Kuk, 1951).
(9.) Originally published in 1952 it was reprinted in Ya'akov Katz, "He 'arot sotsyologyot le-sefer histori," in his Le'umiyut yehudit: masot u-mehkarim (Jerusalem: Ha-Sifriyah ha-Tsiyonit, 1979), 252-260.
(10.) Matthias Lehmann, Emissaries from the Holy Land: The Sephardic Diaspora and the Practice of Pan-Judaism in the Eighteenth Century (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014).
(11.) David Malkiel, "The Shadar-Host Economy: New Perspectives on the Travels of Emissaries from the Holy Land," Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 25, no. 3 (2016): 402-418.
(12.) Wrobel and Steiner, eds., Many Wests: Place, Culture and Regional Identity.
(13.) Perry, Jones, and Morton, eds., Place and Replace: Essays on Western Canada.
(14.) Benjamin G. Smillie, ed., Visions of the New Jerusalem: Religious Settlement on the Prairies (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1983) and Frances Swyripa, Storied Landscapes: Ethno-Religious Identity and the Canadian Prairies (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2010).
(15.) For a powerful call for a broader inclusion of voices than we find in histories of Jewish culture and identity, see the remarks of Ira Robinson, Rabbis and their Community: Studies in the Eastern European Orthodox Rabbinate in Montreal, 1896-1930 (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007), especially the first chapter on "The Yiddish-Speaking Orthodox Rabbinate in North America and its Importance," 1-19.
(16.) Jeffrey S. Gurock, "Resisters and Accommodators: Varieties of Orthodox Rabbis in America, 1886-1983," in his American Jewish Orthodoxy in Historical Perspective (Hoboken: KTAV Publishing House, 1996), 1-62.
(17.) Arthur Kiron, "An Atlantic Jewish Republic of Letters?" Jewish History 20, no. 2 (2006): 171-211, and Adam D. Mendelsohn, "Tongue Ties: The Emergence of the Anglophone Jewish Diaspora in the Mid-Nineteenth Century," American Jewish History 93, no. 2 (2007): 177-209.
(18.) Adam D. Mendelsohn, "The Sacrifices of the Isaacs: The Diffusion of New Models of Religious Leadership in the English-Speaking Jewish World," in Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History, eds. Ava F. Kahn and Adam D. Mendelsohn (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2014), 11-37.
(19.) On the multiple and deep connections between Great Britain and Canada's Jews before World War I, see Michael Brown, Jew or Juif? Jews, French Canadians and Anglo-Canadians, 1759-1914 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1987), 4-66.
(20.) The emphases are mine. Hertz, Pastoral Tour, 10. Christian missionary activity can refer to attempts to convert the non-Christian, as well as the drive to draw back into Christianity those who were born into a Christian family but whose lives no longer seemed informed by it. The relationship between empire building and missionary activity was highly visible, even if the results were decidedly problematic. For a good survey, see Andrew Porter, "An Overview, 1799-1940," in Missions and Empire, ed. Norman Etherington (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 41-63, drawing from his larger study, Andrew Porter, Religion versus Empire? Protestant Missionaries and Overseas Expansion, 1700-1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004).
(21.) For studies of Hertz, see Harvey Warren Meirovich, A Vindication of Judaism: The Polemics of the Hertz Pentateuch (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1998); Miri J. Freud-Kandel, Orthodox Judaism in Britain Since 1913: An Ideology Forsaken (Portland: Vallentine Mitchell, 2006); 23-92; Benjamin J. Elton, Britain's Chief Rabbis and the Religious Character of Anglo-Jewry, 1880-1970 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009), 164-237; and Derek Taylor, Chief Rabbi Hertz: The Wars of the Lord (Portland: Vallentine Mitchell, 2014).
(22.) For an explanation of the impact of Anglo Jewry, see Mendelsohn, "Tongue Ties," 177-209.
(23.) Taylor, Chief Rabbi Hertz, 5.
(24.) Freud-Kandel, Orthodox Judaism in Britain Since 1913, 30.
(25.) Freud-Kandel, Orthodox Judaism in Britain Since 1913, 32.
(26.) Freud-Kandel, Orthodox Judaism in Britain Since 1913, 53-69.
(27.) Michael R. Cohen, The Birth of Conservative Judaism: Solomon Schechter's Disciples and the Creation of an American Religious Movement (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).
(28.) Hertz, Pastoral Tour, 11. Italics in original.
(29.) Interview with Sonia Rose by Cyril Leonoff, March 26, 1972, tape #3883:17, Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia (JMABC), Vancouver.
(32.) Carl Berger, The Sense of Power: Studies in the Ideas of Canadian Imperialism, 1867-1914, 2nd ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013).
(33.) See, most convincingly, John Herd Thompson, "Canada and the 'Third British Empire,'" in Canada and the British Empire, ed. Philip Buckner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 96-102.
(34.) Hertz's imagined tolerance was, however, far from complete. Hertz would not have been able to speak at the other local exclusive club, the Vancouver Club. Although it had Jews among its founders, after World War I Jews were not allowed. The exclusion by "blackballing" continued into the 1970s. Reginald H. Roy, The Vancouver Club: The First Century 1889-1989 (Vancouver: Vancouver Club, 1989), 85.
(35.) Victoria Daily Times, July 4, 1921, 1, 16.
(36.) "The Chief Rabbi in Vancouver," Canadian Jewish Chronicle, July 22, 1921, 5.
(37.) Derek J. Penslar, Jews and the Military: A History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013), 169.
(38.) "Edmonton News," Canadian Jewish Chronicle, September 2, 1921, 8.
(39.) Edmonton Journal, July 13, 1921, 4.
(41.) On Kahanovitch, see Harvey H. Herstein, "Jewish Religious Leadership in Winnipeg, 1900-1963," Canadian Jewish Historical Society Journal 1, no. 1 (1978): 45-46 and M.S. Stern, "Rabbi in a Changing Neighbourhood: Israel Isaac Kahanovitch, Chief Rabbi of Winnipeg, 1906-1945," The Rabbi J.J. Kahanovitch Memorial Journal (Winnipeg: Vaad Ha'ir, 1985), 93-114.
(42.) On the occasion of Kahanovitch's death, the communities of Edmonton, Edenbridge, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Fort William all expressed their sense of loss for the clergyman who had served them. By then, even the English-language press recognized his significance among Western Canadian Jews, and pronounced him "a builder of the west." M.S. Stern, "Rabbi in a Changing Neighbourhood," 97-98.
(43.) As quoted in Haim Sperber, "Rabbi Nathan Adler and the Formulation of the Chief Rabbinate in Britain, 1845-1890," European Judaism 45, no. 2 (2012): 14.
(44.) Arthur Daniel Hart, Jew in Canada (Toronto: Jewish Publications, 1926), 126; Jewish Chronicle (London), January 27, 1907, 30.
(45.) Quoted from the minutes, in Arthur A. Chiel, The Jews in Manitoba: A Social History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1961), 65.
(46.) Dos yidishe vort/The Israelite Press (hereafter: YV/IP), March 22, 1918, 1.
(47.) Chiel, The Jews in Manitoba, 161.
(48.) Chiel, The Jews in Manitoba, 115; Hart, Jew in Canada, 126.
(49.) In his memoir, Reuben Slonim included an episode about an encounter with Samuel. Slonim spent many of his early years in the Winnipeg Jewish Orphanage. He also attended a public school, and after class one day he went to visit Aron Osovsky, the director of the orphanage and a Yiddish author. Slonim had been shocked by his public school teacher's proclamation that Jesus looked after everybody, including Jewish children, and that Slonim would be much happier if he believed in Jesus. After hearing the young Slonim's story, Osovsky made the startling suggestion that he speak about it with Herbert Samuel. Slonim was surprised because in the worldview of the director of the orphanage, Samuel was considered an assimilationist, and Slonim never expected Osovsky to say anything positive about Samuel. Reuben Slonim, Grand to be an Orphan (Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1983), 107-108.
(50.) Hertz, Pastoral Tour, 32.
(51.) YV/IP, July 22, 1921, 1.
(52.) Elton, Britain's Chief Rabbis, 188-189.
(53.) YV/IP, November 12, 1920, as translated in Harvey Hymie Herstein, "The Growth of the Winnipeg Jewish Community and the Evolution of its Educational Institutions," (MEd thesis, University of Manitoba, 1964), 73.
(54.) YV/IP, July 22, 1921, 1. In this issue, we see that we must be nuanced in using the terms accommodator and resisten Hertz's position on teaching Hebrew was in line with the traditionalists who thought that 'Ivrit be- 'ivrit was a waste of effort, and Kahanovitch with the modern Orthodox. On this issue, see Jenna Weissman Joselit, New York's Jewish Jews: The Orthodox Community in the Interwar Years (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), 132.
(55.) He was either the principal or some other high-ranking member of the school, as in the death notice in YV/IP, February 12, 1929, 1.
(56.) YV/IP, July 29, 1921, 4. Without referring directly to Hertz, in the three months after the pastoral visit, Radniansky wrote two more articles defending the school and its pedagogic philosophy. YV/IP, September 23, 1921, 5, and YV/IP, October 28, 1921, 4-5. Within weeks of Hertz's visit, Radniansky also wrote with enthusiasm of the visit of Chaim Weizmann to North America, and its profound significance for both Jews and non-Jews. YV/IP, August 1, 1921, 4. The enthusiasm for Weizmann also highlights the coolness towards aspects of Hertz's visit.
(57.) The representation of de Sola is in Hertz, Pastoral Tour, plate xxi, facing p. 33. On de Sola, see Richard Menkis, '"In This Great, Happy and Enlightened Colony': Abraham de Sola on Jews, Judaism and Emancipation in Victorian Montreal," in L'antisemitisme eclaire: Inclusion et exclusion depuis l'Epoque des Lumieres jusqu'a l'affaire Dreyfus. Inclusion and Exclusion: Perceptions of Jews from the Enlightenment to the Dreyfus Affair, eds. Ilana Y. Zinguer and Sam W. Bloom (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 313-331.
(58.) On the representation of rabbis as a form of polemic, see Richard I. Cohen, Jewish Icons: Art and Society in Modern Europe (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 114-154, and Maya Balakirsky Katz, The Visual Culture of Chabad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 19-126.
(59.) The image is in Hertz, Pastoral Tour, plate xix, facing p. 31.
(60.) Yeshaye Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh: she'elot u-teshuvot ba-halakhah ... be-hilkhot Erets-Yisra'el ... bi-she'ar halakhot: ... derushim ... derashot shel Erets Yisra'el ... derashot shebagolah (Winnipeg, 1925/6), 3-7.
(61.) Quotation and biographical material from Jeffrey S. Gurock, Orthodox Jews in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011), 133-4; for the role of the Agudat ha-rabbanim in American Judaism, see Jonathan D. Sarna, American Judaism: A History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 191-2. For the most detailed evaluation of old world rabbis in the new world, see Kimmy Caplan, Ortodoksyah ba'olam he-hadash: rabanim ve-darshanut be-Amerikah, 1881-1914 (Jerusalem: The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2002).
(62.) Yeshaye Horowitz, Sefer 'eden tsiyon: mekomot ha-kedoshim shebe-Erets Yisra'el (Jerusalem, 1955/6), 109.
(63.) Steve Lapidus, "The Forgotten Hasidim: Rabbis and Rebbes in Prewar Canada," Canadian Jewish Studies/Etudes juives canadiennes iz (2004), 12, citing Oscar Z. Rand, Toldoth Anshe Shem, vol. I (New York: Toldoth Anshe Shem, 1950), 30.
(64.) Horowitz, Sefer 'eden tsiyon, 113.
(65.) Yeshaye Horowitz, Sefer Pardes ha-arets: kolel she'elot u-teshushvot ba-halakha (Jerusalem, 1933), 575-576.
(66.) Horowitz, Sefer Pardes ha-arets, 292.
(67.) Harry Gutkin with Mildred Gutkin, The Worst of Times, the Best of Times: Growing Up in Winnipeg's North End (Markham: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1987), 184-185.
(68.) Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh, 278.
(69.) YV/IP, October 15, 1916, 2.
(70.) YV/IP, April 29, 1927, 4
(71.) Gutkin, with Gutkin, The Worst of Times, the Best of Times, 184-185.
(72.) Horowitz, Sefer Pardes ha-arets, and Horowitz, Sefer 'eden tsiyon.
(73.) On the virulent pogroms after World War I, see Oleg Budnisktii, Russian Jews Between the Reds and the Whites, 1917-1920, trans, by T.J. Portice (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 216-274; for an study of upheaval in the lives of Hasidim in the wake of the Great War and pogroms, see Marcin Wodzinski, "War and Religion; or, How the First World War Changed Hasidism," Jewish Quarterly Review 106, no. 3 (2016): 283-312.
(74.) Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh, 111-118.
(75.) Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh, 114.
(76.) Caplan, Ortodoksyah ba'olam he-hadash, 222-223.
(77.) Caplan, Ortodoksyah ba'olam he-hadash, 82-87.
(78.) Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh, 273; on the practice in Europe, see the English introduction in Berl Kagan, Hebrew Subscription Lists: With an Index to 8,767 Jewish Communities in Europe and North Africa (New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America 1975), vii-ix; for the citation of Rashba's reponsum, see Kagan, vii; the Yiddish introduction (which is more detailed than the English version), also points out others who offered justification for the practice; see Kagan, Hebrew Subscription Lists, x-xiii.
(79.) See above, note 3.
(80.) Louis Rosenberg, Canada's Jews: A Social and Economic Study of the Jews in Canada (Montreal: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1939), 34.
(81.) He could not, however, pass unremarked what he saw as the shameful situation of the supervision of kashrut, on account of one stubborn, self-centered rabbi. Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh, 278.
(82.) Horowitz, Sefer Yavo Shiloh, 273.
(83.) On the centrality of rebuke in the sermons of the Mitnagdim, see Caplan, Ortodoksyah ba'olam he-hadash, 178-179 and on the self-image of American immigrant rabbis as preachers of rebuke, see Caplan, 316-320. On the criticism of the rebukers, see, for example, Dan Ben-Amos and Jerome R. Mintz, eds., In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972), 182-183 (#165).
(84.) This is the central argument of Allan Nadler, The Faith of Mithnagdim: Rabbinic Responses to Hasidic Rapture (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997)
(85.) Horowitz, Sefer Pardes ha-arets, 599-602.
(86.) Horowitz, Sefer Pardes ha-arets, 6-11. For the postbiblical trajectories of the story, see S. Daniel Breslauer, "Zebulun and Issachar as an ethical paradigm," Hebrew Annual Studies 8 (1984): 13-23; especially 13-14 for the sources of Horowitz's interpretation.
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|Publication:||American Jewish History|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2018|
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