web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Glazer’

Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer (Part II)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

   The first part of the life of Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer was sketched in last month’s Glimpses column. In his youth Rabbi Glazer received a first class Torah education. At the age of 18 he was ordained by Rabbi Alexander Moshe Lapidus, a lifetime friend of Rav Yisroel Salanter. In 1897 Rabbi Glazer immigrated to America where he devoted himself to mastering the English language and acquiring secular knowledge.
 

   After four years of study he possessed an unusual combination of skills for his time, namely, he was an Orthodox rabbi who was at home both in the Torah and secular world. “He was able to appeal to a wide range of people. He became an outspoken proponent of the use of English in sermons, and criticized Eastern European rabbis who did not learn this skill.”1

 

His first rabbinical position was in Des Moines, Iowa, starting in 1902, just after his marriage. By 1904, he had published his first book, a history of the Jews of Iowa.2 One must consider that this book, whatever its deficiencies, was the product of a man who had been in America for less than a decade. [See last month's Glimpses column for information about this publication.] Moreover, he also began editing an English-language Jewish newspaper in Iowa, the Jewish Herald.3

 

   In 1905 Rabbi Glazer become a Rov in Toledo, Ohio, where he edited the Anglo-Jewish newspaper The Jewish Compromiser. In 1907 he published in English The Sabbath School Guide, a textbook designed for use in Jewish Sunday schools. While Rabbi Glazer certainly felt that a once-a-week Jewish education was not at all ideal, he realized this was the only religious education that many Jewish children received. Until the appearance of his book, most Sunday religious schools used books prepared by reform rabbis. Rav Glazer felt he should provide an alternative that presented Judaism from the standpoint of Orthodoxy.

 

The Move to Montreal
 
           In 1907 Rabbi Glazer and his family relocated again, this time to Montreal, where he became the rabbi of the United Synagogues, a consortium of some of the city’s congregations.
 

Rabbi Glazer was an activist in the area of labour relations. He was, apparently, a supporter of the organization of the Jewish Butcher’s Employees Association of Montreal in 1909 and instrumental in getting this association recognized by other Jewish labour organizations. He also intervened in other labour disputes involving Jewish workers, in one of which he incurred the wrath of one of the manufacturers for having denounced him in a sermon.4

Rabbi Glazer lectured widely outside of Montreal, including in his journeys Ottawa and Toronto. He spoke publicly in English as well as in Yiddish. Thus in 1911, to celebrate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, a special thanksgiving service was held in the Chevra Kadisha synagogue in which Rabbi Glazer was advertised as speaking in English.
 
Rabbi Glazer was interested in looking beyond the immediate controversies within the Montreal Jewish community in which he was constantly engaged. He had begun an attempt to chart the future of North American Jewry and to influence what American Orthodox Judaism was going to look like. To this end, he wrote a very interesting book during his years in Montreal, publishing it in 1917. Its title was The Guide of Judaism. The Hebrew subtitle, much to the same effect, was Moreh ha-Yahadut.
 
Glazer designed the book to be a systematic work for the study and instruction of Judaism in its entirety. It takes its general structure from Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, which was designed as an all-inclusive work on Judaism. Rabbi Glazer’s guide to Judaism is completed in approximately 180 pages. From his preface, it is possible to understand not merely that he wrote in English, but also the high level of his English writing.
 
He stated: ” the vis vitae of Judaism in the New World, its renaissance and its progress is possible only in this generation of patriotism and consciousness of self. The bricks of the great edifice of European Jewishness are being carried over the Atlantic. One Jewish center was always built upon the ruins of another. Such is our history and its philosophy. The problems confronting Israel today are: How shall, or rather, how can Judaism be perpetuated in the face of Western civilization? Is Judaism really in danger because of its Oriental origin?
 
“Eliminating Reform as a factor in solving these problems, the question arises: What alternative have the spiritual leaders in Israel to offer to the growing generation which is both free and cultured?
 
“Judaism, since the last quarter of the eighteenth century, continued to develop among the great masses of European Jewries along three distinct lines: the Mendelsohnian School, the Israel Baal-Shem School, and the Elijah Gaon School. Frankfurt, Warsaw and Wilna fairly illustrate the characteristics of the intentions of those schools. Will it be possible, or, facing conditions as they are, is it desirable to perpetuate the divisions and create a Hassidic Chicago, an Ashkenazic Philadelphia, or a Pilpulistic New York?
 
“By means of observation during two decades among various types of communities, and alongside Reform colleagues and radical agitators, it is my firm conviction that the problems of Judaism in the New World can, and will be solved by only one means – by means of EDUCATION.
 
“And, as an avant propos, I dedicate this work to American Israel, to the growing and grown generation.”
 

Gazer was thus a man who did not merely know English (and at least a smattering of Latin and French); he was also able to write a powerful essay, which expressed some very interesting ideas, and, indeed, a unique vision of Judaism’s future in North America.5

 

   Rabbi Glazer left Montreal in 1917 for a pulpit in Seattle, Washington. In 1920 he became the chief rabbi of eight Orthodox congregations in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. In 1923 he came to New York, where he served as the rabbi of several congregations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. His activities in New York will be the focus of next month’s column.

 

1. “The American Rabbinic Career of Rabbi Gavriel Zev Margolis” by Joshua Hoffman, Masters Thesis, Bernard Revel Graduate School, Yeshiva University, July, 1992, page 92 (unpublished).
 
 
3. Rabbis and their Community: Studies in the Eastern European Orthodox Rabbinate in Montreal, 1896-1930 by Ira Robinson, University of Calgary Press, 2007, page 37.
 
4. Rabbis and their Community, page 44.
 

5. Ibid., pages 48-49.

 

  

   Dr. Yitzchok Levine was a professor for 40 years in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at llevine@stevens.edu.

Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer: Early 20th Century Wordsmith (Part I)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

   Virtually all of the rabbonim who came to America during the latter part of the nineteenth century did not speak English. A few did master the language and become proficient at speaking and writing it; one of these was Rabbi Simon Joshua Glazer, who did more than just learn to speak and write in English – he also acquired a substantial secular education.
 

   Simon Glazer was born in Erzwillig, Lithuania on January 21, 1878.

 

At the age of nine, he entered the yeshiva of Yurburg, where he studied under Rabbi Wolf Pollack. Following his bar mitzvah, Glazer continued his Talmud studies at several Lithuanian yeshivas including Eurologa, where his scholarship advanced under the guidance of Rabbi Moshe Sadovsky. At the age of 18, Glazer received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Alexander Moshe Lapidus and Rabbi Isaac Rabinowitz.
 

In 1896 Glazer moved to Touvorig, near the Prussian border, and began teaching at the local synagogue. To avoid service in the Russian army, Glazer left Touvorig shortly thereafter, crossing the border to Koenigsberg. After failing to receive permission to remain in Koenigsberg, he departed for Palestine in 1896. Finding no satisfactory means to earn a livelihood in Palestine, Glazer immigrated to America one year later.1

 

   In New York he met Kasriel Sarasohn, the editor of the Orthodox newspaper the Yiddishe Gazeteer. Sarasohn advised Rabbi Glazer to study English and a variety of secular subjects because America needed rabbis who were not only Talmudic scholars but who were also secularly trained.
 
   The rabbi took Sarasohn’s advice and devoted the next four years mastering English and acquiring secular knowledge. His spent the winter months immersed in the study of secular subjects, while during the summer he served as a cantor and Hebrew teacher in several American cities. In this way he was able to support himself while he studies. At the end of those four years Rabbi Glazer emerged as an individual with a rare combination of skills – a secularly educated, European-trained talmid chocham who spoke English fluently.
 
   In 1902 Rabbi Glazer married Ida Cantor of Buffalo, New York, and accepted his first full-time position as the rabbi of Congregation Bnai Israel in Des Moines, Iowa. In 1904 he published his first book in English, The Jews of Iowa.2 It was to be the first of 26 books he would write; he also contributed hundreds of articles to newspapers and journals.
 

   A 1905 review of Rabbi Glazer’s first book reads:

 

The Jews of Iowa, by Rabbi Simon Glazer, of Des Moines, is a readable volume of 359 pages. The book, which is of recent issue, is intended to narrate a history of the Jews of Europe and of North and South America in modern times and to give a brief history of Iowa with a complete history of the Jews of Iowa, along with an accurate account of their religious, social, economic, and educational progress. The volume covers an unworked field; for, as the author writes, “The greatest and most difficult task was to collect data for the history of the Jews of Iowa. Not a single paragraph was to be found ready, not a single fact was on file with any Jew; and not a page was ever devoted to chronicle the annals of the Jewish pioneers of Iowa. The old newspapers had to be consulted, but there only a name sounding Jewish could be discovered. When a Jew donated or bequeathed money for any philanthropic purpose, the papers only recorded the fact that a prominent citizen by such and such a name offered a most generous gift, and, as there were no Jewish horse-thieves among the pioneers, no need was found to brand the genealogy of the individual in describing him.”3

 

   The Jews of Iowa is an astonishingly comprehensive volume, and the breadth of Rabbi Glazer’s scholarship is impressive. In his preface he writes:

 

This volume contains a history of the development of the modern Jews as well as an account of a small group of American Jews – The Jews of Iowa. The student, or reader, will easily be able to discover the mode of Israel’s adventure during the sublimest epoch in the world’s history and, subsequently, will readily discern the enigmatic tangles which are creating Jewish problems upon every continent. Besides, the general public will find in this work useful facts about a misunderstood class which seems to be struggling upon the waves of Time without interruption, and a mutual benefit is, therefore, inevitable.

 

   Rabbi Glazer stayed in Des Moines for three years. He subsequently went on to serve in numerous congregations in the United States and Canada, including Toledo, Ohio (1905-1907); Montreal, (1907-1918); Seattle (1918-1920); Kansas City, Missouri (1920-1923); and various synagogues in New York from 1923 until his passing in 1938. In each community he left his mark, and we shall describe some of his activities in future articles.

 

    1 Orthodox Judaism in America, a Biographical Dictionary and Sourcebook by Moshe D. Sherman, Greenwood Press, 1966, page 75.

    2 This book may be downloaded at:

    3 Iowa Journal of History and Politics, edited by Benjamin F. Shambaugh, Volume III, The State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, 1905, page 478. This publication is available at: http://books.google.com/books?id=qXcSAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA478&lpg=PA478&dq=the+jews+of+iowa+glazer&source=web&ots=vjdoj0x6Jl&sig=Fq4FKxwhiYsI-mQqEJ9xb3_OdPY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result

 
 
Dr. Yitzchok Levine formerly worked as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at llevine@stevens.edu.

For STAR-K: The Skype’s The Limit

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

            When Rabbi Chaim Glazer, an 11th grade rebbi at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in North Miami Beach, Florida, was teaching his class about Kil’ei Ilanos (the issur of grafting two trees of different species together) his lesson plan research led him to a STAR-K Kashrus Kurrents article on hydroponics – the cultivation of plants in a nutrient solution rather than in soil.   

 

Always seeking to give his students “beyond book learning experiences,” Rabbi Glazer contacted the author of the article, STAR-K Kashrus administrator Rabbi Zvi Goldberg. Rabbi Goldberg suggested that he and the bachurim learn about the halachic implications of hydroponics face-to-face-despite the fact that they were about 950 miles apart – using a webcam through Skype.

 

Through this videoconference, Rabbi Glazer’s talmidim were able to watch Rabbi Goldberg speak about the ramifications that hydroponics has on the brachah rishonah of fruits and vegetables; the prohibitions regarding harvesting them on Shabbos and Yom Tov; the implications hydroponics has for Terumos, Ma’asros and Shemittah; and the use of hydroponic romaine lettuce as marror at the Pesach Seder.    

 

Rabbi Glazer used Rabbi Goldberg’s shiur, in conjunction with a high-tech hydroponic greenhouse tour, to reinforce his teaching lesson. “Today’s bachurim sometimes find it hard to relate to concepts they’ve never experienced,” notes Rabbi Glazer. “Rabbi Goldberg and the Star-K educational program enabled my students to experience real-life applications of what they are learning about in the classroom.”

 

STAR-K’s utilization of Skype technology is nothing new. STAR-K expert kashrus administrators have been using it, on STAR-K’s Virtual Online University, to teach kashrus basics to kosher novices around the world, at their own pace, in the comfort of their own homes.

 

In addition, local va’adim, rabbis and mashgichim the world over, all benefit from Skype technology when taking advantage of STAR-K’s inter-agency TeleKosher Conference series. These programs enable them to speak directly to kashrus experts from various agencies in a non-political forum,  and ask questions distinctive to their communities.

 

Students living closer to STAR-K’s Baltimore offices have the opportunity to learn about kashrus, in person, without Skype. STAR-K kashrus administrator, Rabbi Dovid Heber, recently spoke to a group of Lakewood seminary students about the various production methods of breakfast cereals and their impact on Hilchos Berachos. Similarly, 10th graders from Reenas Bais Yaakov in Highland Park, N.J., benefited from a recent shiur that Rabbi Heber delivered exclusively for them – a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the STAR-K kosher symbol from a halachic, technical, and tracking perspective.

 

STAR-K’s educational efforts also include the hosting of an intensive weeklong annual kashrus training seminar each summer for rabbonim, kollel fellows and others serving as Klei Kodesh. It features lectures by STAR-K’s rabbinic staff members, audio-visual presentations, a hands-on practicum, and several field trips. STAR-K will be taking a mini-version of its kashrus training seminar on the road to the yungerleit of Rabbi Avrohom Lefkowitz’s Kollel Bnei Torah, in Lakewood, N.J. on Wednesday, December 31.

 

HaRav Moshe Heinemann and STAR-K administrators will address various topics, including: Kashering – Restaurants/Caterers/Factories, Guide to Hashgachah of Restaurants and Caterers (includes checking for tola’im), Chalav Yisrael, and The Kashrus of Bakeries.

 

                        For further information regarding STAR-K programs, contact 410-484-4110. To join STAR-K’s ongoing TeleKosher Conference Series, (scheduled for the last Wednesday of each month at 12 noon EST), call: 605-475-8590 and enter conference 528-5502.

For STAR-K: The Skype’s The Limit

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008




            When Rabbi Chaim Glazer, an 11th grade rebbi at Yeshiva Toras Chaim in North Miami Beach, Florida, was teaching his class about Kil’ei Ilanos (the issur of grafting two trees of different species together) his lesson plan research led him to a STAR-K Kashrus Kurrents article on hydroponics – the cultivation of plants in a nutrient solution rather than in soil.   

 

Always seeking to give his students “beyond book learning experiences,” Rabbi Glazer contacted the author of the article, STAR-K Kashrus administrator Rabbi Zvi Goldberg. Rabbi Goldberg suggested that he and the bachurim learn about the halachic implications of hydroponics face-to-face-despite the fact that they were about 950 miles apart – using a webcam through Skype.

 

Through this videoconference, Rabbi Glazer’s talmidim were able to watch Rabbi Goldberg speak about the ramifications that hydroponics has on the brachah rishonah of fruits and vegetables; the prohibitions regarding harvesting them on Shabbos and Yom Tov; the implications hydroponics has for Terumos, Ma’asros and Shemittah; and the use of hydroponic romaine lettuce as marror at the Pesach Seder.    

 

Rabbi Glazer used Rabbi Goldberg’s shiur, in conjunction with a high-tech hydroponic greenhouse tour, to reinforce his teaching lesson. “Today’s bachurim sometimes find it hard to relate to concepts they’ve never experienced,” notes Rabbi Glazer. “Rabbi Goldberg and the Star-K educational program enabled my students to experience real-life applications of what they are learning about in the classroom.”

 

STAR-K’s utilization of Skype technology is nothing new. STAR-K expert kashrus administrators have been using it, on STAR-K’s Virtual Online University, to teach kashrus basics to kosher novices around the world, at their own pace, in the comfort of their own homes.

 

In addition, local va’adim, rabbis and mashgichim the world over, all benefit from Skype technology when taking advantage of STAR-K’s inter-agency TeleKosher Conference series. These programs enable them to speak directly to kashrus experts from various agencies in a non-political forum,  and ask questions distinctive to their communities.

 

Students living closer to STAR-K’s Baltimore offices have the opportunity to learn about kashrus, in person, without Skype. STAR-K kashrus administrator, Rabbi Dovid Heber, recently spoke to a group of Lakewood seminary students about the various production methods of breakfast cereals and their impact on Hilchos Berachos. Similarly, 10th graders from Reenas Bais Yaakov in Highland Park, N.J., benefited from a recent shiur that Rabbi Heber delivered exclusively for them – a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the STAR-K kosher symbol from a halachic, technical, and tracking perspective.

 

STAR-K’s educational efforts also include the hosting of an intensive weeklong annual kashrus training seminar each summer for rabbonim, kollel fellows and others serving as Klei Kodesh. It features lectures by STAR-K’s rabbinic staff members, audio-visual presentations, a hands-on practicum, and several field trips. STAR-K will be taking a mini-version of its kashrus training seminar on the road to the yungerleit of Rabbi Avrohom Lefkowitz’s Kollel Bnei Torah, in Lakewood, N.J. on Wednesday, December 31.

 

HaRav Moshe Heinemann and STAR-K administrators will address various topics, including: Kashering – Restaurants/Caterers/Factories, Guide to Hashgachah of Restaurants and Caterers (includes checking for tola’im), Chalav Yisrael, and The Kashrus of Bakeries.

 

                        For further information regarding STAR-K programs, contact 410-484-4110. To join STAR-K’s ongoing TeleKosher Conference Series, (scheduled for the last Wednesday of each month at 12 noon EST), call: 605-475-8590 and enter conference 528-5502.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/for-star-k-the-skypes-the-limit/2008/12/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: